Our goal is promoting and coordinating personalized integrated mental health. A core effort focuses on characterizing the social determinants of mental health with attention to identifying the structural origins of social disadvantage and inform structural approaches to change. A key approaches involve increasing public understanding of how disadvantage is structured and why structural interventions are vital and disseminate new knowledge and practice innovations.
This Alliance represents the collective and interwoven energies and imaginations of community organizing, health workforce diversity, technology, public health, environmental responsiveness, mental health recovery, faith-based, social and cultural sensibility, corporate-social responsibility, multiculturalism, diversity, cultural competency and social entrepreneurship, community reinvestment, and student mentoring. Our efforts focus on intervening to end health disparities while promoting an action-oriented framework centered in community and for community. We are the premiere community-based alliance of excellence with a sustainable infrastructure integrating health equity and social justice.
On October 18th 2011, Dr. David Mount, Community Outreach Director at the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, joined Ms. Wanda Reid, from Shoebox Ministry, in her pursuit to help assisted living facility residents have a merrier Christmas! Since 2008, Shoebox Ministry has been serving assisted living residents in the Piedmont Triad Area with personal need items during Christmas Time. Each year their gifts continue to grow with the support and help from the community. In 2010 alone, Shoebox Ministry was able to provide gifts for more than 150 residents. This year their vision is bigger! The goal for 2011 is to help at least 700 assisted living residents in Forsyth County and the Piedmont Triad.
During Ms. Reid’s first visit to one of the facilities, residents kept asking her the same question over and over: “Is this for me? But you don’t even know me. I didn’t think anyone cared.” Ms. Reid said: “It was truly an eye opener to see the condition that disabled and aged individuals are living in. Many are individuals who have worked their entire lives and due to an unexpected illness are no longer able to totally care for themselves.” Past research indicates that these residents are allowed to keep only a small portion of their income ($30 for nursing home residents and $66 for rest home residents per month) for their personal needs and this amount has remained the same for at least 27 years. “I truly believe in this ministry, it is so important that we show the individuals living in the assisted living facility that we care and appreciate them,” said Dr. Mount’s trainee, Kara Morrison, a recent graduate from Winston Salem State University. To have experienced this first hand made all the difference in the world to Ms. Reid. There is a genuine need to help residents in assisted living facilities and through this partnership we hope to fulfill one need at a time, one shoebox at a time.
The YWCA of Forsyth County is partnering with Dr. David L. Mount to promote an effort that Mount has coined a “health justice revolution.”
The outreach effort was announced September 2011 by Dr. Mount, a preventative neuropsychologist and health care advocate, and YWCA CEO Florence Corpening and Robin Ervin, the Y’s VP. It is aimed at improving the physical and mental health of those in the community, especially people battling against chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular disease.
The partnership seeks to bridge the gap between community and health care institutions – which have been criticized for not working effectively to eliminate the many health disparities that exist between communities of color and whites. The program will work to bridge the gap between the minority community and the health care community, while also touting the importance of prevention and physical activity.
Dr. Mount says that he uses the term “health justice revolution” instead of a more common term like “ending health disparities,” because he says it resonates with the communities most affected by disparities.
“The language used to address health disparities and health equity must be accessible to the community and connect with social change, human rights and social capital promotion,” he said. “We believe this initiative will take us one step closer to promoting social justice e, empowering individuals and eliminating racism.”
Corpening says she believes that Dr. Mount’s cutting edge ideas and plans will serve the YWCA and its clients well.
“I am really looking forward to the innovation Dr. Mount has discussed with us and all that we can do together for our community,” said Corpening.