Unless people encounter it within the family or among close friends, most individuals understand very little about the brain disorders that result in serious mental illness.
When serious mental illness begins to take over a person’s brain, its distressing effects often lead individuals to complicate conditions by self-medicating with alcohol or illegal drugs.
Families are puzzled when a loved one withdraws from family and friendship, displays sudden bouts of explosive anger, or a sudden suspiciousness.
Sudden bouts or high energy without sleep and/or long periods of sleep are also potential signs of the onset of mental illness. Very few individuals, even those who have studied psychology in college, understand the behavioral changes or know what to do about them.
The African American Family Outreach Project’s mission is to bring together African American families who cope with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse in order to provide answers to pressing questions and learn the range of services available in Alameda County.
These free events offer opportunities to engage in an exchange with psychiatrists and other experienced providers who serve in a range of Alameda County programs for those with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder.
On Saturday, April 10, Lester Love, M.D., who specializes in psychiatry and family medicine, will address the topic “ What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You: Race, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Addiction.”
In this time when families are shouldering the stresses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, additional concerns for a loved one with serious mental illness can heighten feelings of anxiety or depression.
Theopia Jackson, Ph.D, the national president of the Association of Black Psychologists, will engage the family audience in looking at practices for managing serious stress or multiple trauma through the topic “Standing in our Blackness: Coping in Community.” Dr. Jackson is a professor and clinician who is a trainer for culturally affirming and cultural equity programs.
Interested people are invited to register on or before April 9, 2021, for the free virtual workshop on Saturday, April 10, 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at https://bit.ly/YOUARENOTALONEApril.