joe_armstrong.jpgMIAMI — (BLACK PR WIRE) — Amid recent reports of the connections between mental illness and large-scale acts of violence, black lawmakers from across the United States are convening at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ (NBCSL) 20th Annual Black Dialogue on Health, Oct. 11 in Indianapolis, to discuss solutions and partnerships to address depression in the African-American community.

This symposium will stream live from 9 a.m – 3:15 p.m. Online viewers can participate at

The caucus is a membership association representing more than 600 African-American state legislators hailing from 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

The symposium comes against the backdrop of Miriam Carey, a Connecticut woman believed by investigators to have been grappling with mental

illness and depression, being fatally shot by police Oct. 3 after a car chase from the White House to the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

This year’s NBCSL conference theme is Breaking Through Depression: What Causes it, What it Looks Like, What to Do About it. Organizers say the event will focus on such topics as

leveraging the Affordable Care Act to increase access to mental health services, dispelling myths about the causes and manifestations of depression among African Americans, and Building relationships with faith-based communities to address depression.

“Depression is a very disabling condition and has the potential to impact all areas of life,” said NBCSL President Joe Armstrong, a Tennessee state representative. “As state leaders we must come together with other stakeholders to develop effective solutions for our constituents.”