PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A new program is launching in Peoria to help address mental health needs. Leaders are calling it the Annie Malone Mental Health Initiative.

The initiative is focused on teaching trusted community partners how to identify mental health disorders. It will allow community members to refer individuals in low-income communities or communities of color to mental health services in the area.

The initiative is being led by James Agbara Bryson, the founder of the Annie Malone Center for Development.

“People of low-income or people of color have unique mental health needs that need to be addressed, and so it’s important to be trained to find out what those needs and things are,” Bryson said.

A mental health training is scheduled for August 19 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Peoria’s Carver Community Center.

“We wanted to make sure as the hub and as the heart of 61605, we were available to provide those mental health resources to people,” said Jacobie Proctor, executive director of George Washington Carver Association.

Bryson will conduct the training and said he has a background as a mental health therapist and years of community service.

You are asked to call 309-208-8778 if you’re interested in participating in the training. Bryson said he plans to host more training opportunities in the future.