A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in the 17th annual Central Texas African American Family Support Conference here in Austin. The conference, the longest running of its kind, brings together professionals and consumers to address public health, access to care, behavioral health challenges, mental health stigma, community health services and other subjects. Sponsored by Integral Care and community health partners from public and private sectors, the conference facilitates culturally sensitive education, family support and partnerships in Austin and surrounding areas.
Members of our Health Disparities team helped plan this year’s conference, which took place Feb. 8-9 at the Palmer Events Center. As a conference presenter, I led the session, “A Focus on Sickle Cell Disease: Pain, Mental Health and Family Support.” My fellow team member Courtney Bailey presented the session and workshop, “Self-Care in Action: A Trauma-Informed Approach.”
William Lawson, MD, Associate Dean of Health Disparities, hosted three events, including:
- A session on attention deficit disorder in the African-American community;
- A discussion on violence, mental illness and communities of color, co-led by Health Disparities team affiliates Ryan Sutton, PhD, and Terrence Allen, PhD; and
- An “Ask the Doctor” panel answering audience questions with the help of Gloria Oyeniyi, MD, and Edna Brinkley, PhD.
Overall, the conference was a success, providing a rich space for collaboration, partnership, engagement and connection. Our Health Disparities team looks forward to participating in the next one!
The conference committee honored Courtney Bailey with the Richard E. Hopkins “Torch” Award for her professional contributions in the areas of mental health, health equity and trauma-informed approaches to care in Central Texas. Congratulations, Courtney!