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The Niagara Falls Ministerial Council will host a free public Zoom event: Mental Health and Spirituality at 6 p.m. on Thursday. 

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.

To log in to the event — Zoom Meeting ID: 826 3178 4645, Passcode: 438372. 

This discussion and event is hosted by Dr. Robert Bennett (Ph.D., LMHC, CASAC) and Vicky D. Bennett (LMSW). Both are members of the Niagara Falls Ministerial Council. Bennett is currently director of inpatient Behavioral Health, at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center (NFMMC) and will soon be the Assistant VP of Behavioral & Community Services at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC). Vicky Bennett is the director of Social Services at NFMMC. Bennett and Vicky also bring a combined experience of more than 30 years of substance abuse counseling to their current work. 

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—sometime 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 whole community to join this important discussion. If people have questions about the event, contact Rev. Makeeda Brooks of St. John AME, Church in Niagara Falls at  285-6432.

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