Town Square

COVID and Mental Health in Black, Latino Communities

Experts discuss the increase in the need for mental health services since the pandemic and how to provide better outreach to communities of color.

Nationally, it's recommended to have one counselor for every 250 students, but few schools reach that ratio, according to the American School Counselor Association.
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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, questions@townsquaretalk.org or @townsquaretalk.

With an increase in the need for mental health services since the pandemic began, we've discovered that many people are waiting throughout our community, in hospitals, and even in jails for mental health services.

The new John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center will open its doors in March, adding hundreds of new beds for mental health patients and creating the UTHealth Houston Behavioral Sciences Campus. The campus, which includes the adjacent UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center, becomes the largest academic psychiatric hospital in the country.

But why is it that when it comes to individuals from the Black and Latino communities, these groups seem to look to their church pastors for their mental health needs?

Have you struggled with mental health and well-being during the pandemic?

Do you turn to a medical professional, or do you look toward your faith leader for support instead?

Today, we talk with a psychiatric expert and a sociologist, listen to callers share their stories, and find out what you can do to make yourself feel better as you push through the pandemic or at any other time in life.

We also talk about how medical and religious organizations can come together to serve mental health patients better.

If you find yourself in need of resources for yourself or someone else, contact the Harris County COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line at 833-251-7544 (available 24 hours) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (available 24 hours).

GUESTS:

Dr. Lokesh Shahani

  • Associate Professor, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the UTHealth Geriatric Psychiatry Program at UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center

Dan Bolger

Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, questions@townsquaretalk.org or @townsquaretalk.

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This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

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