Within the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is the Office of Mental Health Equity, a division dedicated to helping communities of color in need of mental health and substance use assistance through programs capable of culture.
Samia Hussein is the director of the division, which works to help people connect to the services provided by the state. She works to get in the midst of stigma and other long-standing community challenges that make it difficult for people of color to participate in mental health services.
There his office strives to engage culturally diverse, knowledgeable clinicians who work directly with the community to help.
Hussein said that often, cultural stigma and shame prevent people from seeking or receiving help to manage mental health challenges.
“That stigma of and of itself is translated by communities of color and by different cultures,” Hussein said.
He hopes that by working in the community department and in different faith settings, more people will normalize talking about mental health, creating safer places for people to find help.
“We have to talk about it. We need to make sure it floats. It’s at family dinners, it’s at faith communities. This is our next sermon and churches and mosques and synagogues. We really need to address this and how do we respond to something we don’t know and haven’t discussed? ” Hussein said.
DHMAS has partnered with United Way to connect residents to services. You can call 2-1-1 to connect with someone who can help.
You can contact the Office of Multicultural Health Equity and request fully confidential assistance by clicking here.
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