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Mental health needs to be highlighting in the Black community

The Village pays for mental health services for Black youth
Posted at 7:27 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 10:27:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Across the country, people are closely watching the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin, charged with killing George Floyd in 2020.

Apalachee Center CEO Dr. Jay Reeve says people are likely already feeling anxiety about what's happening in Minneapolis and other communities across the country. He says one of the best ways to cope is by being open about your thoughts and feelings.

Dr. Reeve says this trial will likely impact the emotional state of many, with some going into a stage of temporary depression.

If you find yourself in that place, here's what he says you should do:

Surround yourself with people who will listen to your frustrations. In this particular situation with the Chauvin verdict, he says map out a plan on how you plan to respond when the verdict comes down. It's something he says will make it less likely you'll make a decision based on heightening anxiety and depression.

"Anxiety gets cranked up, anger can get cranked up, including feelings of fear and panic. That's an impact we've seen too often throughout the last year with different nationally that have occurred. They've an impact on folks, an impact on communities," said Dr. Reeve.

Dr. Reeve says it's also a good time to consider seeking professional help to talk through those emotions, even if you're just calling a hotline.

Apalachee Center also lists therapists who are Black and brown. Dr. Reeve says it's important for people to be able to open to someone they feel they can trust.

"For any people who are coming from a historically marginalized community, there's a sense that if you're talking from somebody who doesn't come from a historical background, there's the fear you won't really be understood," said Dr. Reeve.

The Village is also encouraging people, especially in the Black community to seek help.

For the month of May, The Village founder Kevin Warren says the group is paying for mental health counseling for people 13-23 years old in low-income communities. They're also making sure you do to a diverse therapist.

"R & R is our main clinical provider partner. Culturally competent, with lived experiences and they look like us," said Warren.

The Village works with the Black youth, primarily ones who live in low-income areas, such as 32304. The group's goal is to provide a safe place for those young people.

"You can only get what you have and unfortunately our young males and females are getting more trauma," said Warren.

LaDarius Fletcher is one of the people benefiting from The Village.

"It's changed a lot. Like dramatically. I was once in a depressed kind of state," said Fletcher.

As the country awaits the Chauvin verdict, Warren says now is the most important time to think about mental health in the Black community.

"We're watching these closing arguments with the hope that it won't happen again but with this overwhelming realization that it likely will," he said.

You can get involved with The Village by visiting their website. For more information on the Apalachee Center, click here.