Indianapolis Urban League

Coloring and Conversations: An Innovative Strategy for Talking About Mental Health


Coloring and Conversations: An Innovative Strategy for Talking About Mental Health

With a common goal of eliminating health disparities in the African American community, Anthem, Inc., the National Urban League, City of Hope and Pfizer, Inc., have teamed up to create Take Action for Health, a unique initiative focused on reducing some of the greatest health risks facing the African American community today: breast cancer, heart disease and emotional well-being. Take Action for Health strives to increase mammograms, blood pressure screenings and screenings for depression and anxiety-risk in an effort to catch these health conditions early while they are more treatable.  For example, African-American women have the lowest breast cancer survival rate of all ethnic and racial groups, according to the American Cancer Society, and one potential reason may be because African-American women are diagnosed with more advanced or later stage breast cancer.

Take Action for Health

In Indianapolis, Indiana, staff collaborated with the Center of Wellness for Urban Women to deliver an innovative strategy for talking about mental health. Taking advantage of a recent surge in adult interest in coloring books as a method for relaxation, they hosted a Coloring and Conversations workshop. In addition to providing markers, crayons and coloring pages, affiliate staff delivered the Project Wellness Mental and Emotional Well-Being curriculum to participants. Individuals were offered a depression risk screening and upon completion referred to a local mental health provider if they were interested.