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ProjectCARE offering free mental health services at community event

New program called ProjectCARE focuses on mental health services in the community
New program called ProjectCARE focuses on mental health services in the community(KSLA)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:43 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 8:28 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - ProjectCARE, an initiative under Morning Star Baptist Church and its non-profit, Project Seek, hosted a community event to provide free mental health services.

The event was held on Thursday, Sept. 23.

Mental health services were provided for free by licensed professional counselors and other providers. Their focus was centered on, but not limited to, pandemic adverse childhood experiences, adult and young adult trauma support, and coaching other faith-based groups to become more “trauma informed” congregations. Topics that were addressed include:

  • Suicide prevention
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Understanding mental health for those over 55
  • ADHD and adolescents
  • Reentry for those formerly incarcerated
  • Depression
  • Caretakers
  • Racial trauma
  • PTSD
  • Welcoming wellness

Therapist Hasim Jones is taking part to help those in need of mental health services, and says more sessions are expected to be held.

“We’re going to have weekly group sessions here at the church. We’re going to inform the community about what mental health is and the difference between mental health and illness and break down anxiety,” he said

According to Mental Health America, 16 percent of African Americans reported having a mental illness in the past year. Licensed health professional Antwan Butler said because of his past story, he wants to help normalize the topic in Black communities.

“Most of my childhood I grew up homeless, slept on park benches, ate from trash cans and lived in abandon houses. My parents were heroin addicts,” he said.

Morning Star Pastor Theron Jackson says he believes these meetings can end the stigma and decrease violence.

“It’s better late than never when we find ourselves sandwiched between the virus that’s persistent and the violence that’s persistent. We gotta do something and this is our effort to try to do something,” Jackson said.

Caddo Parish School Board member Darrin Dixon said he plans to work closely with Jackson to come up with a plan to present to the school board.

The first counseling session will start on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.

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