Mental Health America Blog https://www.mhanational.org/ en I Finally Got my Bipolar Disorder Under Control and Then Started Experiencing Uncontrollable Movements https://www.mhanational.org/blog/i-finally-got-my-bipolar-disorder-under-control-and-then-started-experiencing-uncontrollable <span>I Finally Got my Bipolar Disorder Under Control and Then Started Experiencing Uncontrollable Movements</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/caleb-george-VL9ugqp_mko-unsplash.jpg" alt="Person looking out the window" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/19/2021 - 13:18</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 15, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Angi, Full-time child-care worker (last names have been omitted to protect identities)</em></p> <p>When I was in my early 20s, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but looking back, I definitely started showing symptoms in my teens.<sup>1</sup> It took me years and a lot of trial and error to find the right antipsychotic treatment regimen that worked for me, but then I started to experience the uncontrollable movements of tardive dyskinesia (TD).<sup>2</sup></p> <p><em>Learn about TD: <a href="https://mhanational.org/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia">https://mhanational.org/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia</a></em></p> <p>When&nbsp; I first started experiencing TD, I thought I had restless leg syndrome because my legs and hips would not stop moving.<sup>3 </sup>My hips would thrust uncontrollably, and I couldn’t sleep at night. During the day, the movements were so bad I couldn’t even sit down. Then TD started in my face – it caused twitching and long, involuntary blinking that would make me scrunch my face into a weird position. I felt very frustrated because I could not control what was happening to me!<sup>4</sup></p> <p>The TD movements were disruptive and embarrassing.<sup>5 </sup>I was self-conscious and thought people were staring at me when I left the house. My family and I didn’t know what to do, and I was becoming depressed.</p> <h4>My Diagnosis</h4> <p>Eventually, I found a psychiatrist who immediately recognized the uncontrollable movements in my legs and face as TD. This was the first time I had ever heard of TD, but it was comforting to know what I was going through was a medical condition.&nbsp;</p> <p>When my doctor wanted me to try a medication for TD, I was very hesitant. The thought of possibly changing my medications or adding another was scary. I didn’t want to take another medicine because I didn’t want anything to jeopardize the progress I’d made with my bipolar disorder. I put off treatment and told my family I would start taking medicine when the movements got worse.<sup>6</sup></p> <p><em>For more on TD visit: <a href="https://www.tardiveimpact.com/">https://www.tardiveimpact.com/</a> </em></p> <h4>My Treatment Journey</h4> <p>One day, my husband and sister sat me down and said it was time for me to consider treatment for my TD. It had been six months, and my TD was now impacting my life. I realized my family was right. After several conversations with my doctor and encouragement from my family, I decided to start TD treatment. Now I feel so much better, and my symptoms have improved.<sup>7 </sup>Luckily for me, I also didn’t have to make any changes to my current bipolar medication regimen. I have regained my confidence and don’t feel as embarrassed to go out anymore. With TD under more control, I have one less thing to worry about.</p> <p>Getting a mental health condition under control is tough, and TD symptoms can be frightening. To anyone currently living with a mental health condition and experiencing uncontrollable movements, I would encourage you to talk to a doctor. There may be treatment options available to help you.<sup>8</sup></p> <p><em>For more information about Tardive Dyskinesia and medications that may help, visit:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/what-tardive-dyskinesia/">What is tardive dyskinesia?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://screening.mhanational.org/content/how-do-you-treat-tardive-dyskinesia/?ref=45">How do you treat tardive dyskinesia?</a></em></li> <li><em>For more resources on TD visit <a href="https://www.tardiveimpact.com/">TDImpact.com</a></em></li> </ul> <hr /> <p class="MsoEndnoteText"><sup>1</sup>Bipolar Disorder in Teens: How to Spot the Signs and Symptoms. Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. <a href="https://www.houstonbehavioralhealth.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-teens-signs-symptoms">https://www.houstonbehavioralhealth.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-teens-signs-symptoms</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>2</sup>Tardive Dyskinesia. Medline Plus. <a href="https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000685.htm">https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000685.htm</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>3</sup>Warikoo N, Schwartz T, Citrome L. Tardive dyskinesia. In: Schwartz TL, Megna J, Topel ME, eds. Antipsychotic Drugs: Pharmacology, Side Effects and Abuse Prevention. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc; 2013:235-258. Accessed November 2019.</p> <p><sup>4</sup>Tardive dyskinesia (TD). Mind website. <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/tardive-dyskinesia-td/about-tardive-dyskinesia/">https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/tardive-dyskinesia-td/about-tardive-dyskinesia/</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>5</sup>Sharing the impact of tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. <a href="http://notalone.nami.org/post/97568253959/sharing-the-impact-of-tardive-dyskinesia">http://notalone.nami.org/post/97568253959/sharing-the-impact-of-tardive-dyskinesia</a>. Accessed November 2019</p> <p><sup>6</sup>Finding the Right Medication. International Bipolar Foundation. <a href="https://ibpf.org/articles/finding-the-right-medication/">https://ibpf.org/articles/finding-the-right-medication/</a>. Accessed August 2021.</p> <p><sup>7</sup>Tardive dyskinesia. Baylor College of Medicine website. <a href="https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/parkinsons/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia">https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/parkinsons/conditions/tardive-dyskinesia</a>. Accessed November 2019</p> <p><sup>8</sup>Tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. <a href="http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Tardive-Dyskinesia">http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Tardive-Dyskinesia</a>. Accessed December 2019.</p> <p class="text-align-right">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-right">TD-40888<br /> September 2021</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/tardive-dyskinesia" hreflang="en">tardive dyskinesia</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19689&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="fWMFQizwVND_apHVABZ0FZdvqVPlqwNXiw2q71jmySw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 19 Aug 2021 17:18:08 +0000 JCheang 19689 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/i-finally-got-my-bipolar-disorder-under-control-and-then-started-experiencing-uncontrollable#comments A Peer Organization Spotlight: Listen to Students With Psychosis https://www.mhanational.org/blog/peer-organization-spotlight-listen-students-psychosis <span>A Peer Organization Spotlight: Listen to Students With Psychosis</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-09/students%20with%20psychosis%20blog%20cover_0.PNG" alt="Students with psychosis logo on the left with an individual running their hands through their hair on the right." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/02/2021 - 17:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 13, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By&nbsp;Cecilia A. McGough (she/they), Executive Director, Students With Psychosis</em></p> <p>Psychosis is often left out of the mental conversation on college campuses. Often, the narrative is limited and excludes intersectional community members. The Child Mind Institute narrows "the peak onset [of psychosis to] between the ages of 15 and 25."<a href="https://childmind.org/article/first-episode-psychosis-early-treatment-critical/">[1]</a> This age range compares to reports from The Hamilton Project which found that the majority age group enrolled in public and private colleges and universities within the United States was 18-25. <a href="https://www.hamiltonproject.org/charts/age_distribution_of_undergraduate_students_by_type_of_institution">[2]</a> Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that people with psychosis are at a high risk of exposure to human rights violations. <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders">[3]</a> A global perspective of psychosis is thus essential. This helps create appropriate solutions, at both domestic and international levels.</p> <p>The need to assist college students living with psychosis is not a niche topic. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that about 100,000 adolescents and young adults will experience first-episode psychosis each year.<a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/raise/fact-sheet-first-episode-psychosis">[4]</a> This creates an overlap of the age of onset of psychosis with the challenges of going to college. It also shows the need to create solutions with and by those experiencing psychosis and college life. One such solution is the organization I lead, Students With Psychosis (SWP).</p> <p>SWP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers student leaders. We put students at the decision-making table. One hundred percent of our executive board members are current student leaders or recently graduated alumni. This approach to our board structure helps us reflect the community's needs better. It gives a voice and decision-making power to the community we serve. SWP is what the students decide we should be. We tackle issues the students find most prevalent.</p> <p>SWP started as a Pennsylvania State University college club in 2018 named "Students With Schizophrenia" and later rebranded to be more inclusive. At SWP students can be students, meet fellow peers, and not be prefaced by their diagnosis. We are changing the global narrative of psychosis by proving that a student-led community can organize and make their voices heard.</p> <p>The initial challenges that we faced early on were:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">Convincing others there is a need for a global nonprofit that assists college students living with psychosis.</li> <li aria-level="1">Advocating that SWP can and should be student-led with a lived experience perspective.</li> <li aria-level="1">Adapting, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to a virtual setting.</li> <li aria-level="1">Meeting the increased need for mental health support for college students.</li> </ul> <p>While we were faced with several challenges, we have had a great deal of success:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">In 2019, Students With Psychosis expanded outside the Pennsylvania State University.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">In April 2020 alone, our student leader program increased by 40% due to students being abruptly displaced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">Our virtual programming includes over 31+ hours of facilitated programs each week using Google Meets for video calls and Discord for text.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">Twice a day we hold hour-long live chats.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">We also stream monthly open mics on social media.</li> <li aria-level="1">We help meet the needs of intersectional community members through our LGBTQIA+ Group, BIPOC Group, and Comorbidity Group. We also allow ourselves to be held accountable for implementing inclusion and diversity.</li> <li aria-level="1">We are able to provide accessibility options such as live caption, auto-generated translations in German, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Mexico), and flexibility for persons attending (such as no requirement to turn on video or audio).</li> </ul> <p>At SWP, we continue to strengthen and expand these programs to be more inclusive and accessible. Feedback from our student-led team attests to the great work we are doing.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>“Students With Psychosis taught me that everyone is unique. Differences should not exclude people from getting the necessary resources to perform at their best. This organization has helped me address stigma in the workplace. It gave me the motivation to get the help and accommodations I needed at school and work. These accommodations help me balance living with psychosis.” - SWP Executive Board Secretary, Emeka Chima (United States)</em></p> <p><em>“I am inspired by this team daily and their passion for mental health activism. Students and staff here helped me a lot when I realized I was in the final stages of getting diagnosed with a genetic disability. It was a difficult moment for me, and this group became more than a support group: they were my extended family. Being an Executive Board member helped me decide on becoming a therapist after graduation.” - SWP Executive Board Nominations Sub-Committee Chair, Michelle J. (South Korea)</em></p> <p><em>"Students with lived experience of psychosis have so much they can teach us. They are experiencing psychosis for the first time and know firsthand how terrifying and lonely it can be. They understand what can help youth and individuals experiencing psychosis better than anyone. Students With Psychosis has already begun reshaping the conversation around psychosis. It has united students living with psychosis globally. This gives us a more powerful voice." - SWP Executive Board President, Shira Agam (Canada)</em></p> <p><em>“I joined this organization because I saw value in a community of peers. I saw beauty in a growing family, and I wanted to be a part of it. Joining SWP has been one of the most significant decisions of my life.&nbsp; We have become a family and a group of friends that I look forward to seeing every day. My friends here are the highlight of my day. This organization impacts my life. It has given me hope. It has allowed me to find my voice and encouraged me to be an advocate. It has promoted wellness and taught me to take care of myself better. There is value in a group of peers encouraging you in your similar journey. No one else understands the experience of psychosis -- except those living with it.” - SWP Executive Board Member, Aly Struble (United States)</em></p> <p><em>“After a year with this organization, I can say it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Monumentally, it has given me a family that understands me in a way that not many other people do. I can freely express my emotions and be myself around everybody, and I think the world needs more of that. SWP has helped me realize that living with mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Professionally, this organization has given me the confidence to take back my life.” - SWP Executive Board Member, Baileigh Renfrow (United States)</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Here are some ways you can get involved with Students With Psychosis:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">Student leaders can run for a leadership position in a community group. They can also apply to our virtual internship program. (SWP will work with your school so that you can receive college credit or fulfill an internship requirement).</li> <li aria-level="1">Student leaders can also join our advocacy program and ambassador program.</li> <li aria-level="1">Non-student leaders can also participate in our virtual internship program, advocacy program, and our ambassador program.&nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1">Follow Students With Psychosis on Facebook and Instagram @studentswithpsychosis.</li> <li aria-level="1">Donate to Students With Psychosis.</li> </ul> <p>Together, we can change the narrative of psychosis. Learn more by visiting<a href="http://www.sws.ngo/"> http://www.sws.ngo</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Cecilia McGough is a New York City-based mental health activist, nonprofit executive director, media consultant, and radio astronomer. McGough is autistic living with schizophrenia but does not let her diagnoses define her. McGough is the founder and executive director of the global nonprofit Students With Psychosis. Through multiple features, McGough's story has been viewed over 25+ million times across various platforms. McGough is an UNLEASH talent who traveled to Denmark in August of 2017 to be an active voice to attain the United Nations SDGs. McGough has been selected as the keynote speaker for the SIRS 2022 Congress in Florence, Italy. At 17, McGough co-discovered PSR J1930-1852 leading to opportunities such as helping represent the USA in the International Space Olympics in Russia and being a VASTS Scholar through NASA. McGough's story as a radio astronomer through the PSC can be seen in the documentary Little Green Men.&nbsp;</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/peers" hreflang="en">peers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/psychosis" hreflang="en">psychosis</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19719&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="H5hnSUgwO1DsrUMhpeIt2mY7OtnWSPsEmE6JfRYfb08"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 02 Sep 2021 21:08:08 +0000 JCheang 19719 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/peer-organization-spotlight-listen-students-psychosis#comments Making Mental Health a Centerpiece of the Return to School https://www.mhanational.org/blog/making-mental-health-centerpiece-return-school <span>Making Mental Health a Centerpiece of the Return to School</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pexels-gustavo-fring-4000622.jpg" alt="Woman walking daughter to school with face mask." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/31/2021 - 13:38</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 07, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Danna Mauch, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, and Sharon Shapiro, Trustee and Community Liaison for the Ruderman Family Foundation</em></p> <p>As the delta variant reignites deep concerns around COVID-19 and leaders have yet to settle on clear health protection protocols for schools, the upcoming school year is fraught with mental health-related sensitivities for a second straight year. Anxiety and depression, uncertainties about the future, grief related to loss, isolation, addiction, and other challenges mean that mental health must be a centerpiece of the return to school, not a footnote.</p> <p>The U.S. Department of Education has acted accordingly, releasing a <a href="https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-%E2%80%9Creturn-school-roadmap%E2%80%9D-support-students-schools-educators-and-communities-preparing-2021-2022-school-year">“Return to School Roadmap”</a> on August 2 as, in the department’s words, a “resource to support students, schools, educators, and communities as they prepare to return to safe, healthy, in-person learning this fall.”&nbsp;</p> <p>First, the administration has distributed $122 billion through the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund and recipients may use those resources to address many needs, including “the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of all students.” Part of this funding can be used to hire more counselors in schools.</p> <p>Second, amid the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on low-income communities, the administration has included mental health services within its plan to address the needs of students experiencing homelessness. It is important to recognize that social determinants of mental health related to economic security have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, such as rising rates of food insecurity (<a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/05/05/business/study-finds-hunger-massachusetts-isnt-subsiding/">reportedly doubled in Massachusetts</a>) and housing insecurity.&nbsp;</p> <p>It is incumbent upon schools and school systems nationwide to also center their approaches to the coming year around the issue of mental health. Essentially, students’ well-being means everything — why else do schools exist? This means that in addition to taking straightforward steps like using the federal and state funds at their disposal to hire more counselors and other personnel, schools need to determine sophisticated and strategic initiatives surrounding the all-encompassing issue of students’ mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.brooklinecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BRYT-Report-This-is-the-Time-to-Lead.pdf">“This is the Time to Lead with Mental Health and Equity in Mind,”</a> a recent report authored by the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health's BRYT&nbsp;program in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, provides a framework for such initiatives. Describing the pandemic as a “slow-moving collective trauma experience with both immediate and long-term implications for the mental health of students, parents, and school staff,” the report suggests a comprehensive approach to care for the well-being of the whole school community at different levels of need: universal, supplemental, and intensive.</p> <p>It has been difficult for school and district leaders to keep mental health and equity at the center of their work during the pandemic in light of real and perceived pressures around academics and COVID-19 prevention. Even in a pandemic, opportunities for transformation abound if we are willing to take them.</p> <p>Additionally, simply prescribing “self-care” is not effective as a solution to the current mental health crisis. Adults in school need time and support to engage in meaningful and sustained efforts to stay well — which is accomplished through districts and schools attending to collective care and personal connection among adults, who can then attend to the same needs among students.</p> <p>In terms of specific steps that prioritize mental health in the return to school, the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health and the Ruderman Family Foundation would recommend fostering connection with and among students; ensuring predictability to the greatest degree possible; enabling agency and decision-making on students’ part whenever possible; engaging all school personnel, not only counselors, as trusted sources of support for students; and modeling moderation in expectations, assignments, and assessments, including in educator workloads.</p> <p>Additional action steps could include creating an individualized approach for students, who are returning to the classroom from different places emotionally and academically; offering mental health support for families, not just students; and instituting new rituals and routines that support emotional needs.</p> <p>The delta variant has reminded us once again that COVID-19 is a long game and the return to school is no different. This could very well be the new normal for the start of each academic year for the foreseeable future. That is why schools must act now to institutionalize a more comprehensive approach to mental health, designing policies and practices that will benefit schools, students, and parents for years to come.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Danna Mauch, PhD is President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. Sharon Shapiro is a Trustee and Community Liaison for the Ruderman Family Foundation.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19704&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="Q5ruw5GefYCME2ihnwdthP6G9AAgcd67Mnz3bEMjSFY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 17:38:41 +0000 JCheang 19704 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/making-mental-health-centerpiece-return-school#comments What I Learned About My Child After a Year of Working From Home During Virtual Learning https://www.mhanational.org/blog/what-i-learned-about-my-child-after-year-working-home-during-virtual-learning <span>What I Learned About My Child After a Year of Working From Home During Virtual Learning</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pexels-monstera-5997311.jpg" alt="A girl and her mother looking at a laptop together" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/31/2021 - 11:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 03, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Jessica Howington, Senior Content Manager at FlexJobs</em></p> <p>When the pandemic hit, I was lucky to have already been established in a remote career. The transition to virtual learning, however, was an entirely new playing field for me and for my children.</p> <p>While it was stressful juggling my career, mom life, and my new role as assistant teacher, it also gave me insight into my children’s lives outside of our family. I got to see a number of things firsthand that, during a normal year, I would have missed. I saw how my children interacted with their teachers and peers, how they viewed daily successes and failures, how they engaged (or didn’t) with ideas and subjects, how they felt about the world’s events, and also, where they were struggling.</p> <p>By engaging with my children more closely in ways I hadn’t previously, I was able to pick up on nuances that allowed us to come together to explore feelings and struggles that otherwise may have continued to fly under the radar. These struggles included depression, anxiety, and ADHD.</p> <p>While I am no stranger to mental health challenges, the journey into coping with mental health challenges with my children was scary, and even a little sad. I hoped they’d never have to face those struggles. At the same time, it opened new areas of our awareness that I’m incredibly thankful for, and it also reshaped how we operate as a family.</p> <p>Of all the amazing things I learned about my children during virtual learning, these lessons stand out:</p> <p><strong>Their Souls Are Deep</strong></p> <p>As a parent, it’s easy to envision your kid as who you think they are, and jumbled by the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes get lost in who we think they are versus who they actually are. You get an entirely different perspective when you witness your children as who they are outside of family dynamics, especially when they’re in their zone.</p> <p>In watching my children over the past year, I saw that their core personality was still there, but their insight, thoughtfulness, and passion in the “outside world” was a wonder to see. It gave me tremendous hope and pride in the people they will become.</p> <p><strong>Kid Struggles Are Real</strong></p> <p>I’ve always been an advocate for holding space for kids and not demeaning them because they don’t have “adult problems.” I found out, though, that a lot of kids struggle with not being heard by their parents, and sometimes they’re outright ignored. This is particularly prevalent among the mid-to-late teen group.</p> <p>I’d encourage more parents to hold space for their kids, even when their issues don't seem like an issue to you. Simply be there. Ask, “What type of support do you need from me? Do you want me to listen or provide feedback? Or both?” Then…listen. If they want feedback or actionable help, provide it just like you would anyone else—without guilt, shame, or exasperation. Working together is a real game-changer for kids.</p> <p><strong>They Need Transparency</strong></p> <p>Stepping into the world of a diagnosed disability was new for our family. There was a lot of feedback on not oversharing with our child or letting their disability define who they are. I agree that it shouldn’t define who they are, but because it is ultimately a part of their life experience, I felt that understanding and accepting the disability would foster connection.</p> <p>I was entirely transparent with my child about their ADHD diagnosis, and it was a turning point. Suddenly, things fell into place that had once been such a struggle—feelings made sense, thought patterns were understood, and habits were formed to provide support.</p> <p>Kids are highly intuitive, and even when we think we’re doing the right thing as parents by shielding them, we’re not necessarily making the right choice. Kids pick up on things, and withholding certain information can make them feel confused or lied to. Alternatively, being open, honest, and transparent in an age-appropriate way helps them make sense of the world around them and lessens self-doubt.</p> <p><strong>They Want You</strong></p> <p>As a child, I was desperate for my mom’s acceptance, encouragement, and love—more so than I’d like to admit. With my children, I’ve been very intentional and have always strived to offer encouragement and to be open and accepting of their thoughts and ideas.</p> <p>What surprised me through the virtual learning year was how much that encouragement, acceptance, and love helped drive them. Even when they were happy and doing well, small gestures like a high-five, acknowledging that they’ve been working hard, or just giving them a hug further motivated them. Even my oldest child, a senior in high school, was boosted by an impromptu note, delivered snack, or simple check-in. It was a real wake-up call when I realized that, even when they say they don’t need you, they still want you just as they did when they were young.</p> <p><strong>They Know Who They Are</strong></p> <p>Often, our own hopes and visions for the future can impact our children. As parents, we want what is best for them, but we tend to focus on what we think is best. Despite our good intentions, they usually know what is best for them as an individual.</p> <p>Working from home with my children participating in virtual learning allowed all of us to flex our muscles in this area. We kept communication open and honest, but I stepped back. I spent the year allowing them to test-drive their own big decisions. When there were conflicts, we could discuss different options, but sometimes I had to let them make a mistake (even when it was excruciatingly hard). At the end of the day, though, they made decisions that were right for them, and when things went sideways, they learned how to get back on track.</p> <p>Virtual learning was a struggle for everyone involved, but I’m thankful for the time and perspective it gave me. And when I look back at these dark days we’re all living through, my heart will remember the time and insight I gained with my kids.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Jessica Howington is the Senior Content Manager for the award-winning site FlexJobs, where she strives to support those in search of flexible employment by providing job search information, tips, and insight into the employment world and flexible workplace.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/workplace-wellness" hreflang="en">workplace wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/covid19" hreflang="en">COVID19</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19701&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="XW6SyzkZ5yIC2-BptccBJWy-UTakYbI4MLkMl_Ag7Hc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 31 Aug 2021 15:34:20 +0000 JCheang 19701 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/what-i-learned-about-my-child-after-year-working-home-during-virtual-learning#comments Help Us Identify College Peer Support Programs https://www.mhanational.org/blog/help-us-identify-college-peer-support-programs <span>Help Us Identify College Peer Support Programs</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/PS%20in%20Higher%20Ed%20Photo.png" alt="Students talking" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/18/2021 - 15:38</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">August 23, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kelly Davis (Mental Health America), Mark Salzer (Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion), Amey Dettmer, Ryan Tempesco, and Matthew Federici, (Doors to Wellbeing)</em></p> <p>Mental Health America, <a href="https://www.doorstowellbeing.org/">Doors to Wellbeing</a>, and the <a href="http://www.tucollaborative.org/">Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion</a> want to learn more about campus peer support programs across the US!</p> <p>Peer support is essential to promote student well-being in higher education. Student leaders across the country are taking the lead in starting and sustaining peer support organizations to create more inclusive and accessible environments on their campuses. Through our new Peer Support in Higher Education Survey, we aim to better understand the current landscape of peer support programs on campuses and explore the strengths and challenges of student organizations.</p> <p>Through this survey, we will:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">Document the availability of peer support in higher education</li> <li aria-level="1">Identify the needs and experiences of students leading and accessing peer support programs</li> <li aria-level="1">Develop a national database of college peer support programs</li> </ul> <p class="text-align-center"><a class="btn btn-primary" href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PeerSupport_HigherEd">Complete the survey here</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>The survey closes on October 15, 2021.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth" hreflang="en">youth</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19688&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="-RJIi275VryEnCdkywZl6DEw5-u--xDEYtlnjRqilrU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 18 Aug 2021 19:38:03 +0000 JCheang 19688 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/help-us-identify-college-peer-support-programs#comments New MHA Report on Mental Health Disabilities in College https://www.mhanational.org/blog/new-mha-report-mental-health-disabilities-college <span>New MHA Report on Mental Health Disabilities in College</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pexels-monstera-6238120.jpg" alt="Group of students standing in a line." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/13/2021 - 10:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">August 17, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Kelly Davis, Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy at Mental Health America</em></p> <p>Despite growing attention to wellbeing and mental health conditions in higher education, conversations and recommendations often exclude students with mental health disabilities. Mental Health America’s (MHA) new report, <a href="https://mhanational.org/collegereport"><em>Supporting College Students: Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education</em></a>, highlights members of our most recent Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council (CMHIC) and documents challenges and opportunities for increasing accessibility in higher education.</p> <p>Recommendations for campuses include:</p> <ul> <li aria-level="1">Partnering with students to educate the campus community on mental health disabilities and accommodations</li> <li aria-level="1">Celebrating and educating students on disability culture and contributions through courses in disability studies and disability cultural centers</li> <li aria-level="1">Partnering with students with disabilities to train disability services staff to understand and develop appropriate accommodations</li> <li aria-level="1">Partnering with students with disabilities or disability services staff to provide navigation support during the disability accommodations process</li> <li aria-level="1">Creating alternatives to medical documentation of mental health disabilities due to structural barriers, like lack of health insurance or lack of diverse mental health professionals, that prevent many students from accessing mental health resources</li> <li aria-level="1">Training professors on mental health disabilities and accommodations, including how to support students requesting accommodations</li> </ul> <p>To read about barriers and opportunities to increase the accessibility of higher education for students with mental health disabilities and learn more about MHA’s CMHIC members, <a href="https://mhanational.org/collegereport">check out the full report</a>.</p> <p>Questions? Contact Kelly Davis at <a href="mailto:kdavis@mhanational.org">kdavis@mhanational.org</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/youth-mental-health" hreflang="en">youth mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19681&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="FaCao7d-oTkfZf0v1SMgpaNST4e-FAL5eZ1BRNJRc6g"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 13 Aug 2021 14:57:56 +0000 JCheang 19681 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/new-mha-report-mental-health-disabilities-college#comments No One Size Fits All: The Case for a Balanced Approach to Telehealth and In-Person Care https://www.mhanational.org/blog/no-one-size-fits-all-case-balanced-approach-telehealth-and-person-care <span>No One Size Fits All: The Case for a Balanced Approach to Telehealth and In-Person Care </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-08/pexels-anna-shvets-4225920.jpg" alt="Person talking on a video call with a healthcare worker in a mask." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/09/2021 - 13:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">August 10, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>By Leslie Lundt, M.D, Executive Medical Director at Neurocrine Biosciences</em></p> <p>Telehealth use <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2772537">rapidly increased</a> in the early months of the pandemic, fueled by an unprecedented expansion of coverage and reimbursement by health insurers. Because these changes were a response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, they were intended to be temporary. They may not stay temporary, however, as stakeholders, from government to health insurers, weigh whether and how to make the current flexibilities a permanent part of health care in the future.</p> <p>Today telehealth is at the center of health policy discussions, but many questions remain unanswered. Will the emerging research on telehealth and health outcomes align with public perceptions of telehealth? How will this research be used to inform the types of visits — in-person or virtual — people have with their doctors? And, fundamentally, do we have enough information even to determine which type of visit is best when choosing between telehealth and in-person care, particularly when it comes to mental health care? &nbsp;Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer and flexibility must be a central component of any path forward. As Congress and the Biden Administration examine which path to take, they should consider an approach that uses telehealth as an option that complements <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/29/opinion/virtual-remote-medicine-covid.html?searchResultPosition=1">— but is not a replacement for — in-person care</a>.</p> <p>Face-to-face visits should remain an essential part of health care for many people who benefit from being seen in-person by their doctor. This is especially true for diseases and disorders where physical exams are critical for screening, diagnosis and treatment. People with involuntary movement disorders, like <a href="https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/tardive-dyskinesia-information-page">tardive dyskinesia</a> (TD), fall into this group. TD is a condition usually caused by prolonged use of antipsychotic medications by those with serious mental illness. For people at high risk of TD, the American Psychiatric Association’s <a href="https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.books.9780890424841">guidelines</a> recommend physical screening for the condition occur <em>at least </em>every six months so that doctors can note even minor changes in movements.</p> <p>With telehealth, there are substantial limitations on a doctor’s <a href="https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/pcn/article/can-aims-exam-be-conducted-telepsychiatry">ability to conduct a thorough physical exam</a>: some changes may not be noticed over telehealth, where video quality or the inability to see a person’s full body can hinder a doctor’s evaluation.&nbsp;This means that the use of telehealth without periodic in-person appointments can lead to missed or inappropriate diagnosis, and potentially incorrect treatment. In fact, experts in the field of movement disorders argue <a href="https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mds.28297">telehealth is not a substitute for face-to-face visits</a>, but rather a helpful addition to clinical care.</p> <p>Clinical experts also note telehealth can impact a person’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7262488/">ability to provide a full medical history</a> and make it harder for people to form doctor-patient relationships that make care more empathetic and conversation more honest. Similarly, although many psychiatrists indicated they were “pleasantly surprised” they could meet a person’s needs via telehealth, the majority indicated a strong preference to <a href="https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.202000250">return to in-person care</a> following the pandemic for various reasons that include the need for privacy and building an effective doctor-patient relationship.<span style="font-size:11.0pt;line-height:107%; font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA"> </span></p> <p>The patient voice is a critically important part of the conversation about access to and quality of health care.&nbsp;A leading coalition for people living with chronic diseases argues the “appropriate use of telehealth services <a href="https://nationalhealthcouncil.org/nhc-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-comment-letter/">requires a balanced approach</a> and should be based on patient preferences, needs and goals.”&nbsp;These advocates also note telehealth should be used with, not instead of, face-to face visits, and patients and providers should together determine the best setting — virtual or in-person — to achieve health care goals.</p> <p>Where does this leave Congress and the Biden Administration? Clearly, post-pandemic telehealth policies must be flexible enough to support the unique needs of all people — those who may receive the care they need via telehealth, and those who need at least some in-person care. Telehealth policy should protect in-person visits as an essential part of health care moving forward, so everyone has access to care that meets their preferences and needs.</p> <p>***</p> <p>Leslie Lundt, M.D., is an internationally recognized clinician and educator in the neuropsychiatric field. She is board-certified in psychiatry and has over 30 years’ experience in active clinical and research practice. <em>Dr. Lundt is also Executive Medical Director at Neurocrine Biosciences.&nbsp; &nbsp;</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/policy" hreflang="en">policy</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19679&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="awGV6LWdw1AuLmpo13fF5HBu-kbXEpuhIjSXDyKm7GQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 09 Aug 2021 17:59:39 +0000 JCheang 19679 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/no-one-size-fits-all-case-balanced-approach-telehealth-and-person-care#comments Celebrating Bebe Moore Campbell https://www.mhanational.org/blog/celebrating-bebe-moore-campbell <span>Celebrating Bebe Moore Campbell</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-07/Photo%20of%20Bebe%20Moore%20Campbell.jpg" alt="Photo of Bebe Moore Campbell" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/29/2021 - 09:29</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">July 29, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>MHA's affiliates across the country make a big impact in their communities. Every affiliate is a unique organization providing programs that best serve community needs. Mental Health Connecticut is headquartered in West Hartford and serves the people of Connecticut.</em></p> <p><em>By Jacquilyn Davis, DEI &amp; Engagement Coordinator, Mental Health Connecticut, Inc.</em></p> <p>Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was formally recognized&nbsp; in 2008, thanks to the tireless advocacy of nearly 100 individuals who co-sponsored a Congressional resolution to bring awareness to the unique struggles minority communities face along their mental health journeys. Bebe spearheaded this movement and after she passed away in 2006, her fellow advocates took it forward to passage two years later. Bebe’s legacy is evident in the dedication of those who fought to create this month of awareness in her name and continue to celebrate and honor her lifetime of accomplishments.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mental health is something we all have in common. How we choose to care for our personal mental health and the options we have available for care are not things we all have in common. The cultural stigma, access to care, and availability of mental health resources create gaps in the system and they are some of the many reasons why Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. We must talk about these gaps, address them, and create a more equitable society to ensure everyone can care for their mental well-being, regardless of their racial identity.&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"><a href="https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Get-Involved/Raise-Awareness/Awareness-Events/National-Minority-Mental-Health-Awareness-Month/Posters,-Social-Media,-Stories-and-Resources/NAMI-Multicultural-Infographic.pdf"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/pyPq6ii9anae29IWenmxgMF41JuBwkSjaak9INLtGu_Cbc-DkpGhWChG7gy4VRcHZoEp-hJFyFbZ4t-yuCw2B2_EmfLAyZi9EB9TwCjAy90idlC6gCTUrMvy8ahLDmVdeg5qbLo" /></a></p> <p>Bebe was a phenomenal writer, speaker, teacher, and published author of plays, novels, articles, and children’s books. She was dedicated to mental health awareness and was a founding member of NAMI-Inglewood (now NAMI Urban Los Angeles). She was an advocate for minority mental health and openly spoke about the stigma minorities face when confronted with the decision to seek treatment for a mental health condition. She spoke of the unique barriers in minority communities and bravely addressed the fact that racism is trauma. As many are currently joining forces to declare racism a public health crisis, I wonder what role Bebe would play in seeing it become a national declaration.&nbsp;</p> <p>I’d like to think that Bebe would advocate for the <a href="https://pressley.house.gov/sites/pressley.house.gov/files/Anti-Racism%20in%20Public%20Health%20Act%20bill%20text.pdf">Anti-Racism in Public Health Act</a>, reintroduced in 2021 to create a National Center on Antiracism and Health at the CDC, create a law enforcement violence prevention program, and nationally declare racism as a public health crisis. If passed, funding would be available for research and data collection on the impact of racism on physical and mental health as well as anti-racist public health interventions.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bebe is remembered as a devoted advocate for minority mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans,” she said,“It is not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” She used her platform as a writer and her work with NAMI to spread messages of hope, resilience, and breaking the stigma within minority communities.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bebe’s legacy and commitment to minority mental health lives on in her published works. “72 Hour Hold” was a revolutionary novel that openly spoke about mental health struggles within the black community. While fiction, the story was based on her personal experiences with mental health conditions within her own family. “Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry” is a children’s book that shows how community care is utilized to help a young girl cope when her mother, who has bipolar disorder, is having difficult days.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Mental Health America, “Community care refers to ways in which communities of color have provided support to each other. This can include things such as mutual aid, peer support, and healing circles.” In the book, the young girl turns to her grandmother and friends for support. In Bebe’s dedication she states, “I dedicate this book to all children whose mommies struggle with mental illness, addiction, or both and pray that the village will support them.” An advocate and storyteller, Bebe used her talents to make a lasting impact on the mental health community.</p> <p>I personally admire Bebe’s sense of purpose and how she was able to motivate others to be better while also acknowledging that journey for herself. “As I grow older, part of my emotional survival plan must be to actively seek inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to find me.” Her words resonate with my own journey for improving my mental well-being.&nbsp;</p> <p>On this journey, I have been seeking my identifying traits that describe the mixed woman I am today. Born a minority in my community, I still identify with the word within the appropriate context. Being mixed, I am a minority. While Census data shows a shift in the once “minority” group becoming the “majority” in our lifetime, I don’t seem to fit within their guidelines of non-white vs. white. My Blackness, my Whiteness, my Native American ancestry all make up who I am.&nbsp;</p> <p>As far back as I can remember, I’ve been labeled, misidentified, forced into boxes, and told who I am by other people. “Your dad is Black so that makes you Black.” “Black on the outside, White on the inside – you’re an Oreo.” “Are you sure you’re not adopted?” “You’re Puerto Rican, right?” A wise man once told me that it’s not about what they call you, what matters is who you answer to.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a mixed woman I have struggled with the labels that place my identity against itself. I am not BIPOC, nor am I a person of the global majority. I am who Bebe was fighting for - a minority. I’m proud to honor and celebrate her month this July with a community that continues what she has fought for – bringing awareness to minority mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p>No matter how you identify, this month is for all of us to learn about each other’s unique mental health journeys. I encourage you to seek inspiration this month in the differences we have in approaching mental health care. For additional resources and information on Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, visit <a href="https://www.mhanational.org/BIPOC-mental-health-month">https://www.mhanational.org/BIPOC-mental-health-month</a> or the additional source links below.</p> <p><strong>Sources:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://paintedbrain.org/mental-health/bebe-moore-campbell-the-importance-of-her-legacy-in-2020/">https://paintedbrain.org/mental-health/bebe-moore-campbell-the-importance-of-her-legacy-in-2020/</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/24/dont-erase-bebe-moore-campbells-name-from-national-minority-mental-health-awareness-month/">https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/24/dont-erase-bebe-moore-campbells-name-from-national-minority-mental-health-awareness-month/</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/09/15/racism-public-health-crisis/">https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/09/15/racism-public-health-crisis/</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://pressley.house.gov/media/press-releases/pressley-warren-lee-reintroduce-bold-legislation-confront-structural-racism">https://pressley.house.gov/media/press-releases/pressley-warren-lee-reintroduce-bold-legislation-confront-structural-racism</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://www.brookings.edu/research/new-census-data-shows-the-nation-is-diversifying-even-faster-than-predicted/">https://www.brookings.edu/research/new-census-data-shows-the-nation-is-diversifying-even-faster-than-predicted/</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a4e6c4f8-9da1-4417-b958-ba8703cc14b8" height="206" src="/sites/default/files/jackie%20D%20PHOTO.JPG" width="150" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p style="line-height:1.295; margin-bottom:11px"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="text-decoration:none">Jacquilyn is a mission-driven individual with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She became the first DEI &amp; Engagement Coordinator at Mental Health Connecticut in 2021 though her journey into JEDI work has been a lifelong one. She has a passion for learning American history, practicing cultural humility, and is committed to being an antiracist. Jacquilyn lives in Portland, CT with her partner of 12 years. To connect with Jacquilyn on LinkedIn, visit: </span></span></span></span></span></span><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquilyn-davis-4007471a" style="text-decoration:none"><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#1155cc"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="text-decoration:underline"><span style="-webkit-text-decoration-skip:none"><span style="text-decoration-skip-ink:none">https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquilyn-davis-4007471a</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></a><span style="font-size:11pt; font-variant:normal; white-space:pre-wrap"><span style="font-family:Arial"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-weight:400"><span style="font-style:italic"><span style="text-decoration:none">.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/minority-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19669&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="1vGzNjrUzwDN87Qz_fdpj7mJAYTmSh_iv192fPGwSrk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 29 Jul 2021 13:29:03 +0000 JCheang 19669 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/celebrating-bebe-moore-campbell#comments Empowering Yourself and Your Community of Color https://www.mhanational.org/blog/empowering-yourself-and-your-community-color <span>Empowering Yourself and Your Community of Color</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-07/Free%20Stock%20Image%20From%20Unsplash.jpg" alt="Signs hung on a fence that read &quot;Don&#039;t Give Up,&quot; &quot;You Are Not Alone,&quot; and &quot;You Matter&quot;" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/28/2021 - 13:25</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">July 28, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Melanie Zhou</em></p> <p>Growing up, I’d often view my mental health as a burden to others. I felt shame when reaching out for help and when I did reach out for help, I was often dismissed by family and community members for being “weak” or “sensitive.” As a child of immigrants, how could I focus on my mental health when my family was struggling to survive in hostile environments where minority experiences are invalidated and the world expects us to fail?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To say the least, it feels overwhelming to make well-being a priority when coming from a community of color entrenched in deep stigma. The intergenerational traumas experienced by people of color have shaped rigid perceptions about mental health as a “personal responsibility” and about how it should be resolved. For example, Asian Americans deeply link personal success with familial success and <a href="https://adaa.org/find-help/by-demographics/asian-pacific-islanders">underreport mental health conditions</a> as compared to their white counterparts to “save face.” <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4279858/">One study</a> showed that 63% of Black people believe that a mental health condition is a sign of personal weakness. As a person of color, sometimes both the source of mental troubles and the barrier to getting help come from within a person’s own home.&nbsp;</p> <p>Although it may take a long time to recondition one’s cultural perspective of mental health, any person of color should be reminded that prioritizing their mental health is worthwhile. It is not shameful, it is not weak— it is courageous to take the first steps in preventing cycles of intergenerational trauma that further isolate you and members of your community.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are some suggestions for how to keep upright in environments that make mental wellness a challenge:&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Get involved in activism</strong><br /> Oftentimes, mental health issues in a community of color are related to institutional discrimination, stereotypes, and racial stigma. Promoting social equity promotes health more broadly. Getting involved in activism can often provide people of color a sense of agency. There is a sense of healing that comes from positively impacting yourself and your community. If your community is less occupied with feelings of inequity, you can begin addressing the mental health stigmas within your community and open the dialogue about mental health.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Reach out to other POC outside your immediate community that you trust to share your story</strong><br /> Sometimes, the people closest to you are not the people who are the most supportive of your story. Connecting with other POC outside your immediate communities may help validate many of the emotions and experiences you were taught to suppress. Other POC will often understand certain themes of your story and provide enough separation from the stigma in your community to offer support. For example, when I started university at a predominantly white institution, I found mental health support with other immigrant children who often did not come from the same culture as me. In general, it is important to find those who will give you space to exist without judgment. Having someone listen to your story without being dismissive can do wonders for your mental health.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1"><strong>Develop a sense of pride in your heritage and use that to approach conversations about mental health in your community&nbsp;</strong><br /> Older generations of color have most likely experienced instances of severe discriminatory treatment that have affected their health and their view of mental health. Asking older generations how they dealt with those feelings and how they envision people of color moving forward demonstrates respect for their lived experience. By initiating conversations about mental health from this common ground of respect, you can instill a sense of hope for tomorrow that will make members of your community more willing to change their perspective of mental health. Lack of mental health education often underpins the opinions of older persons of color. Engaging in a dialogue that acknowledges their past experiences and coping mechanisms while advocating for yours will create a safer space to move your community forward.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li aria-level="1"><strong>When seeking professional help, make sure you ask the right questions so that your provider is culturally competent and supportive of your experiences</strong><br /> Reaching out for help is extremely difficult. When you encounter a therapist that does not understand your struggles, generalizes them, or offers advice that defies cultural traditions that seem strange to them but are normal to you, mental health can feel like a meaningless journey. Communicating your needs as a person of color seeking help is extremely important when finding the right mental health professional. Here are a few questions that should help in connecting with a meaningful provider that can empathize with your racial and ethnic background:&nbsp; <ul> <li aria-level="1">How many patients have you treated from my background?</li> <li>Do you have any specialized training in treating individuals of my racial and ethnic identity?</li> <li>How do you think aspects of cultural identity may affect treatment and communication options with patients?</li> </ul> </li> </ol> <p>Your health matters. It is important. You are not alone on your journey. If you are struggling, there are <a href="https://www.massgeneral.org/psychiatry/guide-to-mental-health-resources/for-bipoc-mental-health#localresources">organizations</a> and <a href="https://www.diveinwell.com/">online wellness spaces</a> created by other people of color who will be there to support you.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 200px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="64aa8332-b27e-44d8-bff5-b3f679b19373" height="195" src="/sites/default/files/Melanie%20Headshot.jpg" width="130" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Melanie Zhou is a rising sophomore at Stanford University. Seeing a counselor 10 years after a traumatic childhood experience helped her recognize the need to destigmatize the mental health conversation. In the next few years, she hopes to see her nonprofit, <a href="https://www.oasismentalhealth.org/mission">Oasis</a>, expand to schools across Colorado while partnering with mental health programs that are proven to help students. She serves as the Youth Commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Community Service of Colorado.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/minority-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19667&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="Mijb5IgCnOWb4pwUzuwABzEilrKaRTKBSD23jS9CX2A"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 28 Jul 2021 17:25:59 +0000 JCheang 19667 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/empowering-yourself-and-your-community-color#comments Mental Health and Hip-Hop: An Undeniable Super Team for Healing & Wellness https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-and-hip-hop-undeniable-super-team-healing-wellness <span>Mental Health and Hip-Hop: An Undeniable Super Team for Healing &amp; Wellness</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2021-07/hip-hop-graffiti-wall-urban-art-39989949.jpg" alt="The words &quot;hip-hop&quot; written in graffiti on a wall." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/27/2021 - 10:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">July 27, 2021 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW, Owner of Mental-Hop&nbsp;</em></p> <p>Many people will read the title of this article and never consider the idea that mental health could be connected to the influential culture of hip-hop, creating an engaging approach to helping people impacted by mental health issues. Saying that the combination of mental health and hip-hop can be utilized in helping people really doesn’t do this unlikely combination justice because when paired together, they can accomplish so much more. The moment the hip-hop supergroup Dead Prez stated, “it’s bigger than hip-hop” on their single “Hip-Hop” released in 2000, it was clear that the culture I was introduced to at the age of eight was so much more than just music.</p> <p>My introduction to hip-hop started when my parents bought me my first boom box at the age of eight. I felt like the luckiest kid on my block because I finally had a way to listen to the music I loved so much. Hip-hop helped raise me. I loved that boom box so much, I put it on my bed and listened to DJ Red Alert, Mr. Magic/Marley Marl while falling asleep almost every night. The power of hip-hop and its impact on my mental health, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors was made very clear to me as a kid. As I listened to the music, I developed a sense of self, an understanding for language, and the ability to connect with others. Although I didn’t know what they were called back then, those pillars of hip-hop became a way of life for me. The legendary hip-hop MC, KRS-ONE proclaimed, “rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live” and I have been living hip-hop ever since.</p> <p>Hip-hop culture embodies five pillars that have made it the most influential movement of today. The pillars also make the connection between mental health and hip-hop much easier to understand. Hip-hop culture is founded on the MC (Mic Controller), the DJ, breakdancing, graffiti, and knowledge. These pillars are the foundational aspects of a culture that originated in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s. The hip-hop education scholar Dr. Christopher Emdin stated, “hip-hop was born out of the oppression” in the 1970s as a means for people to make sense of their environment but also provide the necessary healing spaces of an entire community. Many believe that the historical roots of hip-hop go back even further than its beginnings in the Bronx, and was birthed by the music, sounds, movements, and cultural/healing ceremonies in Africa.&nbsp;</p> <p>That’s right, from Africa to the Bronx, NY to the world, hip-hop is the number one genre of music on a global level. In 2018, Nielsen reported that for the first time in history, hip-hop surpassed rock to become the most popular genre of music. So it only makes sense that the number one genre of music and iconic culture called hip-hop teams up with the vital aspect of our overall functioning called mental health. Here’s where things get magical. The marriage between mental health and hip-hop, which I call Mental-Hop is one that only an Oscar award-winning writer could put together. Honestly, it’s so much more. I truly believe the pairing of mental health and hip-hop is divine and cosmic, which leads to its undeniable superpower to help people heal.</p> <p>I know, it sounds a little over-the-top but as I break down how the five pillars are aligned with mental health and wellness, things become strikingly clear. There’s nothing more original and innovative than hip-hop. It’s founded on authenticity, engagement, collaboration, and empowerment. As we seek to end the stigma and shame around mental health treatment, these aspects of hip-hop support and enhance our ability to demystify various aspects of mental health services and resources. Hip-hop artist Meek Mill recently stated, “we gotta find a way to make therapy cool for the black community.” His Instagram quote went on to receive numerous likes and reposts of support, which echoed the need to make one of the most recognizable aspects of mental health healing something engaging for a population of people that are not always afforded access to quality as well as culturally competent and sensitive mental health and wellness services. This is where hip-hop can take center stage. The pillars of hip-hop culture provide a practical and simplistic connection to mental health that can be easily understood but more importantly, impactful in helping people begin to take the lead in their healing and wellness journey. Let’s start the show, shall we?</p> <p><strong>The mental health &amp; hip-hop connection: the power is in the pillars</strong></p> <p><strong>Pillar #1: “The MC”</strong></p> <p>In hip-hop culture, the MC is the most recognizable aspect of hip-hop. The MC or the Mic Controller is the artist, creative, storyteller, rapper, poet, and writer that so eloquently expresses thoughts through words. Not only are the words important but the voice of the MC takes listeners on a sonic ride of thoughts, feelings, and ideas. An MC can dig deep into the depths of their souls and release feelings around a diverse group of topics--their childhood memories, relationships, partying, life’s journeys, and more. It gets even more compelling when you hear MCs speak of chronic community violence, trauma, social injustice, or battling depression. Hip-hop has not only been a way of those often unheard to have a voice, it has become a way for those experiencing some of the harshest realities in our society to cope, heal, and try to make sense of it all. Mental health is essentially the same in the way that treating those impacted by mental illness provides an opportunity to help people cope, heal, and make sense of it all to function at their optimal level. We can utilize the same skills and abilities that our favorite MCs use so effectively to empower those who are struggling with mental health conditions. Those struggling also deserve a voice that is heard, appreciated, and supported. Just like those of your favorite MCs. We can encourage people to share their stories through words in a marble notebook like MCs often use or by using their voices in therapy sessions, group counseling spaces, or just hanging out with friends. The MC just gets it out. There is power in releasing the feelings and thoughts we have inside. There is a heaviness that is lifted when a person shares their pain, perspective, and success. Not only is it liberating for the MC or person expressing those feelings, but it’s also empowering and inspiring for the listener. We need more MCs in mental health. Let’s call them Mental Health Creatives (MCs), people who are empowered to share, speak, and heal with the same courage as an MC who must take the stage and rock the mic. It’s scary of course but it’s so liberating and healing at the same time. Hip-hop culture is about acceptance and connection. Mental health should be the same. When paired together, nothing can stop an MC, Mic Controller or Mental Health Creative, from basking in the spotlight.</p> <p><strong>Pillar #2: “The DJ”</strong></p> <p>The music that sets the mood, creates the vibe, and activates the energy is all engineered by the DJ. The DJ stands for Disc Jockey but in hip-hop we refer to this person as the crowd controller. The DJ has a great responsibility in hip-hop culture. Some may say the DJ is the most important pillar in hip-hop culture because of their power to play the music and sounds that touch our ears. Hip-hop has always been mood music. The DJ can select certain songs to totally impact the mood of a room or even an entire arena. If a DJ wants the crowd to get more active, they may throw on “Where My Dogs At?” by the late, great DMX. If we are in a space of reflecting on relationships with our mothers, a DJ wouldn’t hesitate to play “Dear Mama” by the iconic Tupac Shakur. If we are talking resilience and going from surviving to thriving, then “Juicy” from The Notorious BIG is all we need. The bottom line is the DJ can move us into different emotional states with ease, which is part of the reason music is often utilized as a coping tool for those experiencing any type of mental or emotional distress. People recognize the power and ability that hip-hop has to impact their mood in a positive way and essentially become their personal DJs. Whether in the car, a bedroom, school, or at the office. People are putting on their favorite songs and taking their pain away. Nothing supports this more than the invention of the playlist. The playlist allows someone to access a group of songs categorized by mood, genre, emotional state, location, or whatever title they decide to give it. There’s freedom and power in choice. The DJ’s playlist is very personal and is kind of like a personal music coping list for someone to utilize when going through a difficult time. We may choose songs for relatability, which is why we may throw on the angriest hip-hop song when we’re feeling angry. Maybe listening to that sad hip-hop song helps us to see that we are not alone when it comes to grieving or depression. It can be that motivational and inspiring hip-hop song that lifts our moods and restores hope for us on our healing journey. Music is powerful and having the ability to choose songs that can help us get through difficult times is empowering. Hip-hop DJs are a great example of how mental health can utilize the power of music. Take a day and create your personal mood-elevating playlist. Remember there’s power in choice. It’s your turn to change the mood and create the vibe.</p> <p><strong>Pillar #3: “Breakdancing”</strong></p> <p>The pillar known as breakdancing is an art form like nothing anyone has ever seen. Also known as breaking, this style of dance is where many of today’s viral Instagram and TikTok posts originated. Breaking encompasses a level of technical ability, rhythm, athleticism, and style. It is movement and the physical aspect of hip-hop culture that birthed so many dance crazes, movements, and even global competitions. The authenticity and rawness of breaking has been captured in movies throughout history, whether you’re talking about the legendary hip-hop films, “Breakin’” or “Beat Street,” both released in 1984. Breakdancing has a historical significance in our society because it birthed many of the dance competitions we see on TV and in movies today. Breaking also makes for a great connection to mental health and wellness. That is the idea of physical movement and its positive impact on our mental health. According to an article by the American Psychological Association (2011, APA), physical activity positively impacts mood, can alleviate chronic depression, and generally makes us feel good. I am in no way suggesting that someone with serious mental illness start spinning on their head or doing 360-degree windmill spins on the ground, but there is something to the idea of combining movement and a healthy wellness regimen. The idea of movement and music together make for a sound combination of tools to utilize for anyone who is treating a mental illness or anyone who is focused on their mental health. Breaking is intense but it has always been about feeling good. It’s only right that we find more spaces to get people moving again, just like the breakers did in the 1970s to dance away their pain, to party, and to feel good.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Pillar #4: “Graffiti”</strong></p> <p>That’s right, the spray-painted walls, buildings, and trains were often criticized and have been recognized as a meaningful art form. Graffiti has always been just that for us hip-hop heads. It was another form of expression, communication, and exploration of identity. Graffiti artists are the geniuses that birthed paintings, logos, CD covers, and print illustrations. Utilizing spray paint, graffiti artists would tag (spray paint) their names, images, and work on buildings throughout the Bronx, NY and beyond in the 1970s. Hip-hop artist Fat Joe, who hails from the Bronx, NY, has spoken numerous times about the impact graffiti has had on his life. In 2012, the legendary Bronx rapper stopped at the home of another famous hip-hop artist, Lil Wayne, to show off his graffiti skills. Both artists celebrated the work by showing it to the public on social media. Graffiti is the epitome of self-expression and creativity, which are both essential aspects of healing and wellness. Sigmund Freud, who some have referred to as the father of psychology, stated, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Graffiti was utilized by many to express emotions in healthy ways. It was done not only to avoid uglier days but to highlight the beauty that exists in all of us. Although criticized and outlawed in the past, graffiti has gained global acceptance as a highly recognizable art form. Many therapists, practitioners, and mental health advocates encourage those they serve to explore their creative outlets. Whether it’s painting or coloring that a person chooses to participate in for creative stimulation, that same release is synonymous with the feeling graffiti artists of the past experienced in those artistic spaces of the 70s. Mental health needs more art and art needs mental health. Both create the spaces for people to self-express, grow, and heal.</p> <p><strong>Pillar #5: “Knowledge”</strong></p> <p>The Hip-Hop culture pillar of knowledge is so important in making the connection between hip-hop and mental health. When I created the Mental-Hop Program in 2017, it was really born out of this idea to utilize the influential power of hip-hop to engage, educate, and empower young people around the importance of mental health. It’s that knowledge or information, which allows for a greater understanding of mental health and wellness. By educating people about the historical significance of hip-hop culture and its origins, we can bring people closer to a greater understanding of mental health and its importance for our daily functioning. The pillar of knowledge allows us to take hip-hop culture into spaces of academia, therapy, politics, community service, and more. All with the goal of helping people feel better, improving their experiences, restoring families, and helping communities heal. Hip-hop culture was born in the streets of the Bronx, NY but it was too powerful to stay in one place. Its global influence makes it an essential resource for educating people about the importance of mental health, healing, and wellness. Hip-hop knowledge is engaging, which decreases stigma and shame because it’s founded on connecting. It’s organically inviting due to authenticity and practicality. You don’t need much to live in this culture called hip-hop. All that’s asked is that you respect it and stay true to it. It sounds like the same request we have for mental health--respect the importance of it and stay true to creating more spaces for people to cope, heal, and grow when addressing their mental health.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mental health and hip-hop culture are the super-friends we need for today. When they team up, their reach is undeniable. Whether it’s reaching marginalized groups whose voices around mental health issues are seldom heard or highly stigmatized groups like Black and Brown men who may suffer from a lack of emotionally safe spaces to express their feelings, hip-hop culture provides an engaging opportunity to begin to heal. Hip-hop culture is the inviting door of a safe house called mental health.</p> <hr /> <table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width: 200px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="text-align-center"><img alt="" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5770f4b6-e55f-408e-a28e-070d4609c07b" height="209" src="/sites/default/files/Dr.%20Sconiers%20headshot.jpg" width="175" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Dr. Randolph D. Sconiers, DSW, LCSW (Dr. S) is a Doctor of Social Work and a NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Dr. Sconiers is a mental health therapist in private practice with over 20 years of experience in mental health therapy, mental health education, and advocacy. As a mental health therapist, Dr. Sconiers has been featured in The Huffington Post, been recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and has appeared numerous times on NYC’s Hot97/Fox5’s Street Soldiers Show with Lisa Evers for his work in the areas of mental health and hip-hop culture! Dr. Sconiers is the Owner and Creator of Mental-Hop, which focuses on mental health education through hip-hop culture. Mental-Hop partners with various organizations including New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice Commission and Simon Youth Academy of New Jersey to educate young people through his Mental-Hop Symposiums. Dr. Sconiers is also an Adjunct Professor for the Graduate School of Social Work at Kean University in Union, New Jersey.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/mental-wellness" hreflang="en">mental wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/minority-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19666&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="9UyYNWSFF_PsFKTrn5dtC8r37KPbyOWIhiRv2xAN1Vo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 27 Jul 2021 14:58:16 +0000 JCheang 19666 at https://www.mhanational.org https://www.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-and-hip-hop-undeniable-super-team-healing-wellness#comments