Scholarships awarded to Black advanced mental health students

May is Mental Health Awareness month

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and Eustress, Inc. celebrated the month by awarding scholarships during its annual “Let’s Talk About It” mental health awareness events.

“The ‘Why Eustressin?’ annual scholarship award is designed to assist Black male graduate students achieve their educational goals and attain future career heights in the mental health field,” said Rwenshaun Miller, executive director of Eustress Inc.

Eustress Inc. was born out of the desire to bring awareness to the importance of acknowledging, improving and preserving mental health, a topic often marked by stigma and denial, particularly in the Black community.

“We typically award one scholarship per year, but this year we were able to award six scholarships,” he said. “The community recognized the importance of these scholarships and really stepped in to make sure all of our nominees were awarded.”

The winners were chosen based on academic achievement, contributions to the mental health field and demonstrating commitment and passion to progress in mental health.

Here is the list of winners.

  • Jon Baldwin is a student at Pfeiffer University pursuing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.
  • Mathieu McNeil is a University of Alabama student working toward a doctorate in social work.
  • Wallace Peake is working toward a master’s degree in social work at Johnson C. Smith University.
  • From George State University, Giscard Petion studies counselor education and practice.
  • Michael Woody is in advanced standing as he works toward a master’s in social work at Bayer University.
  • A student at Sam Houston State University, Warren Wright is in the doctoral program in counselor education.

To be nominated, each student must be a Black male enrolled in a graduate-level mental health-related (i.e., Clinical Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Social Work, Counseling) program at an accredited college or university.

“We want to ensure that culturally relevant mental health counseling is available to the Black community,” Miller said. “I’m moved that Eustress Incorporated can be part of healing our community.

While more people of color are earning degrees in mental health, there is still a wide gap in Black representation.

According to the American Psychological Association, Black Americans are just above 5% of the psychology workforce. There are additional Black social workers, counselors and psychiatrists.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.