By Mike Kinney
The Richmond Memorial Auditorium will host a Community Mental Health Forum on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The RichMinds Network and the Contra Costa County Health and Wellness Coalition are organizing and sponsoring the free public event. Other sponsors include Kaiser Permanente and Contra Costa Behavioral Health Services.
The forum aims to further the work of the RichMinds Network to help community members navigate mental health services offered in the County and to advocate for additional resources and services, according to Antwon Cloird, who co-founded The RichMinds Network seven years ago with Eddie Morris.
Morris said the event will be a “game changer” for local community members needing mental health services, and is part of the broader goals of The RichMinds Network to educate, train and advocate for services and to provide crisis response, Morris said. For example, the organization is focusing on increasing the level of care in local schools and other partnerships providing wraparound services for students and families in need.
To achieve the organization’s goals, Morris, who serves as executive director, leads an eclectic group of mental health professionals, support providers, parent advocates off-site and on-site housing professionals, occupational therapists, homeless advocates and district educators. The service model provides “a seamless referral service from community-based organizations throughout Contra Costa County,” Morris said.
The upcoming Community Mental Health Forum will serve to forward the capabilities of this collaborative service model, organizers say.
“Our event slogan: Real Talk! Real Voices! Real Solutions! speaks for itself,” Morris said. “Over the years Richmond has always been forgotten. Officials come to Richmond and do a few town halls, accumulate data, get grants and funding and use the money elsewhere. God has presented us with a vision to bring it to the people. Listen to their pain and frustration. The difference is we are the solution. A group of grassroots professionals from Richmond to help Richmond.”