Mental health conditions don’t discriminate, but a person’s background and identity can make access to treatment more difficult. Mia Kirby, assistant professor in practice, aims to change that. Her research explores the relationship between the “strong Black woman” archetype and the behaviors of Black women seeking mental health treatment. “I hope my research leads to greater opportunities to promote mental health treatment and wellness among people of color,” she says.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My recent interview and feature with the Today Show website. I shared my research findings, which focused on the challenges that Black women face when receiving mental health treatment. As a researcher and a mental health advocate, I was very excited to help bring attention to this important issue and to promote changes in treatment approaches.
What are you excited about right now?
I have recently partnered with a nonprofit as a program facilitator to provide mental health education for young Black women. I am also an advocate with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, North Texas, and have had some great opportunities to work with them during Minority Mental Health Awareness month. I look forward to future opportunities with them and other community-based organizations that support mental health.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to campus returning to normal so that I can connect more with students. Working in the Center for African American Studies, I will be leading some student engagement programs, so I look forward to meeting and connecting with students face to face within that framework.