For Immediate Release
August 19, 2009
Contact Information

For Brookhaven Retreat
Rebecca Oppenheimer

(BPRW) Addressing Mental Health Disparities Among African-Americans

Gloria Sims, Brookhaven Retreat Alumna Says You Are Not Alone

(BLACK PR WIRE) (August 19, 2009) SEYMOUR, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to the Surgeon General, only one-third of Americans with a mental health problem seek treatment; the percentage of African Americans getting help is only half that of non-Hispanic whites.
The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that African Americans are disproportionately more likely to experience social circumstances that increase their chances of developing a mental illness and are less likely to receive diagnoses and treatments for their mental illnesses than Caucasian Americans.
Many African Americans, especially women, don’t seek treatment. It’s a tragedy that asking for help is looked down upon, said Jacqueline Dawes, owner and founder of Brookhaven Retreat. Beginning your path to sobriety actually demonstrates a great deal of strength, not weakness.

Gloria Sims was 18 when she started drinking. What started as a nightcap turned into brandy with her daily tea. I’d say the breaking point was at my high school reunion when I tripped and fell and sprained my ankle. It wasn’t the high heels - I blamed the concrete it was because I was drunk.
Gloria will be the featured in an upcoming episode of A&E’s Intervention during which her path to recovery at Brookhaven Retreat is documented.

I had never been to therapy before so I was pretty scared. Black women and the whole culture you just take care of your own problems, said Sims.
According to the 2008 National Healthcare Disparities Report, 8.3 percent of non-Hispanic black women under the age of 18 received mental health treatment in 2006, compared to 20 percent of non-Hispanic white women. In 1999, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated that 67.9% of black women reported ever using alcohol, while 45.1% reported use that year and 32.3% reported using alcohol in the past month.

I have a lot of support from my family and friends, but it was mainly Brookhaven. I gave everyone a hard time for the first 30 days, admitted Sims. I was in denial. Who wants to admit all that?
Today however, after 90 days of comprehensive treatment at Brookhaven Retreat, Gloria, 54, is a recovering alcoholic.

Says Gloria to African American women, Don’t be scared to get help; you’re not alone.
Gloria’s intervention episode will air Monday, Aug. 24 on A&E. For more information on Brookhaven Retreat and the importance of seeking treatment, visit or call 877-817-3422.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a unique, voluntary residential treatment facility specially designed to help women overcome emotional trauma or addiction challenges. The fully accredited and certified dual-diagnosis center is America's premier treatment center for emotional trauma and addiction and offers female-specific treatment. Brookhaven Retreat carries the Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval. Located on 48 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, it offers modern, holistic care with compassion and respect from a highly trained expert staff of licensed therapists, physicians, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. Visit for more information.