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223 | Collaboration with the African-American Church: A Beacon of Hope and Healing in Mental Health

Multicultural Counseling and Diversity: Special Populations and Global Competency, Thursday 9/14 2:15 – 3:30 PM, Workshop Tracks


D. Fredrica Brooks-Davis, Psy.D.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




This workshop will examine the religious and social support black congregations and communities have received historically from the black church (Graham & Roemer, 2012). Historically, religion, spirituality, and religious institutions have helped African-Americans cope with various issues, including physical illness, mental illness, grief and loss, legal concerns, relational challenges, unemployment, and racism (Thompkins et al., 2020). In recent years, the coronavirus pandemic, hate crimes, and race-based incidents have contributed to an increase in the number of African-Americans seeking therapy for depression and anxiety (Liu & Modir, 2020; Hayward and Krause, 2015). As the stigma of seeking mental health services in the African-American community decreases, African-American churches and licensed mental health providers are encouraged to establish partnerships to provide hope and healing for both the congregation and the community. Examples of support and outreach programs designed to improve the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of congregations and communities will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the historical and present-day influence of the church in the African-American community
2. Identify programs or services the Church can implement to respond to the increased number of African-Americans seeking mental health services and how these programs can link with culturally-sensitive and faith-based licensed mental health professionals
3. Identify three reasons the black church has been successful in meeting the needs of the congregation and community
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