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Seminary holds spirituality and psychotherapy conference

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Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in partnership with the Indiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy will present a lecture entitled “Reaching Out to African-American Families: Partnerships between Churches and Family Providers,” on March 21, at Light of the World Christian Church, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The lecture, which is open to the public, is the first event in the two-day long 2014 Spirituality & Psychotherapy Annual Conference.

The second event, a workshop exclusively for mental health practitioners, will be held March 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at CTS.

The lecture will feature keynote speaker Dr. Nancy Boyd-Franklin of the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. Franklin, a world-renowned researcher and writer, has authored a number of books including Black Families in Therapy: A Multisystem Approach, and Boys Into Men: Raising Our African-American Teenage Sons, with Dr. Anderson J. Franklin.

Statistics on Mental Health (via National Alliance on Mental Illness)

• African Americans in the United States are less likely to receive accurate diagnoses than their Caucasian counterparts.Schizophrenia, for instance has been shown to be over diagnosed in the African American population.

 • Culture biases against mental health professionals and health care professionals prevent many African Americans from accessing care. Only 2 percent of psychiatrists and 4 percent of social workers in the United States are African American.

 • Mental illness is frequently stigmatized and misunderstood in the African American community. African Americans are much more likely to seek help though their primary care doctors as opposed to accessing specialty care.

 • Children in foster care and the child welfare system are more likely to develop mental illnesses. African American children comprise 45 percent of the public foster care population.

 • Exposure to violence increases the risk of developing a mental illness; over 25 percent of African American children exposed to violence meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

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