African American Older Adults and COVID-19: Addressing Mental Health Needs, Supporting Strength

The primary issues explored during this webinar will be: (1) prevalent mental health concerns of older African Americans (OAA) during the pandemic: depression, anxiety, race related stress, PTSD, escalating dementia symptoms, social isolation, grief, mourning, (2) tips and strategies for aging and health service providers in their work with OAA: normalizing psychological symptoms, building upon existing resilience, coping skills to help manage emotional distress, health promoting behaviors and self-care (3) the OAA perspective: caring for oneself while supporting one’s community.

This webinar is sponsored by APA Office on Aging and the National Caucus & Center for Black Aging.


  • Brian Smedley, APA Chief of Psychology in the Public Interest and Acting Chief Diversity Officer
  • Deborah DiGilio, MPH is the Director of the American Psychological Association Office on Aging
  • Angela Boddie, Director of Health Programs for the National Caucus & Center for Black Aging

Guest Speakers:

  • Vonetta Dotson, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Gerontology at Georgia State University, Senior Project Scientist at NASA (KBR), and Founder and President of CerebroFit Integrated Brain Health
  • Frances Adomako is a current Counseling Psychology PhD candidate at Howard University who was recently awarded an APA Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Angela Telesford (Job Counselor Trainee, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), National Caucus & Center on Black Aging, Inc.) assists older adults to find employment opportunities and build skills, self-confidence and lifelong learning