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.


“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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