Supporting Brain Health and Mental Wellness in Faith Communities

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July 14, 2022

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Supporting Brain Health and Mental Wellness in Faith Communities

July 13, 2022 Podcast:

Audio file

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Toniya Parker, the Program Manager at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Texas. Ms. Parker oversees the organization’s support programs for family members and loved ones of individuals with mental health issues. She also leads outreach and programs specifically for communities of color, justice involved individuals, and people who associate with the LGBTQI community.

NAMI is a non-profit organization that provides free peer-led services and programs. Their mission is to improve the lives of individuals and their loved ones. The organization educates, supports, and advocates for individuals to raise awareness about mental health and wellness. NAMI also provides classes, workshops, presentations, resources, and support groups within the community to improve mental health conditions.

Sharing Hope is a new three-part video series created by NAMI that explores the journey of mental wellness in Black communities through dialogue, storytelling and a guided discussion.

NAMI also offers the Mind Matter Webinars, presented by Ascension Seton, that brings mental health experts and advocates straight into your home for a 50-minute “coffee talk.” Mind Matters shares valuable information and tools for deepening the community’s understanding and managing of mental health challenges during difficult situations.

Ms. Parker shares that NAMI is engaging and collaborating with faith-based and communities of color by offering Bridges to Hope, a training program for clergy and faith leaders to better understand the root causes of mental health challenges while learning how to start important conversations to address these needs. Ms. Parker adds that NAMI strives to be a trusted resource in the community to reduce stigma that surrounds mental health. For more information about NAMI, please visit the NAMI Central Texas website or email Toniya Parker at

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