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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: Genealogy and Mental Illnesses in the family

It has come to my attention that you might wonder what I am going to do with this information.

My background is in the Behavioral Sicences, with a degree in Urban Planning and Regional Studies. First of all, this is not a formal research project and information shared here will not be shared anywhere else (through me).

I work for a University Counseling Service where the University is experiencing an influx and greater increase over the years of incoming freshmen with various mental health issues stemming from bipolar, ADHD, depression, anxiety, separation anxiety, suicide ideation, adjustment to a new environment, and relationship problems to name a few.

According to my Director, 20 years ago, we wouldn't have seen any of these problems in the incoming classes. I might add that there has been an increase of suicide attempts as well. Since I teach at the community college "Basic Genealogy" my Director of Clinical Services asked me to make a Staff Development (psychologists, therapists and counselors) presentation on genealogy and mental health. Since mental health was not my area of expertise,

I thought that I would seek help from the forum on where to seek such information and if mental illness is indeed inherent in families. As I mentioned earlier, I reflected that my own family has experienced mental illness in one branch for over consecutive 3 generations and it never occured to me at the time.

As a community activist, family historian and genealogist I am very much interested in the health issues of the black family and am eager to work to improve the quality of life through education and information.

If I have offended anyone, I apologize, as I was only seeking help from fellow genealogists and family historians who may or may not have come across mental illness in the family.

All assistance, resources, recommendations and suggestions have been greatly appreciated. I will keep you posted as to how well received my presentation is.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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