Recent Podcasts

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.

Austin Public Health is funding the effort with a grant to the AMEN program. Each radio show is moderated by Shannon W. Jones III, former Director of Austin Public Health, and features Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing along with experts from the community, who share information and tips related to mental health with the goal of increasing awareness, reducing stigma and highlighting resources to address the full spectrum of mental health and illness.

Woman and Child View iPad Christmas

Episode 13: November 4, 2020 – Thriving Through the Holidays During this COVID Pandemic

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Theresa Libios, a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, who provides person-centered Christian counseling at the Timothy Center.

Patience getting a flu shot

Episode 12: October 7, 2020 – How To Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones During This Flu Season

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht, interviewed Ms. Raisa Charles-Willock, certified educator with Austin Public Health Immunization Program. They discussed what influenza (flu) is, who it affects, its impact on the African American community, the flu vaccine, and why it's important to get a flu shot.

Ms. Angela Bigham, Pastor Ray Hendricks, and Ms. Deborah Duncan

Episode 11: September 2, 2020 – A Shared Approach to Holistic Health: Community Gardens

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht, interviewed Pastor Ray Hendricks, Rehoboth Baptist Church, Ms. Angela Bigham, Health Ministry Leader at Rehoboth Baptist Church and Ms. Deborah Duncan (LMSW), Program Coordinator with the City of Austin/Austin Public Health Department’s Health Equity and Community Engagement Unit and the sponsor of KAZI’s “Health Talk”.

Mother Putting a Face Mask on her Son

Episode 10: August 5, 2020 – Fostering Mental Wellness for Kids Heading Back to School

In typical circumstances this would be an exciting time for kids and families, as they return to school to meet their teachers and see their friends again. Yet, our current circumstances are anything but typical -- as kids prepare to return to school in the midst of this continuing pandemic.

We spoke to our guests about ways to foster mental wellness for parents and kids as they prepare to go back to school during these unusual times.

Two Women Making a Salad

Episode 9: July 1, 2020 - Discussing A Better Me Wellness Program

A Better Me Health and Wellness Program was started in 2016 to help African American community members who wanted to make a lifestyle change to reduce risk factors for developing chronic diseases or better manage chronic diseases they were already experiencing. The program would also provide individual and group educational support and accountability coaching.

Woman in Black Crew Neck Shirt Wearing Headphones

Episode 8: June 3, 2020 – The Healing Power of Music; a Way to Sooth the Mind, Body and Soul

We are bombarded with challenges right now. Not only are we wrestling with a global pandemic that is ravaging communities of color at an accelerated rate, we are also responding to the tragic murder of another black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, MN. Now, more than ever, we seek a place of refuge and a spirit of hope.

Dr. Shalonda Horton and Dr. Ana Todd

Episode 7: May 6, 2020 – AMEN & School of Nursing Engage the Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We do not have a recorded podcast for the month of May. The article below highlights the conversation covered during Episode 7.

As we celebrated National Nurses Day on May 6th, 2020, Ana Todd, PhD, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor and Shalonda Horton, PhD, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing joined Jacki Hecht to discuss how the AMEN Team and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing are engaging the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Todd and Dr. Horton are co-investigators and community liaisons on the AMEN team.

Woman meditating in the outdoors

Episode 6: April 1, 2020 – AMEN Program Responds to Wellness Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 1st, Jacki Hecht was joined by Becky Morales, LCSW-S, therapist with Colors of Austin Counseling, to share insights into current stressors during COVID-19, how to navigate through this uncertain time and community resources that people can access.

Collage of mental health words

Episode 5: March 4, 2020 - Improving the Lives of All Persons Impacted by Mental Illness

The March podcast was led by Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing and featured Karen Ranus, the first Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Texas. NAMI Central Texas, formerly NAMI Austin, was founded in 1984 and is a member of the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Through innovative education, support and advocacy programs, NAMI Central Austin is changing the way our community addresses mental health.

Hands working together

Episode 4: February 5, 2020 - Enhance Awareness for Suicide Prevention

The February podcast highlighted our AMEN partner, the D. Wood Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance awareness for suicide prevention and advocate the importance of mental health. Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing was joined by Fabian Wood, CEO and founder of the D. Wood Foundation Inc.

Handshake with words

Episode 3: January 8, 2020 – Raising Awareness and Reducing Stigma around Mental Health Issues

The January podcast focused on AMEN partners that provide programs and events to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health issues. Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing was joined by Christina Smith, LCSW, Social Worker at Integral Care and Kimberly Holiday, “Lady Joy”, Marketing Outreach Chair for the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference.

Shannon W. Jones III, Jacki Hecht, Tara Hutson, and Daryl Horton

Episode 2: December 4, 2019 – Managing Stress through the Holidays

In this episode, Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing talks about the unique stressors that arise around the holidays. Tara Hutson, Family Nurse Practitioner and PhD student at the School of Nursing shares how stress impacts both physical and mental health, and offers tips for managing these stressors during the holidays. Reverend Daryl Horton from Mt. Zion Baptist church describes how AMEN and Mt. Zion are working together to help congregants become more mindful and engage in activities that reduce stress.

AMEN Team

Episode 1: November 6, 2019 – Introducing the AMEN Program

Jacki Hecht, RN, MSN, Managing Director of the AMEN program at the UT Austin School of Nursing describes the mission and goals of the AMEN program while Pastor Ray Hendricks and Angela Bigham, health ministry leader and AMEN health worker from Rehoboth Baptist Church describe the needs within their church and how together, the AMEN program can help address these gaps. This show describes how researchers and clinicians from the School of Nursing are working with leaders from partnering churches to design and deliver a mental health and wellness program that is tailored to their needs.