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Edited by Carly Zander, assoc. news editor


OAKLAND TOWN HALL KICK-OFF FOR CALIFORNIA BLACK WOMEN'S HEALTH PROJECT

'Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired: Healing The Souls Of Black Women'

OAKLAND, CA - June 16, 2003 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Black women, mental health and emotional well-being are the hot topics to be discussed at the California Black Women's Health Project's (CABWHP) first of several scheduled Oakland town hall meetings to be held on Saturday, June 21, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. at downtown Oakland's YWCA, 1515 Webster Street.

The co-sponsors of this first town hall meeting, subtitled "Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Healing the Souls of Black Women," are policymakers California State Assemblymember Wilma Chan, Alameda County Board of Supervisors Keith Carson and Alice Lai-Bitker.

"The focus of the Town Hall meeting is to give Black women an opportunity to take a pro-active role with health issues," said Latonya Slack, Executive Director of CABWHP.

"Since health disparities greatly impact Black health, this open forum is needed to allow Black women to voice their concerns and be a part of the plan to reduce these disparities," Slack added.

The speakers who will help frame the discussion on healing the souls of Black Women are Dr Marilyn Martin, Author, Saving Our Last Nerve: The African American Women's Path to Mental Health, and Professor Derethia C. DuVall, MFCC, San Francisco State University.

Immediately following the town hall meeting, Dr. Martin's book will be available for purchase by attendees and signing by the author.

There are several circumstances that put Black women at high risk for mental and emotional stress -- economic insecurity, responsibilities as caregivers, neighborhood violence, lack of social support and racism. Due to the complex links between the mind, emotions and body, chronic states of stress and anxiety can have dangerous, and sometimes fatal, health consequences.

If enough stressful events are clustered together at one time, women can become vulnerable to illness and disease. Approximately 80 percent of people who get treated for depression get better.

Although, Black women rarely receive the proper diagnosis or treatment. By some estimates, only 7 percent of Black women suffering from depression receive any treatment, compared to 20 percent of the general population.

"There is a stigma associated with seeking help for mental and emotional health issues that prevents many Black women from even admitting they are struggling with these issues," said Crystal Crawford, Director of Public Policy.

"In addition to working to eliminate this stigma, we are committed to getting policymakers throughout the state to actively address the disparities in Black women's mental and emotional health," she added.

The goals of the free community Town Hall meeting on June 21st are to freely discuss and explore ways to progressively heal the souls of Black Women to live more productive and loving lives for themselves and their families.

CABWHP, a 501(c)(3) organization and an affiliate of the National Black Women's Health Project based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1994. A statewide organization based in Inglewood, California, CABWHP's mission is to improve the health status of Black women in California and to promote a broader Black women's health agenda through education, advocacy and policy.

For information on the June 21st Town Hall Meeting, contact LaNiece Jones, LAJONES&ASSOCIATES at 510.482.9969.

Source of news: LAJONES&ASSOCIATES, for California Black Women's Health Project



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