Mental health to be topic at church conference
10/17/2014, 6 a.m.
Depression long has been considered as a sign of weakness by many in the African-American community, said the Rev. Tyrone Nelson, pastor of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Jackson Ward.
“In African-American cultures, people have always been told to get their physical health checked out, but they don’t want to talk about mental health,” Rev. Nelson said. “They equate mental illness as being crazy and want to keep it inside the house.
“Many churches have also considered it a taboo topic. They don’t want to talk about it.
That’s why Rev. Nelson said his church is partnering with Virginia Union University’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology to present the church’s sixth annual “Holistic Hurt, Wholistic Healing Conference.”
The conference is scheduled Friday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 19, at the church at 14 W. Duval St.
Terrie M. Williams, a New York City-based licensed clinical therapist and author of the book, “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting,” is scheduled to deliver the keynote address following lunch 12:30 p.m. Saturday. She also will speak at 9 a.m. the same day.
A host of mental health experts and faith leaders will lead workshops.
Topics will include “Understanding and Navigating the Mental Health System,” “Spiritual path out of a depression,” “Suicide” and “What Can I Do to Help a Loved One?”
A dramatic presentation, “Black Blues,” will follow dinner 6 p.m. Friday.
A “Dance of Redemption” will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The conference will conclude with a 10:45 a.m. worship service Sunday.
More than 300 people have registered for the free conference so far.
Details on the conference: (804) 648-7511 or www.holistichurt-wholistichealing.org.