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Falls council offering presentation & discussion on emotional well-being, coping in pandemic


Mon, Feb 22nd 2021 02:40 pm

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, the Niagara Falls Ministerial Council is presenting a free public Zoom event titled “Mental Health and Spirituality." (Zoom meeting ID: 826 3178 4645, passcode: 438372).

A press release stated, “The emotional and psychological toll that the ongoing pandemic has taken on all of us can’t be underestimated. As part of the Ministerial Council’s Black History Month outreach, this event is focused on bring forward this important discussion about mental health for everyone, but particularly for communities of color.”

This discussion and event is hosted by Dr. Robert Bennett and Vicky D. Bennett, LMSW, members of the Niagara Falls Ministerial Council. Bennett is currently director of inpatient behavioral health at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and will soon be the assistant vice president of behavioral and community services at Erie County Medical Center. Bennett is the director of social services at NFMMC. Together, they bring a combined experience of more than 30 years of substance abuse counseling to their current work.

The press release continued, “Mental health and mental illness awareness is a topic that far too many people choose to ignore and not discuss. In communities of color, open and honest discussion about mental health and mental illness awareness is suppressed even more – sometimes even seen as a social taboo. Mental health concerns are on the rise across all communities because of the pandemic, and open conversation about this is important for all people. Considering that disparate impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on communities of color, it is even more essential that the whole community begins and ongoing, open and honest conversations about the increasing mental health issues that are being driven by the pandemic.”

The Ministerial Council encourages the community to join this discussion. For more information, contact the Rev. Makeeda Brooks of St. John AME Church in Niagara Falls at 716-285-6432.

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