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Memphis Leaders Call for Mental Health Support after Police-Involved Shooting

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson.

On Father’s Day, ACE Awareness Foundation Executive Director Renée Wilson-Simmons joined pastors from several churches serving the Frayser neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, to offer safe spaces for people in need of counseling after violent protests following an officer-involved shooting earlier in the month. Twenty-year-old Brandon Webber was killed in that community by U.S. Marshals during an incident when they attempted to serve warrants connected to a shooting that took place in Mississippi.

Dr. Wilson-Simmons and other local mental health experts told reporters that in the absence of professional support, these events could have an even more negative effect on people and trigger issues related to anxiety and toxic stress. She offered the Universal Parenting Places as a resource for families in need of support. “We know that children do better when families do better, and that families do better when communities do better,” she said. “Our [UPP] in Frayser is a place where parents can go to meet with a licensed clinical social worker to talk about the issues that are affecting them, as well as to participate in activities designed to promote parent-child bonding. The support is available for free, without judgment, and we hope that people will come and get whatever support they need.”

Rep. Parkinson implored the city’s therapists and counselors to consider volunteering two hours a week at one of the area churches, providing grief counseling and one-on-one sessions help to people who need help processing, or helping their children to process, the tragic events.

The following churches have offered to host grief counseling:

  • Innovation Church, 3925 Overton Crossing
  • Promise Land Church, 3430 Overton Crossing
  • Ardmore Terrace Baptist Church, 3857 Schoolfield Road
  • Lifeline to Success,1647 Dellwood Ave.
  • Pursuit of God Transformation Center, 3121 Signal St.
  • Breath of Life Christian Center, 3795 Frayser Raleigh’s Rd.

Watch the full video on our Facebook page. For more information, or to volunteer your counseling expertise, please contact Rep. Parkinson’s office at 901-209-5010.

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