Pics|Video: Sam Mwaura/Samrack Media
UHAI SEMINAR:Time to Speak Up and Out; breaking the silence (Photos/Video)
It was an afternoon of community dialogue and a moment of engaging in honest conversations to
address real issues that our community more often silently hold on to, shy off, or are reluctant to
A session facilitated by Dr Stem, a native of Zimbabwe is a life coach, motivational speaker,
teen-parent expert and a licensed psychotherapist.
Dr Stem was the guest speaker at an event
hosted by UHAI,
held in Worcester,Massachusetts.
The event offered an engaging platform to dialogue successful and productive conversations on
parenting, mental health and addressing family conflict.
Dr Stem remarks regarding the glaring need of addressing mental health care in our community
Her tagline for the event was “choosing life” than suffer in silence.
It was heartwarming to see participants engage in a participatory approach identifying with
issues that seriously undermine the core fabric of the family and community.
Mental Health is often misunderstood as a personal failing or moral failing.
There’s a general tendency of
reluctance to show that one is hurting because of attached stigma that causes unnecessary fear,
shame and embarrassment and can present a significant barrier to enabling people achieve
Dr Stem message encouraged our community to seek treatment and focus
Dr Stem platform of discussion, psycho-education, open conversation and
encouraging advocacy hoped to create a more compassionate community, where we see the
person not the illness.
Issues on culture, shifting roles, conflict and parenting were also addressed in the context of how
care givers are dealing with these issues while wrestling with the challenges of negotiating
cultural identities that reflect African ethnic and American realities. Realistic and age appropriate
parenting strategies of addressing teen issues and barriers to healthy and effective
communication were addressed.
Dr Stem encouraged care givers and all participants the need to
creating time to sit and talk as a family noting that some parents work long hours and children
are busy with school, and yet it is an essential ingredient to good parent-child relationships that
can successfully weather the difficulties of balancing two cultures in one household.
It is no secret the postmodern cultural reality predisposes families to working around the clock
and lack of clear balance can undermine the family stability. Children academic and social
expectations can be affected.
Dr Stem articulated the need for individual self-care, advocacy and
navigating the system to be acquainted with resources and services available.
Uhai for Health Inc
. is a non profit organization that was founded in 2010 in Worcester Massachusetts. Uhai is a Swahili word of Life and hence our aim is to improve the lives of the marginalized African population both in Worcester and in Kenya through health education and promotion, research, screening and referral.
According to research, immigrant populations are vulnerable to health disparities and they disproportionately suffer from many serious diseases while experiencing significant worse health outcomes.
World Health Organization report stated that Africa’s health problems are getting worse especially the rise of chronic and life style diseases. Disease screening, patient education and referral for follow up can improve the health of the poor and marginalized populations that may otherwise have little or no access to healthcare.
Dr Stem poses for a photo with UHAI President Jane Kimani.Pic Sam Mwaura/Samrack Media
She is a strong advocate with a record of community healthcare outreach and education services within the African community in Worcester, Massachusetts. Jane is a Worcester State University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education and Masters in Education, with a concentration in Health Education. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and has facilitated numerous Health Education workshops locally and in Africa.
Jane is actively involved in Massachusetts Refugees Health and Assessment Program (RHAP) and is dedicated in improving health and wellness of the disadvantaged in the community, while promoting civic engagement.
Currently Jane works at Cornerstone Healthcare Systems. Jane believes that open communication, a strong vision, team work and collaboration are the critical tools in serving and ensuring wellbeing of a community.