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Dr. Carl Bell

Psychiatrist Dr. Carl Compton Bell was born on October 28, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, to Pearl Debnam Bell and William Yancey Bell, Jr. Bell grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1965. He received his B.A. degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967. Bell received his M.D. degree in 1971 from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his psychiatric residency in 1974 at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute in Chicago, where he worked with children, adolescents and adults. From 1974 to 1976, Bell served as a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy.

Bell has worked as a psychiatrist at numerous Chicago area institutions including Jackson Park Hospital, Human Correctional and Service Institute, Chatham Avalon Mental Health Center, the Chicago Board of Education, and the Community Mental Health Council. In 1982, Bell became the medical director of the Community Mental Health Council, one of the largest not-for-profit community mental health centers in the U.S. Since 1987, he has been the president and CEO of the Community Mental Health Council. He has been a professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Illinois School of Medicine and School of Public Health. In addition, Bell hosted radio talk shows on mental health issues on WVON-AM and WJPC-FM in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Bell is a National Institute of Mental Health international researcher and an author of more than 400 books, chapters, and scientific publications addressing issues of children exposed to violence, violence prevention, HIV prevention, isolated sleep paralysis and misdiagnosis of Manic Depressive Illness. He is the editor of Psychiatric Perspectives on Violence: Understanding Causes and Issues in Prevention and Treatment, and author of Getting Rid of Rats: Perspectives of a Black Community Psychiatrist and The Sanity of Survival: Reflections on Community Mental Health and Wellness.

Bell is the recipient of numerous awards including the E.Y. Williams Distinguished Senior Clinical Scholar Award from the National Medical Association in 1992. He received the American Psychiatric Association President's Commendation on Violence in 1997. Bell was appointed to the Violence Against Women Advisory Council by then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and was a participant in the White House's Strategy Session on Children, Violence, and Responsibility. He was appointed to the working group for the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health - Culture, Race, and Ethnicity; and to the Planning Board for the Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence. In recognition of his efforts to reduce violence, Bell became the first recipient of the American Psychiatric Foundation's Minority Service Award in 2004.

Bell is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, the National Medical Association, Black Psychiatrists of America, and a former vice-president and editor of the American College of Psychiatrists. He is also a founding member and past board chairman of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

Bell passed away on August 2, 2019.

Accession Number

A2008.117

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/3/2008

Last Name

Bell

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Hyde Park Academy High School

George Howland Elementary School

Charles Kozminski Elementary Community Academy

Harold Washington College

Olive-Harvey College, City Colleges of Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

Meharry Medical College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Carl

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BEL05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Specifics: I prefer decision makers, people with power and juice.

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience - Negotiable

Favorite Season

None

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience Specifics: I prefer decision makers, people with power and juice.

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Nobody Cares.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/28/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Death Date

8/2/2019

Short Description

Psychiatrist Dr. Carl Bell (1947 - ) served as the medical director, president and CEO of the Community Mental Health Council, one of the largest not-for-profit community mental health centers in the U.S. He was a professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Illinois School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

Employment

Naval Station Great Lakes

Jackson Park Hospital

Chicago Board of Education

City of Chicago Department of Public Health

Human Resources Development Institute

Community Mental Health Council, Inc.,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Carl Bell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his paternal grandfather, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his paternal grandfather, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers visiting his paternal grandfather in South Boston, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his paternal grandfather's early life

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his father's role with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his family's influence, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his family's influence, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about the debate over nature versus nurture in psychology

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his early gang involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his neighbor, Bryant Gumbel

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his early influences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his early educational experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his early educational experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his eighth grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about developmental psychology

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his interest in comic books

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell reflects upon his experiences in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his graduation from high school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his acceptance to the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his mother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his college experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his experiences of racial discrimination in Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his college apartment in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his brother's death

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers applying to medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about the psychology of childhood trauma

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls the racial quota at the University of Illinois College of Medicine

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his first impressions of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his arrest in Pulaski, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers being bailed out of jail by his medical professor

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls becoming the target of an FBI investigation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his experiences at Meharry Medical College

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his decision to study psychiatry, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell remembers his decision to study psychiatry, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his psychiatric residency

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his role at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls his introduction to martial arts

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about racial discrimination in healthcare

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the Black Psychiatrists of America

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell recalls working with Douglas Foster

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his public health initiatives in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his role at the Community Mental Health Council, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the problems with psychology

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about Sigmund Freud's theory of spirituality

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his professional collaborations with Dr. David Satcher

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about predictive factors in childhood psychology

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the theory of collective efficacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about the suicide rate among African Americans

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the stigma against medical research in the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell describes his initiatives at the Community Mental Health Council, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about suicide in the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the importance of preventative healthcare

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Carl Bell shares his personal philosophy

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Carl Bell reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his experiences with the media

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Carl Bell reflects upon his spirituality

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Carl Bell describes the focus of his research

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Carl Bell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Carl Bell talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dr. Carl Bell describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
Dr. Carl Bell talks about Sigmund Freud's theory of spirituality
Dr. Carl Bell talks about predictive factors in childhood psychology
Transcript
You mentioned that Freud [Sigmund Freud] didn't understand spirituality or black spirituality (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) No, no.$$--or.$$Freud, Freud, Freud thought spirituality was this oceanic feeling and he, he derided cosmic consciousness and expanded states of consciousness and satori and samadhi and, you know, peak experiences, he didn't understand any of that. He, he demeaned it to being something regressive as, as opposed to something enlightened. That's since been, those were, those were his two biggest mistakes, thinking that people who were hysterical who had anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder were, weren't really actually in harm's way, where someone had actually done something to them, he thought they were making it up. That was one mistake. The other mistake was that he demonized or dogged out spirituality. A big mistake. He called it magical thinking. And it's, it's a little difficult 'cause people who are schizophrenic have magical thinking. They think that God is talking to them. They think that they have an inside track to God but they're delusional, they're psychotic, it's not real. And the way you tell is that those people are the people walking down the street with no clothes on or are the people who walk down the street with twelve overcoats on in the middle of August or people who talk to themselves and they're special 'cause God has touched them. Nope, if God is touching you, he's touching you in the wrong way. Other people who meditate and who try to discipline their minds, who open themselves up to clarity and wisdom, and who open themselves up to spirituality and that special uncommon way of knowing, get information, they have foresight and insight, they have what religion refers to as gifts, prophecy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Freud also was down on religion for the same reason he was down on spirituality. But those people are successful, they're flourishing, they're doing great and wonderful things, they're able to create their own future, they're able to have synchronicity, synergy plus alignment with events, so that they're always in the right place at the right time, being led by some internal compass that gets 'em exactly where they need to be. It sounds magical but it's not and the, the way you tell is that the proof is in the pudding. But see and then that's the other thing about psychiatry, most people think psychiatry just studies disease but actually psychiatry also studies creativity and wellness but we're not known for that 'cause nobody pays for that. They, people wanna get well, they wanna stop being scared, they wanna stop being psychotic, they wanna stop being depressed, they wanna stop being. Then you have this other conversation about, be proactive, begin with the end in mind, all these successful, you know, flourish, have a purpose in life, have a meaning in life, know who you are, know thyself, discipline your mind, meditate, cultivate, be CEO of self, create your own future. Hm, you start having those conversations with people they go, "Huh? What are you talking about?" Some people go, "Oh, okay. I got it." But most people don't understand that's a very, very good reason to go to a psychiatrist. But they, you know. I would say some of the work I do is ultra professional work, and I see like ultra professionals who are people making big money who are just so damn trifling, they're not stupid, my tendency is to call them stupid but they're not stupid, they just don't know any better, they're ignorant. And you try to, and then, you know, usually when they get to me, is when they've done something wrong. They're about to go to jail, "Can you help me? I'm about to go to jail." "Well, yeah," (laughter), "of course, you are 'cause you did this, this, and this. You got the wrong people around you, you're not right, you have no discipline, you haven't disciplined your body, you haven't disciplined your mind, you're not, you're not making an investment in your future, why do you think you wouldn't get in trouble? You've got all this money, what are you doing with it?"$The thing that people don't understand which I'm trying to, I'm on another mission, when I was doing children exposed to violence in '82 [1982], even though no one had ever heard of it, people were like, what are you talking about? What, and then other people came behind me and replicated my research and found that I was right. But back then I was under the impression that traumatized children had all these psychiatric disorders and they were bound and determined to have psychiatry disorders 'cause they had been exposed to trauma. So back then my notion was risk factors were predictive factors, again, kitchen table psychology, kitchen table psychiatry. Well, if you've seen your mother get killed, certainly you're gonna grow up messed up. No, gotta have protective factors. When we did the Institute of Medicine's [National Academy of Medicine] report and started doing that in around 1999 or 2000, we did a, a report on suicide prevention ['The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Suicide']. Twenty thousand out of a hundred thousand people get depressed, one fifth of all people get depressed. About eight thousand people attempt suicide. People who actually complete suicide, the average is twelve, twelve per one hundred thousand. So what's protecting 99,988 people who are depressed from completing suicide? What's keeping seven thousand and 1,988 people who have attempted suicide from completing suicide? Well, there have to be protective factors. So we're starting a whole new thing around public health and trying to say to people, rather than profiling, identifying, demonizing children exposed to violence, there's a study adverse childhood experiences study that looked at sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence, mother mentally ill, parent in prison, parent using drugs, seven adverse childhood experiences. Everybody has at least one of those. Six percent of this white middle class population studied in San Diego [California], 50 percent, college graduate, jobs, health insurance, have at least one adverse childhood experience, 50 percent have at least one, 6 percent have four or more. Your immediate assumption would be if you've had four physical abuse, child abuse, mother on crack [crack cocaine], whatever, you're doomed, it's horrible, you've had a horrible childhood, you're doomed. No, protective factors. It does turn out if you've had four or more, you're twelve times more likely to attempt suicide, ten times more likely to be depressed, three and a half times more likely to have sexually transmitted disease, traumatized stressed out children grow up feeling unloved, they trade sex for affection, get venereal disease, HIV [human immunodeficiency virus]. So they get all these psychiatric problems. But in addition, the 6 percent that have four or more adverse childhood experiences have twice the rates of cancer, twice the rates of heart disease, four times the rate of lung disease 'cause they smoke, they drink, they overeat, they got more obesity. The problem is that's just looking at the deficit, you don't really study the people who have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences but are resilient and who have protective factors. And it turns out people are more resilient than they are weak. So I'm trying to flip the paradigm to a resiliency conversation and we're coming out with another Institute of Medicine report in 2008 which hopefully will do that. The Bush [President George Walker Bush] White House tried to have the New Freedom Commission report [President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health] come out which spoke about protective factors but they got shot down. So now we're trying again because other countries spend half as much money and have twice the healthcare and the wellness. This country spends tons of money and their healthcare is horrible so I'm trying to shift that paradigm. But Satcher [HistoryMaker Dr. David Satcher] was a part of that 'cause in his youth violence report ['Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General'], he came up with this notion, although we argue back and forth, he says it's my idea, I say it's his idea, that risk factors are not predictive factors 'cause of protective factors. The violence report shows that you cannot profile or tell that a child's gonna be violent despite everybody's kitchen table psychology, psychiatry. Oh, that kid's rotten, you know, first grade teachers, I can tell the bad kids. I know who they're gonna be. No, you can't. It's kitchen table psychology. It's not true, behavior is multi-determined and complex, you just can't do it.

Dr. Annelle B. Primm

Annelle Beneé Primm was born on January 26, 1956 in Geneva, Switzerland. Her mother was a music teacher and her father a physician. She lived in Switzerland until she was four years old while her father was attending medical school. After earning his medical degree, her father moved the family to his native New York. She grew up in the bedroom community of New Rochelle and graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1972.

Although she received an academic scholarship to the University of Virginia, Primm decided to attend Harvard-Radcliffe in Boston. She earned her bachelor's of arts degree in biology in 1976. Despite taking off the second semester of her junior year to help care for her mother who was dying of cancer, she graduated with her class. In 1980, Primm earned her medical degree from Howard University. After completing her residency in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, she earned her MPH degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1985.

While at Hopkins in 1985, she co-founded a program called COSTAR (Community Support Treatment and Rehabilitation), which provided in-home mental health treatment to patients. From 1985 until 1986, she worked as a psychiatrist at Provident Hospital in Baltimore. During this time she also worked as the director of the City Division of Springfield State Hospital, a Maryland psychiatric hospital. She also worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1980 until 2004. She held a variety of positions at Hopkins including, staff psychiatrist, associate professor and the Director of Community Psychiatry.

In 1999, Primm produced a videotape called Black and Blue that highlighted depression in the African American community and encouraged minorities to seek treatment for mental illness. In 2001, she produced Gray and Blue, which helps senior citizens recognize and treat depression.

Currently, Primm works as the Director of Minority and National Affairs for the American Psychiatric Association. She also maintains a small private practice and is a psychiatric consultant to On Our Own, a drop-in center for adults with mental illness. She is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the recipient of numerous awards for her work in community psychiatry.

She lives in Baltimore, Maryland her husband, Herbert, and daughter, India.

Accession Number

A2004.109

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/26/2004 |and| 9/22/2004

Last Name

Primm

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

New Rochelle High School

Johns Hopkins University

Isaac E Young Middle School

Radcliffe College

Howard University

First Name

Annelle

Birth City, State, Country

Geneva

HM ID

PRI03

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

Switzerland

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Psychiatrist Dr. Annelle B. Primm (1956 - ) served as Director of the City Division of Springfield State Hospital, a Maryland psychiatric hospital. Primm also held a variety of positions at Johns Hopkins, including staff psychiatrist, associate professor and the Director of Community Psychiatry.

Employment

CoStar Group, Inc.

Provident Hospital

Springfield State Hospital

Johns Hopkins Hospital

American Psychiatric Association

Delete

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Annelle B. Primm's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her ancestry and grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes childhood holidays and her mother teaching the children music

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her grade school experience in Huntington, New York and her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her elementary school teachers and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her religious education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm remembers her family's home in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her experience at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her aspiration to become a physician during her early teenage years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her experience at New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about New Rochelle, New York and her interest in Harvard-Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm remembers her University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia scholarship offer and her choice to attend Harvard-Radcliffe College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her life at Harvard-Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about her mother's struggle with breast cancer

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Annelle Primm talks about the black community at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm remembers coping with her mother's cancer and supporting her younger sisters

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes her experience at Howard University College of Medicine, her first experience at an all-black school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm explains how she chose to specialize in psychiatry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about COSTAR (Community Support Treatment and Rehabilitation) the first urban support program for the severely mentally ill

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about mental health disparities in the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm reflects on the stigma around mental illness in the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes 'Black and Blue,' her video-series on depression in the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about how collaboration between the religious and mental health communities can improve the quality of mental health services

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about needed changes in the African American community's relationship to therapy and psychiatry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes common mental illnesses in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about combatting stigma against mental healthcare in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm reflects on the cost of mental healthcare

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm talks about the state of the field of psychiatry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm gives advice about pursuing a mental health career as an African American

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Annelle B. Primm narrates her photographs, pt. 2

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DATape

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DATitle
Dr. Annelle B. Primm explains how she chose to specialize in psychiatry
Dr. Annelle B. Primm describes 'Black and Blue,' her video-series on depression in the African American community
Transcript
So while at Howard [University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.], what were you thinking--what type of doctor were you thinking you wanted to be?$$Initially, at Howard I thought I would be an OB/GYN physician [obstetrics and gynecology] and, you know, I just had this fascination with the birth process, but it was interesting when I did my rotation in obstetrics, every single one of the deliveries except for one was a cesarean section, and I was not big on surgery and knew I didn't want to do that, and so that turned me off, as well as the hours that, that obstetricians have to keep and, I guess, now, you know, with their malpractice being so high, I think I made the right choice. So--$$How did you make the decision about psychiatry?$$You know, I'd always loved psychiatry, my psychiatry courses in medical school, and enjoyed reading the psychiatry text and, you know, took them to bed with me as if they were a pleasure book compared to some of the other text that were really, really rough to get through. But the psychiatry was actually enjoyable, and when I did my psychiatry rotation at Walter Reed [National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland], I just loved it. I mean, it came naturally. I enjoyed, you know, listening to the patients, talking with them, understanding their life stories and some of the psychological challenges they were dealing with. But still, I did not choose psychiatry outright for residency. I was going to do flexible medicine or surgery, which would have given me a little more time to make a decision about what I would ultimately do. But what happened was--I mean, I'll tell you why that is, because really psychiatry at that time and maybe still now a little bit, has been a thought of as a second class specialty in medicine, and you know, people don't think you're a real doctor if you're a psychiatrist. And we had to apply for what is called the residency match which is really like a lottery where you make a list of the programs that you want to apply to and be considered for, and then you go around doing interviews and those programs in turn rank you according to how much they want you in their program, and a computer puts together the best match between your top choices and the different program top choices. I didn't apply for enough places, really, in order to get any match, and so on match day when everybody was finding out where they were going to be, I did not match and what that meant was that I needed to go meet with a dean and find out from the book of programs that did not match all of their spaces--where might I go? So this was an opportunity for me to choose psychiatry because in the sort of unmatched space book, there were many psychiatry residency programs that had openings. Some of the best programs; Harvard [Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts], Yale [School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut], Baylor [College of Medicine, Houston, Texas], et cetera; and Johns Hopkins [School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland] which had an opening, and I ended up talking to the director of residency training and my dean spoke on my behalf. They were impressed with me, and so I ended up going into psychiatry after all, which was really the best decision for me.$And one of the ways you're reaching the African American community is through a videotape series called 'Black and Blue.' Can you tell us a little bit about that and how it came about?$$Yes. 'Black and Blue: Depression in the African American community' grew out of my awareness of lack of awareness of depression as an illness in African Americans. I was fortunate to have some patients of mine who were willing to be filmed talking about their own personal experiences with depression as a syndrome, a cluster of symptoms, and I'd asked each of them about their experience with it, how it affected their mood, how it affected their sense of self, their self-esteem, and how it affected their sense of well-being. In the video, I also included a pastor--a Baptist pastor, who, you know, talked about the fact that it's important for people to seek health for their mental health needs, there's nothing wrong with that in God's eyes. So I think that because the people who spoke on the video have had depression, have experienced it, that there's a certain sincerity or genuineness that comes across to the person who's watching; whether they're African American or regardless of, ethnic or racial background. I think it really goes a long way to educating people regardless of their literacy level because, you know, we often hand out all these pamphlets and written materials that are often written at a level much higher than the level that the average person reads, which is supposedly sixth grade. So using videotapes for public education, and, in particular, public mental health education is really effective, and I've used it as a tool and, you know, many different environments; in churches, in schools, even to educate health professionals about, you know, when--examples of African Americans who have are experiencing mental illness.