Health equity is reached when everyone can achieve their full health potential, and no one is “disadvantaged” from achieving this potential because of socioeconomic class or other socially determined circumstances. Health inequities can be seen in differences in life span, quality of life, disease rates, disability, death, illness severity, and access to treatment.

The Brain Health Center for African Americans is a collaborative hub centered on the following:

• Educating and motivating health care providers who serve African Americans and other minorities
• Making available to the Black population culturally tailored brain health messages and resources
• Providing community partners and policymakers with public health information on disparities in brain health


Faith & Healthy Aging Network (BFHAN) is an initiative of the Brain Health Center for African Americans. The incubated initiative strengthens and supports urban and rural African American faith leaders and communities in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.


The Balm In Gilead has designed this awareness and educational campaign in collaboration with Janssen Neuroscience, Mental Health America of Central Carolinas, i2i Center for Integrative Health, and Empower East through the Community Health Equity Alliance.

The Balm In Gilead will provide training and technical assistance through Breaking the Chains of Mental Health Inequity.

The purpose of Breaking the Chains of Mental Health Inequity is to bring attention to the tremendous burden that mental illness is having on the Black community. Breaking the Chains of Mental Health Inequity will utilize the power and influence of the Black pulpit to bring awareness and to distribute the facts about mental health and illness; encourage collaborations and partnerships with local community-based organizations, mental health providers, and other key stakeholders; and to provide resources to local congregations to support people living with mental illness and their families.


Memory Sunday is an annual campaign held on the second Sunday of June that encourages all congregations to provide education and resource materials on Alzheimer’s prevention, treatment, research, and caregiver support.

The purpose of Memory Sunday is to bring national and local attention to the tremendous effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the African American community. The Balm In Gilead’s Brain Health Center for African Americans (BHCAA) incorporates the influence of African American churches to deliver educational information about ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia and provide support to people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.