Speaker’s topic: Identity, spirituality and mental health

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How do communities engage in conversations about mental health? How do people challenge the stigma around mental health struggles?

Tonya Armstrong, the recently elected president of the N.C. Psychological Association, will address these questions in her presentation at Barton College at 7 p.m. Thursday in Howard Chapel.

The title of her lecture is “Identity, Spirituality and Mental Health.” This program, which is a part of a series of events honoring Black History Month at Barton College, is open to the public at no charge, and community members are invited to attend.

“Dr. Tonya Armstrong brings a unique combination of expertise, experience and grace to vital conversations around spirituality, identity and mental and emotional health,” said Barton chaplain David Finnegan-Hosey.“I am keenly aware of how important these oft-stigmatized conversations are to the well being, not only of our students, but of our community as a whole. I know that Dr. Armstrong’s talk will offer important resources and encouragement for all of us as we work together for a healthy Wilson.”

Armstrong is the first African-American woman to lead the N.C. Psychological Association. In addition to her leadership role with the association, Armstrong is the founder and CEO of the Armstrong Center for Hope, a private group practice of multidisciplinary mental health professionals cultivating psychological and spiritual wellness for all ages in Durham.

She and her staff at the center focus on psychological assessment, individual, couple and family therapy, consulting and continuing education.

Having double-majored in psychology and music at Yale University, she completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus on child and adolescent issues. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center with primary rotations in pediatric psychology and family therapy and a National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Duke’s Center for Developmental Epidemiology.

Armstrong also holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from Duke Divinity School.