Counseling, Outreach and Public Education Campaign

It is no secret that African American children and adults are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

African Americans are disproportionately represented in multiple areas of disparity including schools, housing, health access, and economics.

Because of their lived experiences of inequity, African Americans are preloaded for the perfect storm represented by this virus. For example, recent surveys indicate that African Americans are 1.4 times more likely than whites to contract COVID19 and are 3.7 more likely than whites to be hospitalized with COVID19. Also, African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to die of the disease when compared to their white counterparts. Finally, African Americans are 3 times as likely to know someone who has died from COVID-19 than whites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has pointed out that multiple health determinants are known to increase one’s risk for catching COVID-19. Key issues such as poverty, housing challenges, obesity, heart disease, asthma, sedentary lifestyles, and poor diets have a deleterious impact on African American communities.

AACWI’s has a grant supported by FEMA/SAMHSA that allows our agency to address COVID19 Prevention and Vaccine Hesitancy within our community by mobilizing four different teams to serve a region that includes the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya leads a team of clinicians, outreach workers and community partners who have tremendous expertise in serving, educating and engaging the African American community. This grant is designed to allow a set of culturally-congruent interventions to provide services in culturally familiar ways to communities of African descent. The services include a 24-hour community Mental Health and COVID19 hotline, individual, and group crisis counseling, individual and group outreach services, as well as brief educational or supportive contact, public education, assessment, referral, and resource linkages as well as community networking and support.

Within the Last Quarter our COVID19 TeamHas Produced the Following Outcomes

Our Media Partners have produced:

  • 126 Podcasts reaching 8M listeners;
  • 21 radio programs reaching 1.05M people;
  • 102 PSAs reaching 204K people;
  • 18 newspaper articles reaching 1.9M readers;
  • 21 advertisements reaching 1.523M people;
  • 147 Social networking contacts reaching 294K

Crisis Counseling Team has provided:

  • 778 Individuals and Families with Crisis Counseling;
  • 7.9% (62 sessions) were for Families;
  • About 533 people (68%) were Females;
  • About 249 people (32%) were Males;

Crisis Counseling and Outreach Teams have provided:

  • 201 group sessions for a total of 8,176 people;
  • 7.9% (646 people) were within Multi-Family settings and;
  • 92.1% (about 7,530 people) within Non-Familial settings (e.g. House of Charity

Other COVID-19 Team accomplishments include:

  • Fielding more than 842 phone calls/text messages from potential/current clients;
  • Distributed more than 4,527 sets of anti-bacterial and toiletries;
  • Distributed more than 2365 flyers/brochures.