Mental Health Monday #13: Black female therapists, PTSD in veterans-turned-cops, balancing grief and bipolar, etc.

Self-care tip of the week: Dive into the new Netflix series, Dear White People, which, by all accounts, is 431% better than the movie.

Good evening, good folks and Fyre Festival refugees. Welcome to May or whatever. I write these words while out in the mean streets of Nueva York, wearing a short-sleeved shirt. My coat has been banished to the back of the closet and the sweat pants and skort sets and jelly sandals hath returned. Glory callaloo. 

In addition to the return of basketball short season, May means the arrival of Children's Mental Health Week, Lupus Awareness Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month. It's a party. We'll continue our weekly supply mental health resources and reading materials. And we'll be talking to some wonderful, brave folks about their journeys with mental and emotional wellness and self-care.

Also, if you are or know a Black mental health professional, a reiki/fitness/yoga/swimming/massage superhero, or know of a resource or agency that provides relevant (support for substance abuse, survivors of domestic violence, housing, etc.) services, Alex is compiling a mental health and wellness hub for Black folks and you should check out this form right here to see how you can help.


In an extremely candid interview with 60 Minutes Australia, singer, author, and new mom Kelly Rowland opened up about motherhood, losing her mother shortly after becoming a new mother, self-confidence, and healing.

And here is part two of the interview.

"Therapy on a bench: the grandmas beating mental illness in Harare" by Ekaterina OchagaviaJosh Strauss, Cynthia Matonhodze and Claudine Spera [The Guardian]

"One in four people in Zimbabwe experiences mental health problems but there are only 13 psychiatrists in the country. To help plug the gap, Dixon Chibanda has developed a scheme to train an army of grandmothers, who offer a listening ear on park benches. The scheme challenges the stigma surrounding mental health and provides the women with company."

"10 Black Female Therapists You Should Know" by Marline Francois [Huffington Post]

"In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, it was only fitting to introduce some of the dopest Therapists in the African American community."

"All work and no play: why more Hong Kong children are having mental health problems" by Rachel Blundy [South China Morning Post]

"Children in Hong Kong are becoming increasingly stressed out, overworked and unhappy, and the situation is taking its toll on overburdened psychiatric services.

In a report published on Tuesday, the government confirmed that the number of children among mental health patients is increasing – as high as 5 per cent annually."

"When veterans become cops, some bring war home" by Simone Weichselbaum and Beth Schwartzapfe [USA Today]

"The debate over the militarization of America’s police has focused on the accumulation of war-grade vehicles and artillery and the spread of paramilitary SWAT teams. What has gone largely unstudied, however, is the impact of military veterans migrating into law enforcement. Even as departments around the country have sought a cultural transformation from “warriors” to “guardians,” one in five police officers are literally warriors, returned from Afghanistan, Iraq or other assignments."

"11 Habits Of People With Concealed Depression" by Lexi Herrick [Long live health tips]

"1. They may intentionally make efforts to appear OK and maybe even seem exponentially happy and upbeat.
The idea that those with depression all have one similarly dreary personality is false. Depression is more than just a mood. Those who live with depression have learned to alter their apparent moods, and may even be some of the most seemingly “happy” people that you know. Personalities can vary. Often those with depression try to stick with the positive and public parts of their demeanor regardless of what they’re going through on the inside. No one wants to bring others down, even if that means hiding how he or she is truly feeling."

Criminalizing Mental Illness [Al Jazeera]

"Mental Health is Different for People of Color in These 3 Ways (And More)" by Dom Chatterjee [Rest for Resistance]

"The white-centricism of mental health is evident in self-help books, memoirs, YouTube videos, and peer support groups. This makes friends, family, and mental health professionals less likely to see that we are struggling. On top of that, we do not get mirroring of our symptoms – in other words, we don’t see people like us suffering in similar ways – and are left to doubt our experiences and the severity of our mental health issues."

"Introverts don't hate people, they hate shallow socializing" by Rachel Ginder [Introvert, Dear]

"I like to make jokes about how much I hate people. As an introvert, it’s easy to do. The stereotype of the misanthropic introvert is backed by countless Facebook memes and pop culture references: Think of the animated character Daria with her oversized glasses and a book in her hand or that catchy quote from Charles Bukowski, “I don’t hate people, I just feel better when they aren’t around.”

"The grief can damage your mental health'" by Sarah Bloch-Budzier [BBC]

"Way: Widowed and Young is a peer support organisation, introducing people in similarly tragic situations to others who can understand their complex grief.

All the members present agree that its regular meetings and internet chatroom have been an essential part of coping in the days and years since their bereavements.

"When my husband first died, suddenly from meningitis, I couldn't be in the house on my own. I had panic attacks," says Georgia Elms, who is now chair of Way."

"Dealing With Loss While Managing Bipolar" by Kiki Woodham [New Life Outlook]

"Holding on to stability can be difficult during the emotional upheaval that comes in the wake of profound loss. One of the keys to hanging in there, though, is to keep other aspects of your life as normal as possible.

This can be difficult in situations that demand a lot of your time (when a parent is hospitalized, or someone’s house needs to be cleaned out and their possessions sorted, for example), but do your best to find every possible shred of normalcy and hang on to it."

Do you have mental health content, resources, or events that we should know about? Be a pal and send it our way!