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How WTCSB is Working to Address Mental Health Care Inequity for Racial and Ethnic Minorities

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Diversity, Equity, Trauma, Video

Forward, Together with western tidewater community services board

In this video, clinical administrator Tanetta Hassell and Chiquita Merrill, supervisor of SCIP (School Counseling Intervention Program), talk about the importance of access to mental health care for minority racial and ethnic groups that have historically been overlooked and what WTCSB is doing to address these barriers.

What WTCSB is Doing to Address Barriers to Mental Health Care for Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Clinician Training and Practice Models Designed to Increase Equity

WTCSB staff are trained in evidence-based practice models that are found to more effective in multicultural settings, including:

  • Trauma-informed care
  • Solution-focused treatments
  • EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) 
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy
  • FFT (functional family therapy)

All staff are also trained in adverse childhood experiences and mental health first aid. This training is to ensure that clinicians are trauma-informed and therefore better-equipped to serve populations that often suffer from intergenerational trauma.

WTCSB was recently awarded a grant from the Department of Behavioral Health which will allow us to provide school-based mental health services. With these funds, we can now provide mental health care to all students, not just those whose families have the money or other resources necessary to pursue mental health care. 

How WTCSB is Working Overall to Promote Diversity and Equity

We’ve created the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to help WTCSB stay accountable and to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of different racial, ethnic and cultural groups. We’ve also hired a human resources specialist whose role is to ensure that staff and leadership reflect the community we serve, so we can give those who have historically been silenced a voice.

Forward, Together

We serve many communities that are multicultural and we want those community members who are considered to be racial, ethnic or cultural minorities to know that we are aware that they are often disproportionately impacted by intergenerational trauma – in part caused by an imperfect health care system – and that we are trying our best to address these inequalities. Thank you for being a part of our community, and remember that we are here for you. Let’s move forward, together.

If you need help for a mental health, substance abuse, or intellectual or developmental disability concern, make an appointment for same-day access online or call us at 757-758-5106.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis, you can call our 24/7 emergency line at 757-925-2484 to talk to someone right away.

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