LGBT People of Color Mental Health Conference
In My Mind
Examining Our Challenges, Healing for Our Strengths
Thursday, October 8, 2015
First Conference for LGBT People of Color on Mental Health and was I happy to be in attendance, see some familiar faces and meet many new ones, especially younger LGBT people, or what I like to think up and coming community activist, all with a story to share, all with big hearts full of compassion. I was happy at age 56 to be among them.
The Conference was on LGBT people of color. I recently was reading, Advances against HIV made, but there's more to do By Alberto Cortés | 2 p.m. Nov. 27, 2015 source:The San Diego Tribune Times, I try to catch everything on HIV and mental health that's printed daily, this one started off with the statistics I know to well, "An estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States." as I to reference these same numbers.
Half way through the article it started to address, "today more people are living with HIV than ever before, but socioeconomic factors like poverty, discrimination, stigma and homophobia can limit access to health care. They serve to discourage individuals from seeking HIV testing and treatment. Additionally, language barriers and concerns about immigration status present additional barriers to accessing care, treatment and prevention services. In part, due to social and economic challenges including discrimination, communities of color have higher rates of HIV. The African-American community faces the most severe burden — though only 14 percent of the population nationwide, 41 percent of people living with HIV are African-American. Latinos — 17 percent of the U.S. population — account for 21 percent of the new HIV infections."
This pulled me in as it reminded me of the October 8, 2015 conference on LGBT people of color, and more recently, during one of my own story telling sessions sponsored by The Urban Justice Center's, Mental Health Project's Open Mic Night. I speak about my bumpy road to recovery, my dual diagnoses of Bipolar and HIV both at the same time and also my substance abuse recovery, recoveries plural.
I end my story telling session by handing out my card, which has on it, If I Can Talk About Mental Illness, So Can You and then my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
In my inbox, I'm changing name to protect the privacy as not everyone is outspoken like me, also I touch on that, that it's no ones business unless you want to share your story. The email started, with thank you for sharing your story, it went on to say they to have a mental health diagnoses, that Spanish was their first language, and that they were gay, and had questions on safe sex, at which time I shared resources on PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ).
Story telling is a joy to me, sharing resources, looking up helpful links, all of what I do is self-help, it's how I educated myself , as education diminishes fear, also found on my card,
So back to the conference of LGBT people of color, to the article by Alberto Cortes and my own personal account, I know first hand about minorities and poverty and how it can prevent you from all services, HIV and mental health.
Next Tuesday, December 1st is World's AIDS's Day, on Wednesday, December 2nd, I will be on hand attending: For More Information and to RSVP call 718-802-3530
Brooklyn Borough President
Eric L. Adams
"Suicide, In Memory of their son lost fifteen months ago" by Stephen Puibello
A2A Alliance founder Jeff Bell speaks with A2A Advocate Stephen Puibello, a survivor of HIV, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse, about his commitment to raise awareness of all three challenges.