The NeighborHOOD Conversation series is an ongoing event that addresses a topic either through experts in the relevant field or standout members of the community (“local heroes”). Having both formats allows attendees to see a subject both through a local lens and on a macro level from industry professionals. The next installment, A Real Conversation About Women’s Mental Health on Sat., Aug. 17 at Everyday Cafe, focuses on women’s mental health. Series founder Michelyn Hood tapped a comprehensive panel of mental health professionals from the community.
The free event will feature Dr. Demarquis Clarke, a marriage and family therapist who founded The Center for Relational Change; Dr. Tamare Piersaint, a clinical professor at California University of Pennsylvania and founder of the Serenity for Youth & Families organization; and Dr. Kathi R. Elliot, a doctor of nursing and executive director of Gwen’s Girls, a social justice group for young women.
“All of the panelists can speak directly to women about health and mental health, and Kathi [Elliot] can speak specifically to young girls about how to tackle mental health issues or mental health concerns,” says Hood, who is also a host for KDKA. “We’re really going to dive into the self and how to have a positive self-image, and we’ll go from ourselves to our relationships with others and from there, we’ll take it to our relationship with society.”
A Real Conversation About Women’s Mental Health will also feature live music from Anita Levels, as well as light food and drinks.
In the past, NeighborHOOD Conversations have discussed other realms of health, as well as local heroes and the world of business. Local heroes might be local entrepreneurs who built businesses from the ground up, or families who made it through tough losses. Hood says that regardless of the speakers, the ultimate goal is to create a sense of community through fun and informative conversations.
“It’s important to find neighborhood heroes and have speakers, especially in historically African-American communities, so we have somebody to look up to,” says Hood. “The concept of bringing the community together, all of us under one roof, having a good time and talking about things that matter, and talking about things that we can improve upon – that’s great.”
Hood hopes that the discussions continue beyond Saturday’s panels.
“I’m really excited because all of our panelists for this one are experts, so if our guests want to take these conversations further, they can make appointments with them,” says Hood.