Mental Health Monday #12: Acts of self-care, soothing stressed babies, navigating academia as an anxious Black woman, etc.

HOWDY.  Welcome to Mental Health Monday, your weekly shindig dedicated to mental and emotional wellness and other vital information for your everyday life. When/if the week get's wack, think of these joyful, dancing-ass babies from Mr. Sorto's Kindergarten class in Washington, D.C. and smile or something. You're welcome.

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS

“Just pray about it” - Ignoring mental health is killing black youth" by Artemis Faye [Afropunk]

"As soon as I entered the program I was made immediately aware that I did not fit the standard profile of someone who was “supposed” to have an eating disorder- not only was I the only woman of color in the program, but I struggled with group therapy because I honestly had a completely different life and struggles from my white peers. How could I, a poor black girl from Atlanta who could barely afford the treatment I needed, relate to a room full of upper middle class white women? How could I properly address generational trauma while staying silent about the issues that affected me solely for being a black woman? By the end of the program, I had felt so ostracized that I ended up leaving against medical advice."

"Babies need extreme comfort to overcome the damaging effects of stress" by Daniel Keating [Salon]

"When a baby signals that something is amiss, it matters if the need is met fairly promptly, at least most of the time. This doesn’t mean being at the infant’s beck and call at every moment of the day or night, but it does mean that distress should lead to soothing in a reasonably predictable way for the baby. Why is it significant that a baby’s needs be met when he lets you know he’s unhappy? After all, if feeding, changing, and soothing are happening—regardless of whether this is happening at just the moment the baby is demanding it—shouldn’t that be nurturing enough?"

"35 Acts of Self-Care You Should Try" by Genese Jamilah [I Don't Do Clubs]

1. Take a solo vacation
2. Buy yourself flowers
3. Forgive yourself
4. Read a self-help or empowerment book
5. Clean out your closet and donate to charity
6. Take a yoga class

"4 Changes in My Morning Routine That Indicate Depression Is Back" by Miranda Nichole [The Mighty]

"1. Same amount of time for less.

I used to really enjoy my morning routine. I used to think of it as my “me time,” first thing in the morning before my boyfriend wakes up and before the responsibilities of the day meet me on the other side of our apartment door. I would wake up three hours before I needed to leave the house for class, allowing time for exercise (usually yoga), a shower, time to get my thick hair in order, put on my face, eat breakfast, get dressed and pack my bag for the day. Those three hours gave me time to do so much and now it takes that same amount to do far less."

"I’m A Black Psychotherapist And We Need More Of Us" by Tanay Hudson [Madame Noire]

"As one of the few Black therapists at the mental health clinic in East Harlem, I see firsthand the major shortage of Black therapists. Mental health services are important, and having therapists that look like the clients they serve is just as crucial. During my years in the field, I have encountered Black and brown clients who have disclosed to me that they did not feel comfortable with their white therapists. Having people of color work with this population, especially young Black youth, is important. Not only do they need to see positive images of Blacks in their communities, they need to feel understood by someone who is helping them as they face adversities that are race-related."

"Resources for Self-Harm and Thoughts of Suicide" [Just Jasmine]

"We all have moments of feeling the impulse to escape whatever pain we are experiencing. Please use the resource below to support yourself when you or loved ones are experiencing feelings of suicide or a desire for self-harm."

"After ‘shutting down’ his emotions for 20 years, Prince Harry needed therapy to deal with Diana’s death" [The Telegraph]

"Prince Harry has revealed that he sought counselling after enduring two years of “total chaos” while still struggling in his late twenties to come to terms with the death of his mother.

The Prince says in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that he “shut down all his emotions” for almost two decades after losing his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, despite his brother, Prince William, trying to persuade him to seek help."

"Mental Illness Is On The Rise But Access To Care Keeps Dwindling" by Lindsay Holmes [Huffington Post]

"Researchers from NYU’s Langone Medical Center analyzed almost a decade’s worth of data and found that more than 8.3 million Americans ― or an estimated 3.4 percent of the adult population ― suffers from a serious mental health issue. The latest data is a departure from previous reports on the CDC’s survey, which estimated that fewer than 3 percent of American adults experienced serious psychological distress, according to the study’s authors."

"Autism and Me: What I’ve Learned in the Year Since My Diagnosis" by Laura Charleston [The Mighty]

"April is an incredible month; besides the fact the weather is becoming warmer, it’s also Autism Awareness Month. This is the first Autism Awareness Month I have ever participated in, and it feels amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that Autism Awareness should occur every day, every month, but it’s refreshing to know that there is a dedicated month for autism and Autistic people.

It’s approaching a year that I was diagnosed with autism, and what a year it’s been, with learning more about myself as a person, attending support groups and learning how to be more independent. Without forgetting to mention the incredible people I’ve met and had the privilege of working with, including my lovely support worker, and the lessons I have learned in terms of myself, other people and life."

"For Anxious Black Women Navigating Academia" by Cara Thompson [Huffington Post]

"It is looking around a full lecture theatre and realising you are the only black face; it is the way in which the line between your seminar tutor’s constructive criticism and condescending quips becomes increasingly blurred; it is the elation you feel as you find a class on nation and identity, only to find the syllabus sails no further than the Irish Sea. It is the exaggerated raise of eyebrows in silent surprise at “just how articulate you are!” It is remembering the boasts of diversity and inclusion you had once signed up for, and realising just how violently you have been let down."

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View the rest of our mental health content here.

Mental Health Monday #11: Online Therapy, The ABCs of Mental Illness, Motherhood with Mental Illness, and more

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly source of goodness to help you get your mojo back and/or learn more about mental and emotional wellness and other vital information for your everyday life. 

Caption: "Me fighting depression and anxiety everyday"

Also, too, happy birthday to Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds" (58), Q-Tip (47), and Orlando Jones (49) and their graceful aging. Shoutout to melanin.

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS

"A Black Woman's Depression Story" by Porscha Coleman [She Knows]

"I was a young black woman, unemployed, needing help with my mental health. Any of these things would have been difficult, but the combination was beyond description, beyond my comprehension. I was raised in a household with a strong matriarch. My grandmother, a community activist and volunteer, worked tirelessly for children and senior citizens. My mother, a woman with more than 20 years employed with the federal government, was a volunteer in her own right. This was not supposed to be me. I was not supposed to need help with the act of coping."

"blank pages are safe... (anxiety poem)" by Alise Leslie [In My Mental Mind]

"Hi. Hello. Howdy.  How’s it going?

If that’s okay to say

Sometimes I mess up salutations

I mean occasionally I am good at hellos

But I  seem to be extra proficient at goodbyes

Yeah, I am really good at goodbyes.

Farewells are my specialty

Loss is pervasive, I got lots of practice."

via Instagram (Sonaksha)

via Instagram (Sonaksha)

"This Bengaluru artist's series on mental health is taking down taboos one alphabet at a time by Monalisa Das [The News Minute]

"A is for Anxiety disorder, which cannot be wished away and can actually get worse over time. 

B is for Bipolar disorder, that causes unusual manic episodes and does not mean temper tantrums.

C is for Cotard delusion, a rare mental condition where a person believes that they are dead."

"Online Therapy Necessary To Address Growing Mental Health Burden" by Kate Kelland [Huffington Post]

"A “massive and growing” mental health burden across the world can only be tackled successfully with a major expansion of online psychiatric resources such as virtual clinics and web-based psychotherapies, specialists said on Tuesday.

With resources tight and the global mental health system only serving around 10 percent of patients even now, specialists speaking at the European Congress on Psychiatry (ECP) said the web is the only option for significant extra treatment capacity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week mental disorders ― in particular depression ― are now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide."

"Facts about Mental Illness in America" [Job Loving]

"People With Mental Illnesses Reveal How Depression, Anxiety, and Anorexia Can Make Them Seem Rude" by Kashmira Gander [Independent UK]

"From depression to anxiety, mental health issues are often painted as invisible illnesses, that aren't noticeable like a broken bone or a cut to the skin. Instead, the person silently battles against themselves behind closed doors. 

But people who suffer from mental illness know that their conditions can indeed affect those around them. At times, symptoms like racing thoughts, paranoia and rock-bottom self-worth can make a person behave out of character. Sometimes, they can just come off as rude. And because of the stigma attached to mental illness, people can feel afraid to admit that they are acting up because their health is suffering."

"Do You Zone Out? Procrastinate? Might Be Adult ADHD" [NPR]

"Do you pop up from your seat during meetings and finish other people's sentences? And maybe you also procrastinate, or find yourself zoning out in the middle of one-on-one conversations?

It's possible you have adult ADHD.

Six simple questions can reliably identify adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a World Health Organization advisory group working with two additional psychiatrists."

"The impacts of parenting on mothers struggling with mental health issues" by Fiona Pepper [Australian Broadcasting Co]

"Parenting is stressful at the best of times, but what if you're struggling with a mental illness?

Anne Buist, professor of women's mental health at the University of Melbourne, said we were struggling to support women with severe mental health issues.

"Maternal suicide is actually the leading cause of maternal deaths," she said.

"We've managed to treat infections, we've improved our ability to bring blood pressure down, but we are still battling to get on top of these really serious mental health problems.""

RESOURCES

Veterans and Active Duty Info (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Veteran Resource Locator

Resources for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Abuse (National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse)

 

Mental Health Monday #10: Perks of Self-Examination, Emotional Benefits of Baking, Life with Bipolar Disorder, etc.

And hello. Welcome to another edition of Mental Health Monday. There's much to be jolly about. As April unfolds and springtime finally decides to evict ol hateful-ass winter from the premises, coconut oil and shea butter rained from the sky on today as Barack and Michelle Obama's post-presidential glow up continues. Hoards of folks rejoiced at the sight of Lady Michelle Obama's natural hurr, further demonstrating the benefits their newfound freedom and peace of mind, along with Barack's new well-rested zaddy-with-popping-tax-returns steelo. And Auntie Maxine shows no sign of giving the Tangerine Terrorist a break. Joy.

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS

"Black Mental Health: Jared shares his story on being diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder"  [Bianca Hughes

"How These Psychologists Are Prioritizing Mental Health Care For Black America" by Zahara Hill [Huffington Post

"In December, they began uploading videos to YouTube as part of a series titled “Our Mental Health Minute.” The series, targeted toward black audiences, serves as a quick and relatable mental health resource, particularly for those seeking some form of consultation but hindered by the stigmatization of mental health care. 

Anderson said the pair set out with three goals: to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care in the black community, heighten mental health literacy and provide access to mental health resources."

"Black Student-Athlete Summit raises awareness about mental health" by Maya A. Jones [The Undefeated

""A common point all panelists stressed was urging coaches to be more involved in the personal lives of their athletes. Whether it’s prescription drug use or anxiety attacks, panelists believe coaches and training staffs should be more equipped and proactive when looking for signs of mental distress.

“When you have coaches who also understand the importance of a player’s mental and emotional health, that helps because when the students see the coaches saying, ‘OK, you need to get some extra assistance,’ they’re more likely to want to do it,” Brackette said. “There’s a need to raise awareness and talk about mental health the same way we do physical health.”"

"How These Black Millennial Women Are Dealing With Depression" by Ezinne Mgbeahuruike [BET]

"What caused you to realize you were depressed?
I started baking a lot. My roommates would yell at me because we had more bowls in the house and it then that I realized I might have been depressed. I used baking as a coping mechanism.

What was your depression like?
My depression was deep and dark. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Every step literally felt like it was too heavy. I was always looking down when I walked, my body was constantly slouched, my energy was completely off. I lost my appetite, I didn’t feel like working out, I truly felt miserable."

"25 Cheat Sheets For Taking Care Of Yourself Like A Damn Adult" by Anna Borges [Buzzfeed]

"How Self-Examination And Self-Awareness Can Change Your Year" by Arielle Gray [Blavity]

"Last year asked a lot of questions.

The beginning of 2016 had me entrapped in a maelstrom of depression, identity crises & loneliness. I was almost 25 years old with absolutely no clue what I was doing with my life nor did I have any idea of what I wanted to do with it. Fresh out of a breakup, I was trying to form this newborn identity without the presence of my ex while reconciling with the harsh truth that I simply did not possess the drive or motivation to do things for myself."

"What Bipolar Disorder Really Feels Like" by Sarah Klein [Huffington Post]

"Bipolar disorder is vastly different from the normal ups and downs of everyday life, but many have co-opted the term to refer to any old change in thoughts or feelings. The mood swings in someone with bipolar disorder, sometimes also called manic depression, can damage relationships and hurt job performance. It has been estimated that anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once.

Artist Ellen Forney detailed her diagnosis with bipolar disorder in the graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. Forney previously shared her story with us, specifically detailing how her bipolar disorder has affected her creative work."

"Psychologists Explain The Benefits Of Baking For Other People" by Julie R. Thomson [Huffington Post]

"Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression,” associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, Donna Pincus, told HuffPost. “There’s a lot of literature for connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing. Whether it’s painting or it’s making music [or baking], there is a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”

Stress is related to a host of mental and physical problems, and finding ways to cope with that stress is important for leading a healthy life."

Are you a Black mental health professional? Do you do yoga, reiki, massage therapy, herbology, bootcamps, or crystal work? Alex is building a database of Black wellness professionals and practitioners. Be a pal and submit your info to be included in the directory.

Have a mental health-related article, video, event, or resource we should know about? Send it our way!

Mental Health Monday #9: Hip-Hop Therapy, Studying PTSD in Black Women, and Self-Care Amidst Black Intellectual Labor

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS

"Started From the Blog, Now We’re Here: The Black Snob’s Danielle Belton Triumphs Over Mental Illness" [The Root]

"How Hip-Hop Therapy Is Helping Young Rappers Improve Their Mental Health" by Imade Nibokun [LA Weekly]

"Imagine a world where every MC who needed psychological support could write rhymes with a mental health care professional. Artists could talk with a trained hip-hop therapist to explore the emotional depth of their words. That's the idea behind the Hip Hop Therapy Global Institute, an organization founded by Bay Area social entrepreneur Tomás Alvarez III.

Alvarez began developing hip-hop therapy at Oakland youth-outreach organization Beats Rhymes and Life, which he co-founded in 2004. The organization's aim is to address what Alvarez saw as a gap between the privileged training and personal history of many mental health professionals and the lives of the disadvantaged young people they were attempting to treat."

"PTSD in black women needs attention, study of South Side group says" by Grace Wong [Chicago Tribune]

"Nortasha Stingley doesn't remember a lot about the weeks after her 19-year-old daughter was shot and killed nearly four years ago. All she could do was cry. All she wanted to do was scream.

After Stingley lost 40 pounds in a matter of weeks, her sister finally took her to see a doctor, and she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder."

"Therapists often discriminate against black and poor patients, study finds" by Carina Storrs [CNN]

"The current study found that therapists' response rate was low in general, with only 44% returning the call. In many cases, the therapist left a message saying he or she did not have availability: Only 15% of inquiries resulted in a therapist offering an appointment time.

Therapists were less likely to call back if the clients sounded black and working-class. Only 34% of black working-class individuals got a call back, compared with 49% of black middle-class and 51% of white middle-class individuals."

"On The Realities Of Being A Black Woman With Borderline Personality Disorder" by Christina Pungong [The Fader]

"I’ve never seen my mother cry. When I was younger I came to the conclusion that she was cold, but with time I realized this simply wasn’t true. I know my mother is emotional: I’ve seen her joyful, I’ve seen her furious, I’ve seen her excited and scared and even sad, I’ve just never seen her cry. I later grew up to understand that we live in a world that doesn’t grant black women vulnerability — and that black women everywhere suffer for it immeasurably. It is for this exact reason that I couldn’t admit to myself that I was ill for a very long time. "

"'Hi Stranger' Is A Weird, Relaxing And Life-Affirming Video You Need To Watch Right This Second" [Digg]

"The Busier You Are, The More Quiet Time You Need" by Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz [Harvard Business Review]

"In a recent interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates argued that serious thinkers and writers should get off Twitter.

It wasn’t a critique of the 140-character medium or even the quality of the social media discourse in the age of fake news.

It was a call to get beyond the noise.

For Coates, generating good ideas and quality work products requires something all too rare in modern life: quiet."

"Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction: This Brilliant Animated Video Will Change Your View on Drugs Forever" by Sofo Archon [The Unbounded Spirit]

"Most people think that the reason why people become addicted to drugs is solely because of the drugs themselves. This, however, is far from the truth, as shown repeatedly by scientific studies on drug addiction."

"Self-Care and Black Intellectual Labor" by Claire Garcia [Black Perspectives]

"What does it take to produce black intellectual work? How do we ensure our own well-being within an institutional framework that has historically undervalued the contributions of men and women of African descent? What strategies must we utilize so that we can sustain satisfying careers in the Academy while maintaining our own health and sanity? These are critical questions that black scholars should be considering."

Are you a Black mental health professional? Do you do yoga, reiki, massage therapy, herbology, bootcamps, or crystal work? Alex is building a database of Black wellness professionals and practitioners. Be a pal and submit your info to be included in the directory.

Have a mental health-related article, video, event, or resource we should know about? Send it our way!

The 5 Scariest Black Movie Villains (According to Shawn)

Brothas and sistas, today I’m going to share with you the top five scariest niggas in Hollywood films. 

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Honorable Mention: "Georgina" (Betty Gabriel), Get Out. Every time this sista appeared I got scared as shit. She had to be wearing the white Curry nurse shoes because her sneak up creep game was on swole. I love my mama with all my aorta, left and right ventricle, but if I would have seen that crazy maid out on the street, after hitting her, I would’ve put the car in reverse, hit her again and then peeled out on her devilish soul. Straight up.

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5. "Mr. Simms" (Clarence Williams III), Tales from the Hood. Look, I was already scared of this negro when he played Prince’s father in Purple Rain, but in Tales from the Hood? NIIIIIGAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!??? Voodoo dolls, a serpent tongue coming out of gap teeth, AND him having a casket on display in his living room? He was like the Ghost of Negro Past showing you all of your future fears.

4. "The Puppet Master," The Wiz. The muthafucka had his own creepy theme music. “Booo di-boo di-boooo dip” Bitch, you sang the song didn’t you? This dude would just appear out of nowhere. Ole dusty-ass capri-pants-and dirty-Timberland-ass nigrah with a tray of death ready to kill niggas. When they met Dorothy and the gang in the subway and those orange bouncy thangs blew up, I was scared as fuck. “Boo di booo dip booo dip!”

3. "Brandi" (Lynn Whitfield), A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. “Crazy women have the best p****” – Something every young black boy’s crazy uncle says. Look, Lynn Whitfield is FINE, but she scared the shit out of me in this movie. Michael Myers? Freddy? Chucky? Punk shit because ain't NOTHING scarier than an educated, “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T if you know what I mean” sista who got her heart broken. She stabbed her own birthday cake and beat her own face?? BREH!!!! As Martin Lawrence said in his standup, “CRAAAAAZZY. DERRAAAAAAANGED!”

2. "Candyman" (Tony Todd), Candyman. First off, this movie was racist as fuck and played into white people’s fears. A big Black man from Chicago chasing white women. If THAT’S not the most “1915 Birth of a Nation” BS I’ve ever seen. Then they had the audacity to give this n**ga a hook and a chest full of killer bees? It’s like he was a mutant Wu-Tang member or something. AND he lived in Cabrini Greens rocking a Mink?

1. The Pigmy Doll, Trilogy of Terror. As a little boy, I watched this bullshit with my older sister and didn’t sleep for weeks. Lights on woke as a Hotep after reading The Isis Papers & seeing The Matrix. This little nigga was wilder than Bushwick Bill gone off Everclear. He chased that white woman all through the apartment screaming and shit. He couldn’t be drowned or smothered. She put his ass in the stove and he busted out. Just typing and thinking of dude made a squirt of pee shoot out of my loins. I once shared my fear of this movie to an ex-girlfriend and the heffa thought it would be funny to buy me a look-a-like doll and give it to me for Christmas...she got called ALLLLLLLLLLL out her name. I put Jesus on the shelf and that doll in the incinerator that day. I still ignore her Facebook friend requests.

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Shawn William is lyrically handsome & probably much taller than ya baby's father.  Addicted to Blistex, French toast & drama. Once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.

Favorite movie quote: "Shorty can't eat no books, dog." More Shawn: Web | Twitter | Facebook

Mental Health Monday #8: Aja Naomi King's Self-Doubt, Muppets with Autism, and Navigating Mental Breakdowns

Oh, hey. Welcome to Spring. In case you were thinking about starting the week off on a mediocre note, meet Sidney Keys III, an eleven-year-old avid reader who started a book club for Black boys to celebrate their love of reading and focus on Black literature. He called it Books N Bros, naturally. There's still time to get your life together. 

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS

Aja Naomi King, who plays Michaela on ABC's How To Get Away With Murder, gave a powerful, memorable speech about self-doubt, strength, and survival at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala. She preached a good sermon. Behold:

"B. Smith's husband, Dan Gasby, speaks about living with wife's Alzheimer's" by Jenny Drabble [Winston-Salem Journal]

"Smith, 67, began suffering from memory problems years before her diagnosis, her husband said. She once froze for several seconds while being interviewed on the “Today Show,” unprecedented for the experienced star, prompting a doctor’s visit.

Doctors gave Smith a prescription for anti-depressants; later tests revealed Smith had early onset Alzheimer’s."

"Black, 30, and Finally in Therapy" by Danielle Butler [Very Smart Brothas]

"It wasn’t until I had a late night discussion with a close friend where he tearfully revealed he’d seen a therapist and had been diagnosed with depression, that I entertained perhaps seeking professional help for my mental well being. Of course I didn’t think that I was as sick as my friend, when he asked if his diagnosis surprised me I responded in typical “Of course I knew, nigga I’m glad you caught up” Danielle fashion. “Oh yeah, of course not, I had always said you would benefit from therapy, with what you’ve been through? Of course a diagnosis of depression makes sense. I’m proud of you for finally taking care of yourself.”"

"With Joyful Photos, a 19-Year-Old Artist Confronts Media Bias Against Black Male Teens" by Antwaun Sargent [VICE]

"The revelation lead Loftin to create HOODED, a photo and video project that deconstructs stereotypes of black teenage boys. In the project's images, Four White Teens and Four Black Teens, Loftin displays against poppy backdrops two screen grabs of google images results, each displaying visually the staggering differences in search results. HOODED focuses primarily on the hoodie, an article of clothing which, when it's associated with the black male body, is tied to white racial fantasies of black males as "thugs" and "super predators," and assumptions that they are dangerous."

"Patton Oswalt Explains How Pop Culture Gets Grieving All Wrong" by Ari Shapiro [NPR]

"One thing that I've learned since what happened to me happened is: You don't know the kind of pain and loss other people may have gone through — even close friends and acquaintances. ... In really awful science fiction terms it is like putting on the sunglasses in They Live and then seeing the world for what it really is. Do you know what I mean? Obviously I knew there was loss and death and depression, but you can only sympathize so far until it directly happens to you."

Youtuber Kymara opened up about her mental breakdown, what caused it, and how she's recovered from that low moment.

"New Baltimore wellness center works to reduce stigma of mental illness" by Andrea K. McDaniels [Baltimore Sun]

"Simon Life and Wellness also offers an art therapy room, music therapy and yoga classes. Adult clients can take healthy-cooking classes and children learn to make YouTube videos. There is a game room where kids can play foosball and board games.

The different activities create opportunities to address mental illness in ways that go beyond just talking, Simon said."

"Self-Care + Entrepreneurship" [Crown of Courage]

"Cry Baby Cry: I used to shed buffalo sized tears from the insults, the stress, and the let downs that came with running my own organization. Not even going to lie, I tried to act like it didn’t phase me. I tricked myself into believing that I needed to be tough if I was going to make it in this dog-eat-dog world. I used to be ashamed to cry. It made me feel weak. My blessing came when I realized crying is not a weakness. It is a release. You can only hold so much negativity and at some point you just have to release it. So, cry your big heart out. I promise it is okay."

photo: AP

photo: AP

"A Muppet with autism to be welcomed soon on 'Sesame Street'" by Frazier Moore [Associated Press]

"Developing Julia and all the other components of this campaign has required years of consultation with organizations, experts and families within the autism community, according to Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop's senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact.

"In the U.S., one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder," she says. "We wanted to promote a better understanding and reduce the stigma often found around these children. We're modeling the way both children and adults can look at autism from a strength-based perspective: finding things that all children share.""

Our most recent mental health-centered episode, "You Good, Man?" (featuring Nickolas Gaines).

Are you a Black mental health professional? Do you do yoga, reiki, massage therapy, herbology, bootcamps, or crystal work? Alex is building a database of Black wellness professionals and practitioners. Be a pal and submit your info to be included in the directory.

Have a mental health-related article, video, event, or resource we should know about? Send it our way!