Mental health supporters take grassroots approach

Justin Udo
May 15, 2018 - 6:22 pm
WES Health System and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women held a free mental health screening in Northwest Philadelphia on the corner of Windrim Avenue and Broad Street.

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mental health care took center stage in an unlikely setting Tuesday.

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, WES Health System and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women held a free mental health screening in Northwest Philadelphia on the corner of Windrim Avenue and Broad Street, right next to the Logan Station subway stop.

"It's important for us to engage in community," said Malika Daniel with WES. "We want to be out, we want to be open, we want to be present, we want them to see us."

Too often, people put their mental health on the backburner, Daniel said. They positioned the quick screenings so that anybody can come by and be evaluated for depression, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders.

"Five to 10 minutes to go through the screening assessment itself," she said, "and to provide them information they might need."

People who stopped by the screening got the chance to learn how to recognize symptoms within themselves and in others.

Maurica McDougale, who received a free mental health screening, said she's happy there are organizations working to break the negative stigma surrounding mental health.

"I definitely think it's very important for everyone to be able to keep those kinds of things in check and screen for them," she said. "It's amazing, especially in impoverished communities that don't seek this kind of access, it's important to bring it to them because a lot of times their not going to go seek it themselves."