Mental Health Monday #31: Self-care tips, myths about suicide, NFL star Brandon Marshall on his borderline personality disorder

Donalee Curtis (Youtube)

Donalee Curtis (Youtube)

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life. Last week, we explored why therapy is gangsta, how treating insomnia can help depression, and Phillip J. Roundtree, MSW, MS, mental health advocate and host of #YouGoodMan?, discussed his journey with depression. Check it out.


Wellness advocate Donalee Curtis presents 9 ways she takes care of herself and keeps it together.

"'How Frank Ocean Encouraged Me To Fight For My Mental Health And Go To Therapy" by Carrington Kensey [Blavity]

Like any other day I came into my apartment and dropped my things on the floor in pure disgust. Like any other day, I pulled out my headphones in agony as an R&B gem from my childhood played on. And like any other day, I walked into my bathroom and looked at my oily ass face in the mirror and asked: "How you living Mr. Kinsey?"

But unlike any other day, I actually lost my s**t. The world cracked over my head like a fresh ass Trader Joe's egg and rained over me unlike anything I had ever felt before. I cried. Like real tears. It honestly felt like anything bad that had ever happened to me manifested itself into those tears. They rained down my face until it was constricted with the tightness of the stress I had been feeling over the past few weeks.

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The latest episode from Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Therapy for Black Girls Episode #26: Five Myths About Suicide

"Black Women – Part 1" by Charmaine Perry [The Gray Matthews Project]

I’d like to say that I always liked being black, but I’d be lying. I’d like to say that I always liked being dark-skinned but I’d be lying. I’ve just started writing this piece and my fingers are already unsteady. I’ve always lived in my head; played stories out there, held long deep conversations with myself when I struggled to find someone to connect with, and wrote long beautiful poems there. I’ve been the dark-skinned oddball in the family for so long, I don’t know how to be anything else. It took a very long time – 20 years – to start to embrace my complexion. I’d also always known that I was black, but until living in the US, I really didn’t know that I was black.

"NFL Star Brandon Marshall on His Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis and Removing the Stigma of Mental Illness" by Susan Young [People]

“After a couple years of volatile behavior, I found myself at Mclean Hospital (near Boston), where I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder,” Marshall, 33, tells PEOPLE. “I didn’t have the skill set or tools a healthy person would have to self-regulate when something was off.”

"Why Finding a Therapist Can Be Especially Hard for Black Women" by Jihan Thompson [Oprah]

It would help if there were more therapists of color, yet only about 5 percent of all practicing psychologists in America are African American. In the face of such numbers, licensed psychologist Erlanger Turner, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Houston–Downtown, is encouraging therapists to deal with their cultural blind spots.


  • The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.

Website | Facebook Group

  • Black Men Run, an organization working "to encourage health and wellness among African American men by promoting a culture of running/jogging to stay fit resulting in “A Healthy Brotherhood.” Find a running group near you.
  • Get the hell up: Find a 5K near you.
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Also, Alex recently launched his year-long multimedia mental and emotional wellness movement for Black and brown folks, called Get Some Joy. The aim is to promote health, spread resources, increase access to care and support, and destroy dangerous stigmas that prevent folks from opening up about their challenges. Answer the question, "How do you get some joy?" here.

Mental Health Monday: mindfulness, soldiers with autism, and treating schizophrenia with weed

Buenos tardes. Happy Monday, winnerperson. We hope your belly is full and your elbows are ash-free on this fine day, and that you're resting easier knowing that Janet just gave birth to the most talented child the Jackson family has seen in decades. That alone should make your dreams at least 12% sweeter. Anyhow, whether you're chillaxing or pursuing luchini on President's Day, you can take at least a quick moment to breathe, so we've got some guided meditation videos down below. And: stories about the mental warfare that happens when you've got both anxiety and depression, what it's like to live with autism, and a new perspective on weed's usefulness in decreasing symptoms of schizophrenia.

Also, a friendly reminder that Alex is compiling a database of Black mental health professionals, fitness/reiki/massage/herbologist/bootcamp folks, and agencies and programs, so if you are or know a Black therapist or counselor, or know of a resource that would be helpful for someone in need of mental health care or support, please have a gander at and fill out this form to be included. Thank you kindly.


On her podcast, A Different Perspective, Dr. Amber Thornton's dedicated an episode to Black psychology, the special relationship between Black patients and Black psychologists, and why we need more Black folks as mental health professionals. She also spoke on how she went about becoming a psychologist.

"Empty and Anxious: Life with Anxiety" [NAMI]

"Life with anxiety is being afraid to talk to a person face to face. I don’t know what to say especially when it’s a new person. Should I just introduce myself like “Hey, my name is Desirae and I suffer from depression and anxiety”? No. Then I’ll probably run them off. But if I get past that part without saying all that mumbo jumbo then I freak out about what I should say next. Because you know you don’t want to seem rude and just walk off but you start to panic because you don’t feel comfortable, then these thoughts start rushing through your mind and you don’t know what to do. It’s like your fight or flight sense kicks in and your mind is telling you to run, run as fast as you can."

And so you can get your calm on, here is a five-minute mindfulness meditation video, "Mindfulness Bell." And a mindful breathing exercise.

"Depression may be our brain's way of telling us to stop and solve a problem" by Kevin Loria [Business Insider]

"But there's also a theory that instead of being purely a disorder, depression might be a specific behavioral strategy that we've evolved — a biological adaptation that serves a purpose. As Matthew Hutson explains in a Nautilus feature on the potential evolutionary roots of depression and suicidal behavior, that purpose might be to make us stop to understand and deal with an important problem."

"The Cannabis-Schizophrenia Relationship Is Not What You Think" by Lauren Maul [Merry Jane]

"So, what happens when someone with schizophrenia becomes intoxicated with actual cannabis? A 2006 study found that patients who self-medicated with cannabis reported fewer negative symptoms than those who did not. Less avolution (general lack of drive to perform activities or pursue meaningful goals) and fewer apathy symptoms were detected in patients with schizophrenia who used cannabis than in those patients who did not partake."

"Are you considering suicide? Here’s messages from people who’ve been there!" [Brett Francis]

" When My Day Starts With a Battle in My Head Between Anxiety and Depression" by Heather LaSalle [The Mighty]

"On a regular weekday morning, I start my day with a battle in my head. My depression tells me not to get out of bed at all because it’s not really worth the energy it takes to get out of bed. Then my anxiety chimes in and begins to argue. My depression often has a laid-back kind of voice, while my anxiety talks fast. Those of you who know me can probably tell when my anxiety is high because my outer voice begins to sound like the anxiety voice I hear inside my head. It rushes and is sometimes hard to understand." 

"Local high school students create suicide prevent PSA" by Christina Tetrault [Your Central Valley]

"The video explores the daily struggles teenagers face and encourages viewers to reach out when feeling pressure or having suicidal thoughts. The video was published on The Feather, the school's student-ran online newspaper.

"The title of our video is 'Hope: Let's Talk' and I really think that's what I wanted our message to be," said Fresno Christian High Senior Jarrod Markarian. "I just wanted to make sure that was a message that you're not alone in this big world," he said."

"My Journey With Autism" [NAMI]

"I then joined the Marine Corps Infantry, not only to serve my country, but to get people to respect me. I went through three tours and a good deal of abuse for my condition that I didn’t even know I had. I left with an honorable discharge and returned to the civilian world an emotionally and psychologically broken human being. I enrolled in college again. My peers, who I hoped would respect me more for my service, couldn’t understand how such a strange individual could make it through something like the Infantry and gave me even less respect."

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