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For Your Immediate Attention: Our Mental Health is Important!




There have been many headlines this week that could serve as a Public Service Announcement for us to discuss, but there is one we may need to discuss more in our community.


MENTAL HEALTH


BLACK MENTAL HEALTH


BLACK MALE MENTAL HEALTH


After seeing the shocking news of the passing of Stephen “tWitch” Boss this past Tuesday, I was devastated!


Not because I knew tWitch personally, but because his impact on our society was so beautiful and enormous. Even if you didn’t watch Ellen once a week or So You Think You Can Dance, you could go down your Instagram timeline and see tWitch dancing.


He brought a sense of joy not only to those around him but those who got to know him through social media apps!


To hear of tWitch’s passing, I was reminded that you never know what someone is experiencing.


But more importantly, I was reminded that there are many other individuals like tWitch in our community right now.


Mental Health in our community is considered taboo. But, tWitch’s passing and so many individuals before him has shown us that we must take mental health seriously.


If you were not going to see a mental health specialist before, I ask that you set up an appointment now.


The same way you go for a regular physical, please go for a regular mental health checkup.


In many of our insurance plans, mental health services are offered.


Many mental health counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists of color are willing and able to support us!


Life is already hard enough. Please don’t endure it alone. There are many readily available resources willing to help aid in our mental health struggles.


You don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to keep pushing alone.


After watching Hell of a Week with Charlagmene tha God, he discussed the importance of masculinity and mental illness.


But even further, he discussed the importance of humanizing black men!


We don’t talk enough about how Black men are impacted mentally.


We raise our sons to be strong, but we don’t discuss how that impacts their daily lives.


We don’t discuss how to support our brothers when they are struggling too!


Don’t get me wrong. Individuals are raising their black kings to discuss their emotions and provide the language to help them communicate when something is wrong.


But, for those who don’t have the language, I want you to know it’s never too late to learn how to communicate your feelings.


It’s never too late to say you need some support.


And let me be the first to tell you it’s okay to need a little assistance. It doesn’t make you any less strong!


It makes you human/brave/courageous, and there is nothing wrong with that!


Please, ladies and gentlemen, if you do nothing else this holiday season, I ask that you check on your loved ones!


The holidays can be some of the most joyous times of the year, but they also can be some of the darkest times of the year!


If you don’t know how to support someone, try helping them the best way you know how!


Sitting on the phone with someone in silence, so they don’t feel alone!


Offering to take someone to a therapy session so they know they are supported!


Calling a hotline with a loved one who is scared to say I am struggling, but I can’t do it alone!


You could take the time to send messages to remind them that you love and care for them.


There are so many ways to support someone because when we are not with them, we don’t know what they endure!


But most importantly, not being afraid when someone says I am struggling mentally!


Talk to them, hear them out, and allow them to know they are in a safe space!


And, if you don’t know what to say, sometimes just listening is all that matters!


My public service announcement today is to call attention to the need for more mental health discussions in our communities!


Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask that in 2023 we make our resolutions to seek mental health support!


If you don’t know where to find a mental health specialist, please check out www.psychologytoday.com


Or, check in with your insurance provider to see where you can find mental health services.


I leave you all with this message today, don’t sit in silence! Tell someone!


988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline:

Call or Text: 988 (Veteran's: Line 1 and Spanish: Line 2)


I will see you in our following discussion!


Peace and Prosperity, as Always!


Jadis DeShong-Venay


References:

Hell of a Week. (2022, December 15). Jay Barnett and Dr. Alfiee Discuss Masculinity & Mental Illness [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ls7PNsSSE


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