UMB Community Engagement Center posts displayed by tag

Mental Health in the Community

Promoting Mental Health in the Local Community

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Students, faculty, and staff from the School of Pharmacy collaborated with the Community Engagement Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to organize new workshops for the center’s ongoing “Healthy Living” series. The team created three interactive classes focused on promoting healthy minds and healthy lives. Community members across West Baltimore were invited to attend the classes and meet and participate with health professionals and guest speakers in group discussions that explored topics such as mental health, stress, and cancer.

Members of the School’s Phi Lambda Sigma Leadership Society (PLS) and College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) student chapter, as well as faculty and staff from the PATIENTS Program helped organize and lead the first three classes, which were attended by dozens of community members in total. The classes took place on Thursday afternoons throughout the month of April, and focused on discovering what mental health topics were most important to community members and how we could provide individuals with the resources and skills needed to address these topics.

Dealing With Social Stigma

According to a 2015 report by the Baltimore City Health Department, 23 percent of Baltimore’s adult population does not receive adequate mental health services. This unmet need has led to some serious consequences for the community, including increased rates of homelessness, incarcerations, and unemployment. Hosting these workshops, particularly at this time, was crucial not only for us to gain experience as future health care professionals, but also to help improve the lives of people living in the city.

The workshops focused exclusively on issues associated with social stigma. Participants in the workshops unanimously agreed that social stigma is often a major barrier when an individual considers receiving mental health care. Mental health issues such as substance abuse, depression affected by fear, public perception of the issue, stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination were thoroughly debated and discussed. The participants agreed that these factors could prevent an individual from getting a proper mental health assessment, and ultimately contribute to an overwhelming number of social and domestic issues such as crime, domestic violence, and unemployment, as individuals who are experiencing mental health issues are less likely to take care of themselves or reach out to receive care in general.

In addition, workshop activities addressed the following areas related to social stigma:

  • Identification of stigmatizing behaviors
  • Influence of stigmatizing behaviors on individuals
  • Influence of stigmatizing behaviors on the community and society
  • Importance of seeking treatment
  • Information about support groups and programs

Helping Baltimoreans Live Healthier Lives

The three mental health workshops that we hosted were a part of the ongoing “Healthy Living” series at the University’s Community Engagement Center, and were held on April 6, 13, and 20.

The first session addressed the topics of depression, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by violence. The workshop was led by Kelly Quinn, coordinator for the Community Engagement Center, and featured a presentation by Donna Audia, RN, HN-BC, reiki master, from the School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine, who discussed healing through energy and other issues related to mental and physical health.

Held April 13, the second workshop featured a fruitful panel discussion with faculty from the School of Pharmacy, including Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS), Katy Pincus, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in PPS, and Jason Noel, PharmD, BCPP, associate professor in PPS, as well as Adrienne Anderson, BSN, RN. Experts and local community members shared their experiences during a round table discussion about mental health. Issues such as smoking cessation, insomnia, stress, anxiety, asthma, access to mental health care, and crime/safety, as well as community involvement were discussed.

In the final session on April 20, Audia returned to talk about stress relief, breathing techniques, and her experiences as a health care professional. In addition, Mattingly and Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ infectious diseases, assistant professor in PPS, were present to facilitate the discussion. Pharmacy students spoke about different local resources for mental health support available in downtown and West Baltimore.

Applying the Lessons Participants Learned

The three workshops organized to address the critical topic of mental health in West Baltimore had a lasting impact on the community. These workshops became a platform from which local community members could gather and share their personal experiences. The classes also allowed student pharmacists to bring awareness to some local resources currently available for people in the community. Faculty members and staff from the Community Engagement Center expressed their hope to bring more events hosted by student organizations from the School of Pharmacy to the community to help increase student involvement in establishing new workshops for the community in the near future.

But most importantly, these workshops were a platform from which we were able to raise awareness about the stigma associated with mental illness like never before, leading to discussions that were fruitful, impactful, and will have long-lasting outcomes.

“These three workshops were phenomenal, and had a tremendous impact on the community members, serving as a bridge to help students from the School of Pharmacy learn how to better serve the local community, especially those individuals facing mental health problems,” said Kemahn Jones, a community health intern at the Community Engagement Center. “Community members had an opportunity to meet new, like-minded individuals and learn a great deal of new information to help them moving forward.”

  
Ana Luisa Moreira Coutinho Clinical Care, Community Service, University Life, USGAMay 15, 20170 comments
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Active Bystander Training

Nonviolent Active Bystander Intervention Training

Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied or harassed and wanted to intervene? Or did you intervene, and wish it had gone better? Join students, faculty, and staff of UMB and citizens of Baltimore City as we practice nonviolent active bystander intervention in response to harassment and hate speech. This training will particularly highlight strategies to support immigrants facing harassment in our community.

We will practice the following:

  • De-escalating conflict
  • Using our mobile devices to document injustice
  • Offering support to keep bad situations from getting worse

Event Details

Saturday, May 13
Noon to 4 p.m.
UMB Community Engagement Center
870 W. Baltimore St.

Co-sponsored by the USGA and the Anti-Oppression Work Group, a student group at the School of Social Work. Lunch will be provided.

This training is free.

REGISTER NOW

  
Karen Campion Bulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, University Life, USGAApril 19, 20170 comments
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October President's Message

October President’s Message

Check out the October issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column and personal reflection on UMB’s Community Engagement Center; a look ahead to Founders Week; revisiting the launch of the Diversity Advisory Council Speaker Series with Marc Nivet, EdD, MBA; a visit with UMB Ombudsperson Laurelyn Irving, PhD, MSW; and the CURE Corner.

  
Chris Zang Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAOctober 6, 20160 comments
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HS/HSL Children's Book Collection

Donate Your Favorite Children’s Books at the HS/HSL

Based on the number of inquiries we’ve had about donating books, we’re expanding our holiday giving project to include accepting your donations!

Anyone who wishes to donate books should either drop them off at the Information Services Desk or place them on the shelves near the READBOX display in the library. Both of these locations are on the first floor of the library.

Thanks to all of you who have already submitted book title suggestions. We will accept suggestions (and now books) until mid-January, so there’s still time! Help the Health Sciences & Human Services Library spark a love of reading and increase the literacy skills of the young children visiting the new UMB Community Engagement Center (located in the UMB BioPark at 1 N. Poppleton St).

As part of the Library’s Holiday Giving Project, the HS/HSL staff and faculty also will purchase children’s books – based on your suggestions – for the Center.

Let us know which books were your favorites, or which ones your children love. They may be those you read for fun, or those that inspired, encouraged, or opened your eyes to a new world! We are especially interested in books for children from infancy through middle school.

Look for the READBOX at the library to submit your suggestions and/or donations, or submit them by clicking on My Favorite Books. For more information about the Library’s Holiday Giving Project, contact librarian Mary Ann Williams at mwilliam@hshsl.umaryland.edu.

  
Ryan Harris Collaboration, Community Service, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, University AdministrationDecember 8, 20150 comments
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