July is National BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month
Black Women Organized for Political Action and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Join Forces to Address Mental Health in Young Women of Color
CA, July 29, 2022 – Two powerhouse organizations, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)®, have partnered on a project to study the current state of mental health for young women of color and engage Black and Latina community leaders in widening the career pathways to create a diverse Mental Health workforce. Through a grant from Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs, this collaboration will include research and community leadership development to uplift the voices of two historically underserved communities, Black women and Latinas.
Latinas and Black women are historically underserved and underrepresented in health care, including in mental health. Studies have shown that culturally responsive and multicultural mental health services support historically underserved populations with better services, and more meaningful engagement. However, the research of evidence-based and culturally relevant services to support women of color, specifically Black women and Latinas is lacking both in academia and in practice. This project aims to change that by engaging Black Women and Latinas throughout California on the issue as well as looking at quantitative data.
“BWOPA/TILE is excited to partner with HOPE for this statewide initiative to explore, unearth and solve complex social issues which our Black and Latina girls are maneuvering through on a day-to-day basis,” shares Hon. Dezie Woods Jones, BWOPA/TILE founder and CEO.
“Ensuring pathways to the mental and behavioral health fields for Black and Latina women is critical to closing the representation gap and expanding culturally relevant services in a deep and meaningful way,” further explains BWOPA/TILE Executive Director LaNiece Jones. “Understanding how mental health is discussed in our respective communities, specifically examined by trusted statewide women-led organizations will yield an intersectional and impactful analysis on the existing inequities and solutions needed in this field.”
“We’re proud to work alongside BWOPA/TILE to produce this historic research that centers and uplifts the mental health of Latinas and Black women, and actively works towards pathways to increase access to mental health care for our communities,” said Helen Torres, CEO of HOPE. “Latina and Black women face disproportionately negative mental health outcomes. We hope this work will inform policymakers and funders to urgently address these disparities and confront this potential public health crisis head on.”
The research project will include a public opinion poll to study the attitudes and behaviors toward Mental Health services for Latinas and Black Women in addition to a literature review to assess the current landscape of the mental health services available to California’s Latinas and Black women. The finding will be presented at listening sessions with Black women and Latinas statewide. The project will incorporate leadership and workforce development components that will create pathway programs for careers in the mental health field. At the completion of the project, a report will be published to chronicle the effort and serve as a road map for the health care industry.
About BWOPA/TILE - Established in 1999 by Black Women Organized for Political Action’s (BWOPA), the Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment’s (TILE), a 501c3 non-profit organization, focus is to educate, train and engage African American women in the public policy process and provide leadership development and guidance. Since inception, TILE engages and annually trains over 1,000 Black women leaders by way of its signature leadership empowerment initiatives on health, economic security, criminal justice reform and education. TILE’s work is accomplished in partnership with BWOPA’s nine (9) local organizing chapters, networks, partnerships and allies throughout California boasting over 5,000 active members. www.bwopatileleads.org
About HOPE® - Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)® is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that has empowered our communities through advocacy, Latina leadership training, and increasing knowledge on the contributions Latinas have made to advance the status of women for the past 32 years. To date, HOPE’s innovative programming has served 64,000 Latinas and touched the lives of several thousand more through our advocacy. For more information on HOPE, please visit Latinas.org or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Maricela Cueva, HOPE
(626) 224-0778 | [email protected]
LaNiece Jones, BWOPA CA
(510) 568-5563 | [email protected]