Minority mental health addressed in I-CARE live panel



Renita Newton was one of the many members of the panel discussion on Feb. 3

Gabriella Ruiz, Sports Editor

On Feb. 3. The I-CARE Program Initiative hosted a live panel discussion via Webex about mental health, social justice reform and the impacts to Black and Latino communities as part of Black History Month.

The event was open to all students, faculty, staff and the public community of Corpus Christi. Attendees were invited to sit down and listen from a variety of speakers with different diverse backgrounds to discuss their point of view. Those who were a part of the panel discussion were Dr. Gloria Benibo, the Dean of Academics for CCISD, Renita Newton, a CNEP doctoral student and TAMU-CC SSS-Stem Program Coordinator, Osaki Benibo, a sociology  doctoral student at Baylor University and Ana Salazar, a CNEP doctoral student and TAMU-CC University Counseling Center Counselor. 

Part of the conversation included how some individuals may feel with the extra emotional weight that comes from living in today’s society. Many people have difficulty moving forward and getting help with ongoing trauma. 

Those individuals who are not dealing with PTSD or experiencing trauma in any sort were encouraged to reach out to those who are going through something to let them know that they are willing to listen to them

I-CARE Case Manager, Molly Becker discussed how the topics covered revolved around the idea of how people of color are impacted when it comes to minority mental health, social  justice reform and racial injustice. 

“I hope they come away with a larger understanding of the longstanding mental health and how it manifests the community of color,” said Becker. “Those who are struggling with their own stuff going on… I hope for folks who aren’t minority or they’re white, I hope they come away with not only understanding the conversation of mental health and social injustice but how to be a better ally to support those who we know. I hope people came for a great discussion and resources to help them continue their learning regarding the topic moving forward.” 

Olivia Saenz, a health science major, attended the event to understand the importance of mental health. “As college students, we go through so much and it’s important to know we have many resources available to us,” said Saenz. “It would be great if I-CARE could host more events of this nature so students are up to date with any resources available.”

Black History Month will continue through Feb. 25. The schedule can be found at http://ei.tamucc.edu/inclusion/ica/bhm/

For more information on campus resources for minority health, refer to I-CARE’s webpage at icare.tamucc.edu.