Mental Health Monday #49: Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan tweets about depression + art therapy, arming teachers, etc.

 Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (photo: SLAM Magazine)

Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (photo: SLAM Magazine)

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week's Mental Health Monday Jasmin Pierre developed the "Safe Space" minority mental health app, how some Chicago residents are responding to a lacking mental health care system, and more. Check it out here.

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS:

"Raptors’ DeRozan hopes honest talk on depression helps others" by Doug Smith [The Star]

That it came out of nowhere in the dark of the night, on an NBA all-star weekend many thought would be a celebration for the Compton kid at home, was jarring. It was out of character and out of place, but not as it happens out of the norm. It set off a maelstrom of support throughout social media, and tossing it off just as a lyric from a song is to not do the whole issue justice.

It was a hard time. DeRozan was letting everyone know.

"You Realize Arming Teachers Is Going To Lead To Black Students Getting Murdered By Their Teacher, Right?" by Elie Mystal [Above the Law]

Giving a teacher a gun is ASKING them to be afraid. It makes poor judgment a homicidal offense. And that danger will be borne by black and brown students. The students who make teachers “afraid” just by their very existence.

We’ll be telling teachers to shoot armed terrorists breaching the school. What’s really going to happen is an unarmed black truant loitering in a hallway he’s not supposed to be in who gets shot eight times by the jumpy choir director.

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"Why Patricia is Combining Art Therapy and Activism" by Brian Murphy [Harlem United]

“Some things that I did were self-destructive and I’m not going to be able to cure that right away. Working on yourself doesn’t happen overnight.” Addiction led to risky sex and other behaviors with results that Patricia is not happy about, including an HIV diagnosis. Which is why some of her art takes an activist stance.

One of her earlier pieces is a pop art – activist mashup, juxtaposing the then- (and still now) megahit musical Wicked with safer sex messages. “I want to catch the attention of young people. I learned that the numbers for new HIV infections among teenagers and young adults is staggering. I’ve been there too, so let me put something out here, maybe people will pay attention.”

"Teaching While Afraid" by Ashley Lamb-Sinclair [The Atlantic]

Educators across the country field incidents of school violence day in and day out. The exact number of school shootings in the U.S. is a point of contention, but since 2014 there have been five school shootings on average per month, as well as countless other incidents of school violence of all sorts. For teachers, school violence imposes tough demands—not only that they may have to put their lives on the line should a shooting happen in their school, but the more quotidian reality of providing emotional support for children who are terrified of the prospect of such a thing occurring.

EVENTS

MARCH 18 - Charlotte, NC - Turn the Light On: Faith & Mental Health in the Black Community

For many African Americans, faith and mental health are inseparable. The Biblical faith woven into the fabric of African-American culture has long been credited for preventing depression, addiction, and suicide, even under the worst life circumstances. When mental illness does strike, African Americans generally use faith to both explain and respond. In most cases neither ministers, mental health professionals, the person suffering, nor their loved ones are equipped to translate Biblical concepts into the language of mental illness. As both a Minister and a licensed therapist, Dr. Anita is dedicated to bridging that gap through this the 3-part seminar titled, Turn the Light On: Faith & Mental Health in the Black Community.

If you have a mental health resource, event, or piece of content we should know about, step into our office. You da bess.