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History of Black Mental Healthcare in US

How does mental illness & institutionalization touch your family & community?

On Tuesday February 22, 2022 at 7:30p, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation is hosting a Town Hall about the history and future of Central State Hospital in Petersburg, VA.

Panelists include Dr. King Davis, historian and archivist, Dr. Olivia Garland, first Black woman director, Dr. Ronald Forbes, psychiatrist and former medical director, AAHGS DC member Adrienne Fikes, and Dr. Brandi Justice, current director.

Adrienne will share her experience finding a missing ancestor, her Great-grandfather William Benjamin Howell's patient record during her #16Greats family history research, and highlighting the need for greater preservation and access to this priceless historic record set.

The American Psychiatric Association Foundation Library & Archives also created an exhibition, which includes primary source documents, photographs, public laws, news articles, and admission and treatment data from Central State Hospital’s records, available in person and online through July 31, 2022.

See the online exhibition here

Learn more about Dr Davis' archive project at

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