Trends indicate there is a need to provide our teachers of color with resources in support of the benefits of improving self-care and strengthening capacity for mental health and wellness. While MNPS is an advocate for supporting its teachers, few resources are available that integrate cultural awareness with mental health wellness. This group will address both.
The group(s) will be facilitated by Angell Berry, an African American clinical therapist with Allied Behavioral Health Solutions (ABHS). Angell’s ethnicity and shared cultural experiences give her insight that will bring relevance and relatability to the group.
BIPOC Mental Health and Wellness Group
Angell Berry, MA, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana but has called Nashville home for more than 18 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Grambling State University, and a master’s degree in Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has 20+ years of professional experience and serves as a clinical therapist with Allied Behavioral Health Solutions.
Angell has a passion for unleashing the potential within others, supporting people and organizations through change, and equipping people to be the impetus in their lives. She knows change can be uncomfortable but believes that vulnerability yields tremendous growth opportunity, both personally and professionally.
Angell believes that within some of our BIPOC communities, mental health carries a stigma that inhibits the change journey, but how can we heal what we do not speak? She focuses on her client’s goals to help bring hope, healing, and support for lasting change in their lives. Her hobbies are reading, the fine arts, women empowerment, mentoring college-aged adults, and working with divorce-care support groups.
About the sessions
We are seeking to form groups of 4-6 people each, which will meet every other week for six 1-hour sessions. Initially:
Group 1 will kick off February 7 at 5 p.m. CT
Group 2 will kick off February 14 at 5 p.m. CT
Sessions will be held in a virtual environment on a platform TBD.
Each session (described below) will provide a safe, inviting space for participants and equip you with tools in support of your mental health and well-being.
Session 1: Group norms and orientation
Clinician will set expectations for the group, including confidentiality, communication, and structure of group sessions. Sessions will be strengths-focused, trauma-informed, and identify cultural and community supports.
Session 2: Supporting mental health through boundary setting
Session will focus on a day in the life of an educator and will cover the importance of healthy boundary setting in and out of the classroom. Group will discuss the fundamentals of boundaries and how skills used in the classroom are transferable and will practice real-life boundary setting.
Session 3: Stress reduction and resiliency
Session will focus on the impact of stress on mental health. Group will engage in collaboration regarding common stressors, practice 1-2 relaxation techniques for improved stress management and use the power of a group to learn from each other.
Session 4: Trauma and compassion fatigue
Session will focus on the specific stressors faced by BIPOC educators as educators and across other roles. Participants will understand the connections between compassion fatigue, primary and secondary trauma, and mental health.
Session 5: Anxiety strategies
Session will focus on understanding anxiety symptoms, identifying triggers and root causes for anxiety, and concrete coping strategies for reducing anxiety.
Session 6: Group wrap-up and shaking the stigma, advocating for mental health awareness
Session will focus on health challenges within our communities of color, the impact of stigma in the classroom with parents/students and identifying solutions for strengthening our families and communities.
To sign up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MNPS” in the subject line by January 14, 2022. An ABHS staff member will contact you with a few questions and schedule a 30-minute intake session with Angell, who will prepare you for group therapy. If our initial groups fill up, we'll start a waitlist for additional groups.