Mount Wachusett Community College will be hosting a Minority Mental Health Awareness Summit featuring a panel of multicultural mental health professionals, suicide prevention trainings in English and Spanish, and a resource fair on Monday, October 29 as part of the Tea Time Speaker Series.
“Mental health and suicide prevention are tough topics, but ones we need to tackle. These issues are especially important to discuss from a multicultural perspective,” said MWCC’s Sharmese Gunn, the founder and lead organizer of the Tea Time Speaker Series. “This summit is designed to give people frontline tools while also participating in a larger discussion of mental health in our region.”
The event at the college’s Gardner campus is open to the public and is a chance to receive training at no cost. The event will also be attended by high school students from Fitchburg and Leominster as well as MWCC students. The students are participants in the Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program, which is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.
The summit will begin with a resource and community vendor fair at 10 a.m. with groups such as You, Inc. Two sessions of Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with one in Spanish and one in English. The QPR training is sponsored by LUK, Heywood Hospital and the Montachusett Suicide Prevention Task Force.
A luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. before a multicultural panel on mental health that will run from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Panelists will be discussing disparities that exist within mental health, including lack of minority representation in the field and language barriers.
- Kimarta Maxwell, MSW, LICSW who operates a Private Practice
- Bruce E. Wells, MHA who is the Vice President of New Dawn Integrated Behavioral Health Center Inc.
- Melissa Manzi, MSW, LICSW Mental Health Counselor of Mount Wachusett Community College
- Tina Adams, Ph.D. TRA PhD who operates a Private Practice
- Tessa Lashley, M.Ed., C.A.G.S . Licensed School Psychologist of Gardner Public Schools
- Kim M. Robles, LMHC, BC-DMT of Movimiento! Counseling Services
The event is free and open to the public. The Tea Time Speaker Series is sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College’s Gateway to College, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Leading for Change Diversity Consortium, The North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition/Three Pyramids Inc, Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, LUK., Heywood Hospital, Montachusett Suicide Prevention Task Force, Mental and Behavioral Health CHIP, and CHNA 9 Racial Justice Chip.