Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States partners with BMHA to offer a monthly series called Mind Health: Shop Talks. This is part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to addressing core drivers of mental health in Baltimore and across the region. BMHA is thrilled to work with Kaiser Permanente to plan these monthly discussions. Mind Health: Shop Talks are highly interactive conversations facilitated by licensed therapists, authors, and persons with relevant lived experience, sharing tools and tips to address the struggles associated with the featured topic for the month.

Strengthen your skills, build your community and renew your mind through interactive communication conversations provided by global experts for everyone who wishes to attend. To learn about any upcoming sessions and to register please visit Events.

Jennifer Ransaw Smith, Founder of The Personal Elevation Lab, explained various ways to eliminate self-defeating and sabotaging behavior. Ms. Smith emphasized the need to take time to meditate, reflect, and work on your dreams to maintain optimal mental health. She shared her personal stories and then provided a framework and space for the participants to identify similar patterns within their lives. She discussed alternative ways of dealing with life's challenges including, and not limited to, raising personal standards, having non-negotiable personal time and treating yourself better.


The discussion leaders Dr. Larry Walker and Ms. Stephanie Slowly facilitated the talk. Several studies have shown a link between racial discrimination and depression. Racism victims not only suffer from bouts of depression but from suicide attempts as well. As awareness is raised about the link between racism and depression, members of marginalized groups can act to prevent discrimination from taking a toll on their mental health.


82,000 children in Maryland have had a parent incarcerated. In this Shop Talk we explored ways to build stronger support systems for children, thereby strengthening the family. The facilitators were Bettye L. Blaze and Terrence White. They are the co-authors of Doing Time with my Son: A Mother and Son’s Enduring Love Through Incarceration. They shared their powerful experience with incarceration and life as a returning citizen and the family and network that support them.