Mental Health Monday #1: Here's to a hateration-free 2017


Welcome to the first installment of Mental Health Monday, our weekly pause for the cause in the name of mental and emotional wellness. We've survived the holidays and all its madness and shall need to be present and equipped for what lies ahead, because Winter is coming. Here, we'll share stories, conversations, documentaries, writing, events, and resources to help you on your journey. We're kicking things off with a poem by writer and lipstick warrior Alise Leslie. Oh, remember to check in on someone today.

alise leslie.jpg

Read "depression defined" here.

Reading List #4

  • "On Kid Cudi, Kanye West And The Heartless Response To Mental Illness" by Andrew Ricketts [BET]

"Cudi’s connection to that peak nostalgia era for listeners, at the tender age of sophomore or junior, has earned him devotees, spiritual warriors who emote in his name. His fans don’t need him to play demi-god, but his meaning for them is crucial: he saves lives. Hearing their bursts of Cudi compassion reminds me I need saving."

  • "The Impact Of Music Therapy On Mental Health" by Molly Warren, MM, LPMT, MT-BC [NAMI]

"While talk therapy allows a person to speak about topics that may be difficult to discuss, lyric analysis introduces a novel and less-threatening approach to process emotions, thoughts and experiences. A person receiving music therapy is encouraged to offer insight, alternative lyrics and tangible tools or themes from lyrics that can apply to obstacles in their life and their treatment. We all have a song that we deeply connect to and appreciate—lyric analysis provides an opportunity for an individual to identify song lyrics that may correlate with their experience."

"When a person struggles with depression, there’s often an unwillingness to discuss it or seek help, he said. Hearing they're not alone helps.

This has led the man, known affectionately as Pastor Mike, to have the church at 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. open the first-of-its-kind mental health center in the neighborhood."

  • "Locked On The Psych Ward" by Rosalind Adams [Buzzfeed]

"“The goal when you’re on the phone with someone is to always get them into the facility within 24 hours,” said a former admissions employee who worked at three UHS facilities in Texas. “And the reason for getting them into the facility is that once they stepped foot in, they are behind locked doors.”

“People don’t understand,” said a former intake worker at Salt Lake Behavioral Health in Utah. “They think we’re going to diagnose them for anxiety or depression.” She added, “Our goal is to admit them to the hospital.”"

  • "#BlackGirlHealing: My Life After I Stopped Taking Depression Meds" by Nikki Lynette  []

"When I told my doctor that I was quitting my medication, she was not pleased. She warned me about the extreme side affects people experience while coming off of meds. And I knew she was right, because I’d already done my own research. People who quit their meds report everything from cold sweats to something called “brain zaps,” a painful sensation that feels like a lightening bolt surging through your skull. My doctor urged me to reconsider. However, she couldn’t deny that I was stable enough to cope without meds. So my mind was made up."

Previous editions: Mental Health Reading List 1 | 2 | 3 |


  • Need to talk to someone? Cha-cha slide on over to Psychology Today and search by location, payment method, faith, sexuality, and specialty. 

  • Have a friend or loved one struggling with a mental illness? Here are some ways you can support them.

  • Since some of us feel more comfortable texting than talking, here's a text line that will connect you with a crisis counselor with one simple message.

  • Do you know a military veteran that could use some help? The Veteran Crisis Line offers free confidential support to veterans and their families.

  • Also for vets, Give an Hour provides free mental health services to military veterans and their families.

  • If you happen to be a New Yorker, here are some free and low-cost resources to help you cope with the subway cat-rats and tourists.

If you have any mental health-related stories, writing (articles, essays, prose, poetry, etc.), visuals, resources or events that we should know about, be sure to hit us on our Motorola two-way pager.

Listen to our mental health-centered episodes, "We Fall Down" and "You Good, Man?," both featuring Nickolas Gaines.