Photograph by Alex Green/Pexels

The organization is an intermediary, referring those living with mental health issues to clinicians able to help them.

Photograph by Alex Green/Pexels

“Honoring and Celebrating Our Legacy, Our Healing, Our Moment” was the theme of the third annual Dr. Maxie T. Collier VIP Reception And Awards Ceremony, presented on Oct. 28 by the Black Mental Health Alliance (BMHA). “What a great opportunity,” Andrea Brown, the organization’s executive director, told the AFRO in a recent interview, “to have this conversation in National Depression Month.”

Andrea Brown is the executive director of the Black Mental Health Alliance. (Courtesy photo)

The BMH was founded almost 38 years ago by Baltimore’s first Black Health Commissioner, Dr. Maxie T. Collier. Dr. Collier, Brown emphasized, discovered Black patients with mental health issues misdiagnosed as schizophrenic and wanted to do something about it.

Collier coordinated with former nurse turned state senator Shirley Mason Pulliam to create the Black Mental Health Alliance. “The drive behind it was so that Black people could see clinicians who looked like them, who treated them through a culturally grounded lens and who understood that what someone else diagnosed as one thing could be showing up differently [in Black people],” Brown said.

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