Concept Paper

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This is a draft of a nonprofit project I am interested in.

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Concept Paper

  1. 1. Patricia L. Hill 2681-C Delk Road Marietta, GA 30067 Phill643@gmail.comOctober 5, 2011Dekalb CountyCommunity Development Department1250 East Ponce De Leon AvenueDecatur, GA 30030Re: African American Women Mental Health Issues: Stigmas and Perceptions- A program toempower African American women and provide appropriate culturally sensitive, effective, andsufficient careDear Chris Morris:This letter is written to you in an appeal for funding for culturally sensitive mental healthservices and facilitieswithin the DeKalb County and locally surrounding areas. There are currentbarriers that are preventing African American women from seeking and acquiring appropriatemental health services.The benefits of providing these services will include, comprehensive exams for underservedpopulations, decrease the mortality and morbidity rates of said population, build a network ofcompetent providers within the community, and increase and improve overall quality of life.The population who would benefit from these services would be the African American womenand African American female adolescents. My focus is on the African American adult womenbecause their mental health directly impacts the future mental health of their daughters.Currently among the African American communities, women are not seeking mental healthservices because of the stigmas and perceptions associated with having a mental disorder. This iscausing severe emotional distress on the women, their family, and the community as a whole.Having a mental illness is very taboo among most African Americans. So you have women withthese illnesses raising families, working fulltime and trying to maintain a balance. Nevertheless,the absence of treatment or the lack of thereof, causes these women to lose their jobs; theirfamilies suffer, and strain on the community.Sincerely, Page 1 of 11
  2. 2. Project Planner and DeveloperTitle:African American Women Mental Health Issues: Stigmas and Perceptions- A program toempower African American women and provide appropriate culturally sensitive, effective, andsufficient careSubmitted to:DeKalb County Community Development Department, 1250 East Ponce De Leon Avenue,Decatur, GA 30030Submitted by:Patricia L. Hill, 2681-C Delk Road, Marietta, GA 30067, (770) 896-9500 Page 2 of 11
  3. 3. Goals:The goals of the program are to empower African American women, foster local communitysupport, and reduce stigmas and perceptions about mental health illnesses.The plans to achieve these goals first involve increasing the awareness and knowledge aboutmental health disorders and clearing up the misconceptions about the disorders. The programwill use the competenciesand resourcesthe African American women already have and expoundon them as well as teach new skills and provide new resources.The first objective of empowerment consists mainly of increasing positive attitudes, buildingself-esteem, and developing healthy support systems. This will be achieved by getting thewomen to open up and talk to one another through means of focus groups and exercisesinvolving interpersonal communication skills. During the group sessions, the women will begiven skill building exercises to complete individually and also will be participating in partneredactivities. Each activity will contain real life scenarios that involve a dialogue and discussion.This will build each woman’s confidence level and provide insight on various ways to deal withsituations.The next step is to foster local community support. To do this task involves using socialnetworks that are already inside the community by creating awareness, educating the population,providing accurate, adequate, and appropriate information.There’s an Ethiopian truism that says,"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion." By working with community groups andsignificant local representatives, we can affectthe community. Because of the spiritual andreligious influence established in these communities, the plan will incorporate biblical values andcollaborate with ministers.The ministers will help us gain the trust, commitment, and loyalty of the community. The plan isnot a replacement to the local church; it is to be a supplement to the church teachings. With thiscollaboration and partnership involving the church and its religious leaders there should be a25% decrease in depression, anxiety, and stress related disorders and/orbehaviors. This will beevident from the doctors’ reports, police reports, and neighborhood clinics accountability logs.Lastly, the reduction of stigmas and perceptions as regardsto mental health problems in AfricanAmerican women. In our efforts to combat these issues, we have engaged local radio, television,and newspaper personalities to come into the community biweekly and listen to the concerns ofthe people. This has enabled important discussions to take place and issues to be brought to theforefront. Community leaders speak on the misrepresentations of the community, while the Page 3 of 11
  4. 4. personalities ask questions and seek resolutions. This type of intervention is beneficial foreveryone involved. Because the media plays a big part in getting information out and creatingimages, perceptions, and attitudes.This part of the plan can be measured by the new television shows, commercials, advertisements,music videos, newspapers articles, magazines and all other media outlets that are being aired.The print, visual, and audio media will begin to portray African American woman in a bettermore positive perspective when it comes to telling their stories. A 30% decrease in negativeimages, stories, and songs.Statement of NeedSurgeon General, David Satcher’s 2001 report Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicityinvestigated the inequalities in mental health care and treatment among racial and ethnicminority groups. His report listed three main issues for these differences: minority groups haveless access to care, they are less likely to receive treatment for mental disorders, and the carereceived is of insufficient quality.According to Trevor (2006), minority populations were less likely to access mental health carebecause of stigmas about mental disorders. African American women are exposed to doublestigmas, the fact that they have a mental illness and that they are part of racial minority group.These women not only suffer from the stigma of having a mental illness but the perception of theillness is also of high concern. Historically, African American women were seen as veryaggressive, strong willed, hard workers, and the back bone of the family, therefore to have amental illness would contradict those characteristics and place shame on the women and herfamily. So it is better to deny or not acknowledge that a problem exists.For an African American woman to have a mental illness in the opinions of the community,society, church, family, and individuallysymbolizes that she is weak, lacks faith in God, is not agood mother, dysfunctional when it comes to maintaining relationships and ill equipped tofunction in society. These perceptions contributes to the African American woman’s low self-esteem, identity, self-worth, and self-perception, thus adding stress and strain on her emotionscausing psychological problems.Because of situations comparable to the Tuskegee Experiment and incidents like Sara Bartman(Hottentot Venus), there is mistrust between medical entities and African American women.Moreover, African American women tend to rely on the church, the family and friends, andneighbors to cope with emotional stressors.In a study done by Cristancho (2008) and Miranda (2003), there are also system level barriersthat prevent African American women for gaining access to mental health treatment. These Page 4 of 11
  5. 5. barriers include inaccessibility to location and transportation, no health insurance, child careissues, availability of services, and absence of culturally competent staff.Because African American women tend to reside in rural or inner city areas, their access tosuitable, sufficient, and quality care is limited to none. These areas tend to be breeding groundsof violence, drugs, unemployment, illiteracy, and single and teen parents. These neighborhoodslack healthy food options, safe playgrounds, viable jobs, inadequate housing, and liquor stores atevery corner. These women don’t perceive a way out of this environment or a way to change it.ImpactMy program will provide a way for African American women to empower themselves and theircommunities; recruit culturally competent psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists; createnetworks of providers; mobilize neighborhood watches and patrols; encourage support groupsand peer mentors; draw attention and promote action to build literacy rates; educate; train;inspire; build unity; increase awareness; develop community pride and ownership; create leadersand role models; develop policies, implement laws and guidelines on conduct; decrease loitering,soliciting and the presence of alcohol vendors.The goal of the program is to reduce the negative stigmas and perceptions attributed to mentalillness amongst African American women and their communities as a whole. By reducing thestigmas and perceptions there has to be emphasis on uplifting and elevating the community inwhich they resideThe beneficiaries of this program are African American women. They will benefit from thisprogram in several ways:Better awareness of their mental illnessesSense of well-beingAbility to separate the illness from the personIncreasedproductivityStabilityAcknowledgementAcceptanceBelongingBetter quality of lifePositive outlook on lifeImproved interpersonal relationshipsDecrease in medication intakeProvide support to other in similar situationsAdvocate for more servicesEducate the publicRecruit culturally competent professionals Page 5 of 11
  6. 6. Established networksImproved coping skillsAbility to provide understanding and knowledge to their childrenPut an end to the cycleIncreased safety and security in the communityPartnerships with other external agenciesThe community benefitsAwareness of the problemDecrease violenceCreation of support groupsIncrease in grocery stores and community gardensImplementation of neighborhood watches and patrolsCreation of youth centers and social activitiesPartnership and involvement with churches and religious organizationsDecision making authority of vendors moving into neighborhoodsEnforcement of neighborhood curfews for ages 18 and below.Accountability of residentsJob training programs and skills trainingIncrease in employmentCreation of new jobs in the areaInternshipsCooperative agreementsVolunteer agreementsJob sharing partnershipsSuitable and affordable housingAccessible health care servicesAffordable childcareAccessible transportationCommunity health insurance programs and grantsDecrease in money spent for vandalism, crime, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, robberies, andincarcerationsDecrease in cost of hospital visits and medicationDecrease in unlawful soliciting and loiteringThe most vulnerable populations that will be influenced by this program will be youths ages 13-21; middle age 30-45; and the elderly 65 and above.This program will be saving the community $1.5 million dollars a year. Page 6 of 11
  7. 7. SustainabilityThis program will incite businesses to invest in the community and sponsor programs to maintainthe functionality of the residents. The African American women who are helped with thisprogram will invest to be sponsors, funding sources, and affiliates of the program.The networksand partnerships established will become financial donors. The program encourages eachrecipient to give back to the program the services they have received in order to support otherAfrican American women.Within the program there is a system of charity and giving and a spirit of compassion andempathy amongst participants.This program ensures re-investment in the community and its residents as well as instills a senseof community pride, ownership and participation. The residents will have sustained anenvironment built on trust, privacy, mutual respect, dedication, and commitment to one another.It guarantees success because the residents begin to support one another and have a vestedinterest and loyalty to the health, viability, and welfare of the community.Sources of revenue:InvestmentsDonations (money, clothes, equipment)ContributionsSponsorshipsCommunity Yard SalesCar WashesBake SalesSocial EventsFairsSeminarsGrantsTaxesFeesCharitable GiftsVending MachinesBudget for Outreach CenterBuilding (insurance, mortgage) $2500Utilities $350Telephone $150 Page 7 of 11
  8. 8. Internet $150Office Supplies $3000Computer/Computer supplies $4500Building Maintenance $2000Security $400Childcare $1200Transportation $2500Project ManagementThe program will be managed by the Program Developer and Planning Team. The ProgramDeveloper will develop a curriculum for staff and the planning team will organize the classes tobe scheduled. The two full time employees will be conducting the evaluations and the two parttime employees will be completing the assessments.The two fulltime employees will be conducting client interviews, intake, and needs assessments.The two part-time staff members will be coordinating transportation and childcare assistance.The volunteers will be ensuring that the files are updated, organized and maintained for accuracyand accountability. The volunteers will assist clients with accessing resources via computerand/or telephone.The equipment will remain under warranty and Staples and Office Depot will maintain andservice the equipment. There is also a certified technician who volunteers that will provide dailymonitoring and service on an as needed basis.The office space will be cleaned daily by volunteers who have their own office cleaningbusiness.The outreach center is sort of a self-reliant entity, because most of the services will be providedby our volunteers who are specialist/certified in Computer IT, housekeeping, maintenance,cooking, teaching, accounting, law enforcement, electrical wiring, plumbing, counseling, andHVACfor little to no charge.Evaluation Page 8 of 11
  9. 9. The evaluation process will be done on an ongoing basis. The outreach center’s goal is toempower and provide a network of culturally sensitive mental health services. When evaluatingthe empowering of individuals we would conduct focus groups quarterly to receive feedbackform the participants. Also we would be conducting routine checks on client’s files to ensurethey are current on doctor visits, medication, therapy, and training. The information that wasprovided during the intake will be compared to the information up to date. This will give a roadmap on how the program is working and what processes need improvements.In addition, we would have individual meetings with our clients to discuss which goals they haveachieved and which ones they are currently working on. The discussions would be anotherevaluation tool to gauge where the client’s progress is from where it was during the beginning ofthe program. Furthermore, there would be open discussions where the women would have the opportunity toengage the community regarding their newfound independence and share their stories withoutfear from stigma or perception.Because the program is an outreach center, we can only tract those services that are provided in-house. We would have to depend on the client and the network providers to supply or furnish uswith their assessments for our staff to evaluate. However, when we refer clients out, we have awritten agreement with those providers to send us their progress notes. That is why our staff hasto be certified and trained in HIPPA. We take our services very seriously and our intent is to treateach person with respect, professionalism, tact and courtesy.Our ultimate outcomes from the program are to have educated and provided the tools andresources needed to empower the African American woman to seek mental health services;decrease stigmas and increase positive perceptions. This program should inspire othercommunities to begin a dialogue about mental health issues among their African Americanwomen population. Page 9 of 11
  10. 10. CitationsShim, R.S., Compton, M.T., Rust, G., Druss, B.G, &Kaslow, N.J. (2009). Race-ethnicity as a predictor of attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking. Psychiatric Services, 60 (10), 1336-1341.Trevor, J., Schraufnagel, B.S.., Wagner, A.W., Miranda, J., & Roy-Barne, P.P. (2006). Treating minority patients with depression and anxiety: What does the evidence tell us? General Hospital Psychiatry, 28, 27-36.Nadeem, E., Lange, J.M., Edge, D., Fongwa, M., Belin, T.,& Miranda, J. (2007). Does stigma keep poor young immigrant and U.S.born Black and Latina women from seeking mental health care?Psychiatry Services, 58 (12), 1547-1554.Ward, E.C., Clark, L.O., &Heidrich, S. (2009). African American women’s beliefs, coping behaviors, and barriers to seeking mental health services. Qualitative Health Research, 19 (11), 1589-1601.Perkins, K.R. (1996). The influence of television images on black females’ self-perceptions of physical attractiveness. Journal of Black Psychology, 22 (4), 453-469.Anglin, D.M., Alberti, P.M., Link, B.G., & Phelan, J.C. (2008). Racial differences in beliefs about effectiveness and necessity of mental health treatment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 42(1-2), 17-24. Page 10 of 11
  11. 11. Pender, N.J., Murdaugh, C., & Parsons, M.A.(2010). Health promotion in nursing practice, 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall. Page 11 of 11

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