Mental Health Monday #65: Michelle Williams on battling depression while engaged + tools for healing, etc.

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Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. On last week’s installment, Shadow and Act addressed the increase of mental health awareness among Black male characters on primetime telesion, the California Black Women's Health Initiative has 12 commandmentsf or good mental health, how a Chicago woman uses music and poetry to heal after losing a friend to suicide, and healing and coping strategies from Black Mental Wellness. Come have a gander.

This week’s goodness:

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Michelle Williams On How Her Battle With Depression Almost Ruined Engagement To Chad Johnson” Jamai Harris [Black America Web]

“I thought I was over depression, I thought, ‘I’m good!’ I’ve got love, I’m working out,” the 38-year-old star told the publication. “But I was so angry. The rage built up in me. I did not attempt suicide, but I was questioning [life].”

Williams says she recognized the signs of depression from earlier in her career and began noticing a change around Coachella back in April, the report states.

“The entire year we were rehearsing every day for hours,” the Gospel singer added. “I was burying it, and before you knew it, I was looking up out of the pit like, ‘Oh my God.’”

Trying to Be a 'Strong Black Woman' Kept Me From Getting the Help I Needed” by Shatara Jewell-Mackey [The Mighty]

I needed help, but I still had a sense of pride to live up to. If I decided to get help for my mental health, I would be looked at as the troubled teenager who was just dying to get attention. Even after my suicide attempt, I was told to get over it. My troubles were always compared to someone who looked successful. That comparison made me feel like a failure because I did not fit the description of a strong black woman.

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The Shop: De-stigmatizing Mental Health” by Shawn Fredericks [Nubian Message]

Bradford Hill, a black male counselor at the Counseling Center, leads The Shop. Hill believes The Shop is a necessary space for black men on this campus.

“We are a very large university,” Hill said. “We can cite the population statistics all day as far as what it looks like for black students. Coming from an HBCU [historically black college and university], I cannot imagine what it’s like for our black male students to be in these environments. So keeping that in mind, it is important for our guys to have spaces where they can be authentic without being observed.”

How To Talk About Your Mental Health When No One Wants To Listen” by Kristen Adaway [Huffington Post]

Karen Caraballo, a clinical psychologist working with Latino families in Brooklyn, said that because of the significant value placed on family, many members of the Latino community do not seek outside help for mental health problems.

“Latinos are expected to rely on [immediate] family, extended family, church, el curandero and friends,” Caraballo said. (A curandero is a spiritual guide within a community that people go to when they are sick.) “We are expected to keep our problems within our inner circle.”

Coming soon from Melanin Therapy, a collection of stories and insights from Black and brown clinicians and those treating Black and brown folks:

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For more wellness resources on everything from discussing mental health with children to healthy bedtime routines, holler at their Mindfulness Blog.

Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People” by Kelsey Blackwell [Arrow Journal]

In integrated spaces, patterns of white dominance are inevitable. These patterns include things like being legitimized for using academic language, an expectation of “getting it right” (i.e., perfectionism), fear of open conflict, scapegoating those who cause discomfort, and a sense of urgency that takes precedence over inclusion.

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