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Digital Recording

Suicide in Historically Marginalized Communities: Perception Versus Reality

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Victor Armstrong, MSW, BS
1 Hour 05 Minutes
Audio and Video
Sep 09, 2021
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Digital Recording
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There is myth in the Black community that Black people don't die by suicide and that acknowledging mental health challenges, like anxiety and depression, are signs of moral weakness. In this recording, Victor Armstrong will discuss the stigma around mental health and suicide among those in historically marginalized communities. He will discuss and uncover historical challenges of these communities, emphasizing Black men, in accessing care for mental health.  He will discuss the way that perception and provider bias influence mental health access and suicidality among Black men.



This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Victor Armstrong, MSW, BS's Profile

Victor Armstrong, MSW, BS Related seminars and products

Victor Armstrong joined North Carolina DHHS as Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, and Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Prior to accepting this role, Victor spent six years as Vice President of Behavioral Health with Atrium Health. Based in Charlotte, NC, Victor had responsibility for operations of Atrium's largest behavioral health hospital, Behavioral Health Charlotte (BHC). The BHC campus contains the southeast’s only psychiatric emergency department, staffed 24/7 with board-certified psychiatrists, as well as 66 inpatient beds, and 10 outpatient programs. Victor has over 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals living with mental illness.

Victor currently serves on the board of directors for American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) of NC, and United Suicide Survivors International. He is also former board chair of NAMI NC, and member of National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Victor is a former member of the board of directors of National Council for Behavioral Health, i2i Center for Integrative Health, and RI International.

Victor's awards and recognitions include Mental Health America's 2021 H. Keith Brunnemer, Jr. Award for "Outstanding Mental Health Leadership", 2019 Black Mental Health Symposium - Mental Health Advocate of the Year, 2019 Atrium Health Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award, 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from East Carolina University School of Social Work, Pride Magazine 2018 "Best of the Best", and i2i Center for Integrative Health 2018 Innovation Award for "Whole Person Care", 2012 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NC, Mental Health Professional of the Year.

Victor graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor's degree in Business Management and received a Master of Social Work (MSW) from East Carolina University. He is the husband of Dr. Charletta Armstrong and the father of 3 sons, Carter, Alonzo, and Victor Jr.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Victor Armstrong is the director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services (DMHDDAS). He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Victor Armstrong is a member of the American Association of Suicidology; and the National Association of Social Workers.  



  1. Appraise the historical biases in the structure of mental health services affecting the Black community.
  2. Investigate the impact of clinician biases on therapist-client interactions.
  3. Create enhanced rapport and empathy through decreasing clinician biases.


  • Over and exploration of the impact of complex trauma and systemic racism on mental health outcomes for Black men.
  • How to appraise and manage the impact of clinician’s own biases on therapist-client interactions.

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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