Mental Health First Aid
The Wellness Center is a home base to Mental Health First Aid, a program dedicated to improving access to quality mental health in Harlem. African Americans and Latinos have the lowest rates of mental health treatment in the United States. To address this disparity, Mental Health First Aid works with local faith communities, training leaders to identify and respond to signs of depression and other mental illnesses, as well as substance-use disorders like alcoholism.
Sidney Hankerson, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, directs the trainings through the Wellness Center. His team teaches people to combat the stigma often associated with mental health problems and encourages others to seek medical help. Mental Health First Aid also provides a list of local mental health clinics and other resources for the community.
For more information, visit the Community Coalition for Mental Health.