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CRDP Town Hall Meetings Continue in San Diego

CRDP Town Hall Meetings Continue in San Diego

CPEHN hosted its third town hall meeting today in San Diego to discuss the California Reducing Disparities Project draft Statewide Strategic Plan to Reduce Mental Health Disparities. Dozens of mental health professionals, advocates, and community members gathered at the Sherman Heights Community Center to discuss the plan, which will establish priorities and recommendations for addressing mental health disparities throughout California’s communities of colors and LGBTQ population.

As in the first two meetings in Fresno and Oakland, the crowd appreciated the opportunity to comment on the plan. Many wanted to make sure that programs supported through the strategic plan have the necessary resources to be sustainable beyond the four-year pilot project. And like the other meetings, cultural competency was a recurring theme, with many pointing out the need for more Spanish-language resources in the Latino population.

Another key focus was on the importance of affirming all identities. In particular, some LGBTQ people of color identify as their race/ethnicity first and then as LGBTQ, so it is important that mental health providers (and all health providers) recognize and affirm each of these identities in order to effectively meet their needs.

We also had a good discussion on the systemic issues impacting mental health. One example was that young men of color far too often interact with mental health services for the first time through the criminal justice system. Several attendees referenced the recent demonstrations following police violence in Ferguson, Mo., and New York as an example of the importance of providing support for the needs of young men of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos.

There are just under two weeks left in the public comment period. If you would like to comment on the strategic plan, you can do so on our website until February 17th. We are also hosting two more town halls that you can register for on our website: one tomorrow in Los Angeles, and another on the 17th in Eureka

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