Mental Health America of Central Carolinas (MHACC) is proud to kickoff BIPOC Mental Health Month, also known as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, by sharing recent recognition with The Betty Humphries Equity Champion Award. Accepted at the National Conference in June, this award is bestowed by national affiliate Mental Health America (MHA), to an individual or organization for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion. It recognizes those who advance the intersectionality of mental health as it relates to discrimination, poverty, stigma, racism, and overall social and economic determinants of health.
The Equity Champion Award was awarded in response to MHACC’s recent program expansion to create a new free MHA Counseling Center: Where Mental Health Matters. The center in East Charlotte is one of the ways the organization is addressing racial equity by increasing access to care for uninsured and underinsured Mecklenburg County residents. In addition, the MHA Counseling Center partners with Johnson C. Smith University and UNC Charlotte, to offer four internship opportunities each year to Master of Counseling or Master of Social Work students. With the goal of increasing the pipeline of clinicians of color, interns provide the counseling under the supervision of Megan Bryant, MHACC Clinical Director. Bryant said, “What I’ve found during my years in this field is that (clients) want someone who looks like them. They want someone who gets it—not just the textbook version.”
Pictured above, L to R: Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO Mental Health America National, Courtney Lang, JD, MHA National Board of Directors, Megan Bryant, MHACC Counseling Center Clinical Director, Kathy Rogers, MHACC Executive Director, Jennifer Bright, MHA National Board Chair.