KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee Library teamed up with the Beck Cultural Exchange Center to host an event to help people better understand mental health in the Black community.

The event centered around how people can engage in mental health and showcased the exhibit Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health, which walks through the history of the nation’s response to mental health and those who pioneered mental health policies.

The exhibit was sponsored by the National Library of Medicine to spark conversations about mental health and healthy coping mechanisms.

The event is the first of three to be hosted by UT Libraries. The second event focuses on mental health for UT students and scholars internationally, and the third focuses on the LGBTQIA+ community.

Melanie Dixson, head of health and wellness at UT Libraries said the event “really talks about how our country has moved from previously custodial forms of treatment to more inclusive forms of treatment and the progress we can take from there.”

Dixson also hoped the event would be an educational experience.

“One of the things that we hope comes out of this evening is that our attendees can learn more about different medical and mental health providers that are in the area, learn some different techniques of how to manage different mental health issues and just really come away with a greater understanding,” Dixson said.

The event was free and open to the community and featured guest speakers, vendors, and free health screenings for those who attended.

The display for the National Library of Medicine’s Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health exhibition will be on display at the Hodges Library through December 2.