NEW ORLEANS, L.A. – Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-La.) convened the annual “HBCU Cares Mental Health Symposium” to bring together Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) president’s and stakeholders for a discussion about Black student’s mental health. This dialogue focused on themes including reducing isolation, improving campus safety, and increasing access to health care providers.
“I was honored to host this important discussion about the mental health of our students in HBCUs. This event took a significant step forward in promoting mental well-being in our communities,” said Rep. Carter. “HBCUs have long been at the forefront of empowering generations of Black Americans, providing them with the knowledge and tools needed to excel. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the mental health challenges faced by our students and faculty within these institutions demand our immediate attention and collective action. I am confident that the discussions held will result in transformative change, not only within our HBCUs but also within the broader mental health landscape.”
In May, Congressman Carter introduced H.R. 3760, the Mental Health Workforce Act, to create more diversity and increase the number of culturally competent mental health care providers in the United States. Numerous barriers to access mental health care treatment persists in communities of color, including the stigma associated with mental illness, general distrust of healthcare institutions, and lack of health insurance. This bill incentivizes students at HBCUs to pursue careers as mental health care practitioners by offering student loan forgiveness in exchange for a commitment to serving communities of color as mental health practitioners for five years after graduation.
"HBCU CARES' Executive Director Anita Jarman had the privilege of moderating a timely conversation with Congressman Troy Carter that emphasized the vital importance of mental health resources on HBCC and HBCU campuses,” said HBCU CARES' Executive Director Anita Jarman. “The discussion also highlighted the significance of the Mental Health Workforce Act H.R. 3760, which aims to encourage HBCU students to pursue careers as mental health practitioners. Our time in Oak Bluffs at The Black Joy House was well served, especially as we approach a new academic year. It is very important to note that this is a united front, with 15 HBCUs at the helm convening toward measurable, sustainable solutions that will positively impact our students' wellbeing."