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February 16, 2022

Trone, Underwood Discuss Black Health and Wellness in Honor of Black History Month


February 16, 2022

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, 

Trone, Underwood Discuss Black Health and Wellness in Honor of Black History Month

Rep. Trone, Rep. Underwood, and Rhonda Kaalund discuss racial health disparities during a “Trone Talk” for Black History Month. You can watch the full video here

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In recognition of Black History Month, Congressman David Trone (MD-06) hosted a “Trone Talk” with Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Rhonda Kaalund, Senior Employee Assistance Counselor in the House Office of Employee Assistance, on Black health and wellness in America. During the conversation, the group discussed the need to address health care inequality, improve mental health education, and break the stigma surrounding mental health treatment in Black communities.

To watch the full video, click here.

“We are facing a mental health crisis among our nation’s youth, and Black children are particularly at risk. Studies have shown that Black children under the age of 13 are dying by suicide at rates two-times higher than their white peers,” Congressman Trone said. “These statistics are horrifying. We must take action to bring resources to these communities, and I’m eager to get the job done alongside my colleague Congresswoman Underwood.”

“In our country, Black birthing people are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts — and for every death, we have 70 near misses… There are so many of us who have experienced the loss of a mother, sister, partner, cousin, girlfriend, or a church member,” Congresswoman Underwood said. “The majority of these deaths are preventable. This is a disparity that’s been around my entire lifetime, and we’ve not seen widespread, widescale federal action to save moms’ lives.”

“In order to get more people to take advantage of mental health services, we have to really go where minorities are and normalize getting help when needed, and assist people with understanding that getting mental health services early on can prevent more severe problems,” Rhonda Kaalund, Senior Employee Assistance Counselor said.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.