On July 26, 2018, HealthStreet hosted the 17th national Our Community, Our Health (OCOH) town hall. This meeting addressed the impact of childhood trauma and mental health issues on minority communities.
The event featured three panelists with backgrounds in mental health, child development and social epidemiology.
The discussion focused on the negative consequences and life-altering outcomes of undiagnosed mental disorders and examined some of the reasons that diagnosis and treatment happen less frequently in minoritiy communities.
Pamela Koons, director of At The WELLness Network and Board Member of NAMI Gainesville, moderated and shared insights about suicide and incarceration rates among minority children.
Dr. Michelle Jacobs-Elliott, staff psychiatrist at the UF Student Health Care Center, explained why stigma occurs frequently within minority communities and shared stories about patients who only sought help after a friend recognized their symptoms and offered to go with them to their counseling appointments.
Dr. Micah E. Johnson, an NIH post-doctoral fellow in the UF department of epidemiology, gave an account of how a child who needed to be guided to mental health resources instead ended up in the criminal justice system.
Dr. Andres Pumariega, professor and chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at UF, discussed how childhood trauma could have lasting effects on mental health, carrying with a child into adulthood.
Read event coverage by the Gainesville Sun.