Understanding the Roots of Racism – Mental Health – Recap and Resources

Despite immense need, only one in three Black Americans who need mental health care receive it. Data shows Black patients are less likely to receive guideline-consistent care, are less frequently included in medical research, and are more likely to receive care in an emergency room than with a licensed mental health specialist.


Lack of access to care, stigma and social pressures associated with mental health, and the economic and educational inequities facing Black Americans all play a role in the complicated intersection of race and mental health.


Learn more about the history of racism in mental health care and discuss ways to better support the well-being, resiliency and whole health of every individual and family in Central Indiana.


View the Recording Below:





Resources & Links:





Your Journey – Identity and Cultural Dimensions – Black/African American



Black And African American Communities And Mental Health



America’s racial reckoning is putting a spotlight on Black mental health



A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy






44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country



Therapy for Black Girls



How Barbers Are Cutting Mental Health Stigma Among Black Men



The Confess Project



Local activist opens up about mental health struggles






Black Mental Health Matters




Meet Our Panelists:




James E. Garrett, Jr.


James E. Garrett, Jr. was appointed Executive Director of the Indiana Commission for the Social Status of Black Males (ICSSBM) by Governor Mitch Daniels on March 14, 2005.

As Executive Director for the ICSSBM, Mr. Garrett works closely with local commissions, develops community partnerships and works to find best practices in the areas of: criminal justice, education, employment, health and social factors. Continued keys to success for the ICSSBM are community involvement, consensus building and partnership alliances.

Mr. Garrett is a recognized leader both professionally and in the community. He is involved in several community and faith-based organizations, including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and Second Baptist Church (trustee). Previously, he served on the board of trustees at Shelbyville Central Schools, and served as School Board President for three years.

Professionally, Mr. Garrett has been serving the community for more than 25 years. He has worked in upper level management for the Indiana Department of Commerce, for U.S. Senator Dan Coats, served as a City Councilman for the the City of Shelbyville, and most previously as the Executive Director for Shelby County Life Long Learning and as an Addison Township Trustee.

Mr. Garrett has received numerous honors and awards and is an ordained deacon. He is a graduate of Indiana State University. He and his wife Tonita have three children: son, James E. Garrett, III, and two daughters, Chakeyla and Tamara.


Crystal Wade, MSW, LSW


Being a provider of therapeutic services allows Crystal to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a direct helper supporting those in need. A graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Crystal obtained her Masters of Social Work (MSW) after an extensive career in corporate healthcare leadership. She felt obtaining an MSW was important because therapy is most successful when the therapist has the training to understand the social and environmental issues which can contribute to mental health and mental illness. Crystal received her Bachelors of Arts from Ball State University in Spanish.

Therapy can seek to normalize individuals based on societal standards. This is the opposite of the practice approach Crystal uses. She seeks to understand each client as an individual and set goals based on what the client would like to achieve. Instead of avoidance of uncomfortable feelings or thoughts which accompany the struggles of everyday life, Crystal focuses empowering her clients with strategies and approaches that aim to strengthen the mind, and change the relationship the individual has with the challenge. This will better equip clients to bring different meaning to current and future stresses.

Crystal enjoys working with a wide range of clients and a variety of issues. Families and intimate partners, teens and adolescents, LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals experiencing mental illness or addictions, are some of the groups with which Crystal has proven results. Anxiety, depression, corporate exhaustion and work/life balance issues, addictions (specifically sexual addiction), childhood trauma, relationships in conflict, young adult transitional challenges, and grief and loss, are some of the issues Crystal has assisted individuals with in practice.

In her free time, Crystal loves to travel, spend time with her son, read, and volunteer with various community organizations.


Brandon Warren


After losing a friend to gun violence in May of 2017, Brandon was forced into the spotlight early at the age of 17. Soon after his friend’s death, Brandon founded his own nonprofit, We LIVE Incorporated. In the midst of two years, Brandon was awarded many state and national accolades. Now 19 years of age and a current Finance major at Ball State University, Brandon has most recently published his first ever book, B Inspired, ultimately enhancing his voice and spreading a much larger message. His message went from solely being about violence prevention to numerous subjects in which completely educates and inspires the world’s next generation.

Through his educating and inspiring methods, Brandon uses his platform and previous experiences to be a positive inspiration to others. As an activist, author, and inspirationist, Brandon highlights the essentials young people need to B Smart, B Bold, B You, and to B Inspired. By being smart, bold, and himself, Brandon is truly an inspiration. From being at the center of Times Square to multiple speaking engagements, Brandon has been utilizing his high powered platform and voice to help encourage other young people to uniquely follow in his own path of inspiring others. Brandon believes in order to Become The Inspiration one must first B Inspired.


Veronica Derricks, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Psychology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)



Cortnei Flucas


Unified Student Supports Officer, Indianapolis Public Schools