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Resources developed by African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Below you will find a current listing of resources and tools developed by the AABH-COE. We encourage you to check back often and subscribe to our eNewsletter to stay up-to-date as new items are added!

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Essay: Prioritizing and Eliminating Bias


Essay

Publication Date: 4/8/2024

Author(s): Pilar Jackson, Training and Technical Assistance Program Manager

One thing that makes it hard for many people to look at our own biases is that we think we should be completely without bias. We think all biases are harmful or negative, so having biases must make us “bad people.” This essay offers an introduction to biases, the harm they can do, and a few steps that organizations can take to make our services safer and more effective for African Americans.



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Prioritizing Self-Care: A Guide for Faith Leaders


Guide

Publication Date: 3/26/2024

Author(s): Santerrius Barlow, Training and TA Specialist

The goal of this guide is to identify some of the challenges of Faith leaders and provide strategies they can use to address these challenges. It is important that Faith leaders take the steps necessary to adopt a healthier lifestyle and involve themselves in activities that will enhance their overall health and well-being.



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Essay: Limitations of Research and Evidence-based Practices with Black/African American Populations


Essay

Publication Date: 2/1/2024

Author(s): Cameron Cunningham, MDiv

Evidence-based practices (EBPs) are widely acknowledged across a variety of healthcare disciplines (e.g., psychology, public health, social services) as the gold standard for effective clinical solutions. In mental health, an evidence-based practice is "an approach to treatment that is grounded in the best available scientific evidence.



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An African American Holiday Self-Care Guide


Guide

Publication Date: 12/1/2023

Author(s): Pilar Jackson and Santerrius Barlow

For many in the African American community, the holiday season can bring on feelings of isolation, grief, stress, family challenges, and trauma. it’s important for each of us to reflect on our own journey and see what that tells us about our needs. This means observing how we engage with the holiday season.



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Depression and Racial Trauma in the African American Community


Infographic

Publication Date: 11/1/2023

Author(s): AABHE-CoE Staff

Infographic illustrating the effects and ongoing impact of racial trauma on the african american community.



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Improving Mental Health Outcomes for Vulnerable Black Children and Youth


Toolkit

Publication Date: 9/1/2023

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS; Dawn Tyus, PhD, LPC, MAC, NCC; Cameron Cunningham, MDiv

This brief toolkit provides eight one-page briefs, offering mental health practitioners information and suggestions on key topics to prepare them for more effective work with African American children and youth.



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Culturally Appropriate Ways of Engaging African American Women in Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment


Essay

Publication Date: 8/1/2023

Author(s): Tanya Jules, MPH

How do practitioners serve individuals of color in ways that will, not only protect their vulnerabilities, but also increase their levels of safety, engagement, and successful recovery?  This essay explores some of the common obstacles to culturally appropriate services for Black women and highlights two promising tools for culturally appropriate engagement of this population.



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African Americans as Health Partners: Getting the Most Out of Mental Health and Wellness


Resource List

Publication Date: 7/1/2023

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

This simple tool for general audiences introduces the concept of a “health partner”—a patient or client who knows how to make the most of health care services—and provides concrete suggestions for becoming an effective health partner. Divided in two panels, this document can be photocopied double-sided to produce half-page quick reference cards that can be handed out to patients, clients, students, constituents, and community members.



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The Tragic Effects of COVID-19 on African American Behavioral Health


Essay

Publication Date: 7/1/2023

Author(s): Cameron Cunningham, MDiv and Kaneisha Gaston, MPH

In this essay, the many implications of our past few years’ experience provide a framework for delving into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental and behavioral health and well-being of African Americans, with a spotlight on mental health and the opioid epidemic. The role of health disparities and the social determinants of health are considered, along with strategies for mitigating the consequences of these conditions.



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Practical Strategies for Communities and Providers Engaging the African American Community


Infographic

Publication Date: 7/1/2023

Author(s): Cameron Cunningham, MDiv and Kaneisha Gaston, MPH

This visual “infographic” tool is a companion to the essay on “The Tragic Effects of COVID-19 on African American Behavioral Health.” It presents strategies that community and behavioral health organizations can use to mitigate the loss of life and potential left by the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic that still ranges in many Black communities.



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12 Ways Racial Trauma Affects Your Work with African Americans


Other

Publication Date: 6/27/2023

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

This 23-page “presentation content” document is a full narrative version of the concepts and examples developed for the June 27 webinar by the same name. This document explains what racial trauma is, why it is so profound and so common, and why it is such an important challenge to address in behavioral health services.



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Supporting Black women In Their Efforts to Heal From Historical and Personal Traumas


Infographic

Publication Date: 5/1/2023

Author(s): Dawn Tyus, PhD and Tanya Jules, MPH

This graceful visual tool offers suggestions for providers that can enhance the safety, empowerment, and healing of African American women in behavioral health services.



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Why Is The Struggle For Behavioral Health Equity So Hard?


Essay

Publication Date: 4/11/2023

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

A well-loved piece of wisdom is this quote from Chicago columnist Sydney J. Harris: "The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, 'I was wrong’."These words give us a few clues about why behavioral health equity is so hard to build. In this essay, we explore insights from beloved Black authors on how to transcend these challenges.



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Combined Language Guide


Policy Brief

Publication Date: 12/1/2022

Author(s): AABH-CoE and Partners

In the behavioral health field, the words we use to refer to individuals, families, communities, and cultures are enormously important. When words have been used in ways that deny the power, worth, or individuality of human beings, they tend to grow toxc, and they need to be replaced.



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View from the Field: Recruitment and Retention of African American Men in the Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce


Guide

Publication Date: 12/1/2022

Author(s): AABHE-CoE and National Council for Mental Wellbeing Staff

Increasing diversity in the mental health and substance use services field can lead to greater cultural competency and increase the ability of health care providers to offer services that meet the unique social, cultural and linguistic needs of their patients.



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Culturally Specific Solutions for Black Recovery Communities


Policy Brief

Publication Date: 10/19/2022

Author(s): AABH-CoE and CAARD

In this collaborative piece, the AABH-CoE and CAARD discuss how favorable outcomes improve for Black people with substance use disorder (SUD) when they engage in Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) led by Black people. Both organizations make the case for more investment into Black-led RCOs in Black communities.



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Diversifying the Behavioral Health Workforce


Article

Publication Date: 8/26/2022

Author(s): Cory Ware
Editor: Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

Our Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Cory Ware, explores the current state of the behavioral health workforce including the inequities in behavioral healthcare for Black communities. Drawing from the behavioral health literature, Ware posits that diversification of the behavioral health workforce could improve favorable outcomes for Black Americans.



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Social Determinants of Health in Black Communities


Article

Publication Date: 8/26/2022

Author(s): Kaneisha Gaston, MPH and Cory Ware, MPA

To celebrate National Public Health Week (4/4-4/9) and National Minority Health Month, the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (AABH-CoE) discusses Healthy People 2030 and the social determinants of health (SDOH) in the Black community to raise awareness. Additionally, the AABH-CoE provides recommendations and suggestions to help eliminate health disparities in African American communities. Visit https://health.gov/healthypeople/priority-areas/social-determinants-health for more information.



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Preliminary Literature Review: Suicide Amoung Black Youth


Literature Review

Publication Date: 8/15/2022

Author(s): AABH-CoE Staff

In June, 2022, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) launched a collaborative partnership to stem the rising tide of suicide among Black youth in America. This document is a product of the first step in this initiative, a preliminary literature review drawn from the past 10 years’ research on Black youth suicide and related topics.



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AABH-CoE Suicide Awareness


Fact Sheet

Publication Date: 8/15/2022

Author(s): AABH-CoE and National Council on Mental Wellbeing

In efforts to raise education and awareness of suicide in the Black community, the team at the African American behavioral Health Center of Excellence and its partner the National Council on Mental Wellbeing assert the following resources: Preliminary Literature Review, Suicide Among Black Youth and Suicide in U.S. Bkack and African American Communities



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Addressing Disparities in Access and Utilization of Mental Health and Substance Use Services Among Blacks and African Americans


Article

Publication Date: 8/1/2022

Author(s): National Council for Mental Wellbeing (Glory Okwori, DrPH; Aaron Williams, MA; Tiffany Francis, MJ, & Ciara Hill, BS)

As one of the AABH-CoE's national partners, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing has developed this white-paper to assist the public in better understanding the health disparities that exist in the access, engagement, utilization, and outcomes for Black/African Americans seeking speciality mental health and substance use treatment services.



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Eating Disorders in Black Americans


Article

Publication Date: 7/30/2022

Author(s): African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence & National Center of Eating Disorders

An infographic introducing the topic of eating disorders in Black Americans.



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Building Better Behavioral Health Patterns


Article

Publication Date: 6/1/2022

Author(s): Cory Ware and Kaneisha Gaston

As we begin to prepare for the New Year, please join the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence in Building Better Behavioral Health. In this series we will discuss ways to improve behavioral health for African Americans.



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Lifting the Burdens of History


Infographic

Publication Date: 5/19/2022

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

Explores opportunities for the behavioral health field to address and lift the burdens of history that have lead to behavioral health disparities for African Americans.



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Addressing the Vaccine "Hesitancy" Crisis in Black Communities: Behavioral Health Can Do Something About This


Article

Publication Date: 5/1/2022

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS, Dawn Tyus, PhD, MAC, and Cory Ware, MPA

Commentary that deconstructs the term COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and explains the steps behavioral health professionals can take to address the Black communities' vaccine mistrust.



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Black Gay Men and Health Disparities


Article

Publication Date: 4/26/2022

Author(s): Dr. Lawrence Bryant, Assistant Professor, Kennesaw State University

In this article, Dr. Lawrence Bryant discusses the health disparities faced by Black gay men.



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Men's Health Month. How are African American Men Doing?


Article

Publication Date: 4/16/2022

Author(s): Cory Ware, MPA

Here at the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, we want to take the time to bring awareness to the health disparities that African American men face—circumstances that lead to disproportionately higher rates of illness and provide recommendations to eliminate these disparities.



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What We Believe


Essay

Publication Date: 3/22/2022

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

This essay opens a discussion of the central premises behind the work of the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. From our beliefs about the population we serve to our views on language, truth-telling, and the complexity of the challenges we face, this essay invites the reader to join the discussion.



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Many Rivers To Cross: Critical Challenges and Overarching Goals for the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence


Article

Publication Date: 2/20/2022

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

This article explores the four major areas of challenge that the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence was founded to address, and the four overarching goals that the center has adopted.
 



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Healing History: Where History Meets Behavioral Health Equity for African Americans


Self-Study and Discussion Guide

Publication Date: 1/24/2022

Author(s): Pamela Woll, MA, CPS

This self-study and discussion guide helps readers, discussion groups, and learning communities explore the effects of history in light of their own experience, their work, and the individuals they serve in their behavioral health practice. (42 pages)



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Press Announcement: About the African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence


Press Announcement

Publication Date: 10/1/2020

Author(s):

This flyer provides information on the newly founded African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (AABH CoE).

Founded October 1, 2020, this innovative yet deeply grounded Center has been structured to mobilize the scholarship and expertise of many distinguished voices in African American behavioral health and health equity, the knowledge and wisdom of multiple national bodies representing a broad spectrum of Black stakeholders, and the established networks of a host of strategic partners committed to marketing and disseminating the new center’s products and services.



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