There are only 10 days left to register for the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFSC), scheduled for Feb. 28 – Mar. 1 in Austin, Texas. CTAAFSC is a two-day conference featuring key leaders from the mental health community and will focus on topics such as mental health, substance use, spirituality, empowering children, family support and much more.

Over the past year, the Hogg Foundation has been supporting education and awareness about mental health in the African American faith community. In May 2012, the foundation hosted a free statewide conference entitled, Spiritual Crossroads: Faith, Mental Health and the African American Community. Additionally, ongoing support has been provided to the Austin Area African American Behavioral Health Network’s (AAAABHN) aim to enhance the knowledge of the impact spirituality has on the mental health of African Americans by bringing together clergy leaders to discuss the topic.

As part of this effort, the foundation has been involved with the planning of the conference. Several of the planned CTAAFSC sessions will feature dialogues with members of the AAAABHN. Additionally, back by popular demand, AAAABHN is sponsoring the specialized track for clergy leaders at the CTAAFSC.

Furthermore, one of the keynote speakers includes Dr. Robert Gilmore, pastor and inspirational speaker. Rev. Gilmore keeps it real as he shares his experiences with mental health, substance abuse and how faith played a key role in his recovery.  Jinneh Dyson, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Dr. William July are phenomenal keynote presenters as well.

The issue of African Americans allowing themselves an expanded toolkit for addressing mental health issues is very timely. In a recent Huffington Post article, Destiny’s Child songstress Michelle Williams shared her personal experience with depression. “We’re taught, ‘Just go to church and pray about it. The Lord is going to heal you,’” said Williams. ”Well, in the meantime, I believe God-gifted people, physicians, doctors, therapists–that’s your healing. Take advantage of it.”

Register now to learn more about what mental health resources are available for the African American community.