Tag Archives: Resources

Champion of Minority Mental Health: Bebe Moore Campbell

In May 2008, the United States House of Representatives declared July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, also known as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and BIPOC* Mental Health Awareness Month.  This declaration was the result of advocate and author Bebe Moore Campbell seeking to highlight mental health concerns in minority communities, particularly the Black community, as well as the disparities in treatment and mortality in these communities compared to white communities.

Bebe Moore Campbell was a teacher, journalist, and best-selling author, writing for publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Essence and Ebony before transitioning to fiction novel writing.  Although fiction was her focus in the 1990s, she wrote about the stereotyping of Black people, and countered them by choosing to paint her characters as wealthy and successful.  She also focused on real events impacting the Black community, such as the lynching of Emmett Till.

Moore Campbell first focused on mental health in the Black community through the writing of her children’s book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, highlighting a little girl’s experience of growing up with a mentally ill mother.  She was awarded an Outstanding Media Award for Literature by The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for this book in 2003.  She followed up with The 72-Hour Hold, referencing the typical length of time someone is placed under an involuntary psychiatric hospitalization order.  This book focused on bipolar disorder, and was inspired by a family member of Bebe.

Bebe Moore Campbell was also a founding member of the NAMI Inglewood chapter, which expanded into the NAMI Urban Los Angeles Chapter in California.  She advocated by speaking out against stigma of mental illness, and promoted treatment and education in communities of color, and used her platform to push this agenda into the focus of mainstream society.  She assembled a taskforce along with her friend, Linda Wharton-Boyd, to push legislation to spread awareness, encourage mental health checkups, access to medications, community mental health services, and declaration of a minority mental health awareness month.  Sadly, Bebe Moore Campbell abruptly became ill with brain cancer, and lost her battle with the disease in November 2006.  Wharton-Boyd continued the rally for an awareness month, and Representatives Albert Wynn of Maryland and Diane Watson of California co-signed legislation, which passed.

Although strides have been made to reduce stigma and connect people to mental health care, more work is still to be done in BIPOC* communities.  An American Psychological Association report found that in 2015, only 4% of psychologists are Black, 5% are Hispanic, and 5% are Asian.  Roughly 30% of Black and Hispanic adults living with mental illness actually receive care, and there is continued lack of access to medications and preventative community mental health care.  We can honor Bebe Moore Campbell’s efforts by striving for inclusivity and wide reaching access to care, and continued advocacy efforts against stigma, and for prevention to curb the need for inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations.  Equity in mental health care is wellness for us all!

 

For resources, information and statistics related to minority mental health, check out:

Learn About Minority Mental Health Month

Bebe Moore Campbell Was the Champion for Mental Health We Need Right Now

Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations 

National Alliance on Mental Health

Black Mental Health Matters (resources) 

Black Mental Health Alliance 

Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)

BIPOC Mental Health

Mental and Behavioral Health-Hispanics

National Latino Behavioral Health Association 

 

*Black and Indigenous Persons of Color

 

Daily Affirmations for a Positive Mindset

Increasing expectations for productivity and perfection placed on each of us in a world of “Go! Go! Go!” can bring about feelings of frustration, failure, and negativity.  Having a rainbow of emotions is something we all experience and have to manage.   At times, feeling low or upset can make getting through the day seem impossible, and that the world expects you to ALWAYS smile through your pain.  Healthy positivity entails being honest about your feelings and expectations with yourself and others, not expecting or trying to attain perfection, and acknowledging your mood has direct implications on your outlook and output in a given day.

Reciting daily affirmations is a tool to help combat negativity.  You can try the examples below, and may enjoy coming up with your own.  Place them in locations you encounter early in your day, like your bathroom mirror or refrigerator door.  Consider using objects, like keychains, or participating in The Kindness Rocks Project . You can also utilize an app, like ThinkUp (iOS and Android devices.), to search affirmations and record your own, or put an affirmation in the subject line of your phone alarm clock.  Remember: “You are what you think!”

  • I am loved, and I am lovable.
  • I am enough.
  • I let go of past hurts as they no longer serve me.
  • I am capable.
  • I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet.
  • I will utilize my talents today.
  • I wake up today with strength in my heart, and clarity in my mind.
  • My fears of the unknown are fading away.
  • I’m getting stronger every day.
  • I can do this.
  • I have the courage to say no.
  • I will not take negativity from others personally.
  • This is my body, and I love it.
  • It is fine for me to make mistakes; I will use them to grow.
  • I will not apologize for being myself.
  • My goals are my focus.
  • Success is in my future.
  • I will not sweat the small stuff.
  • I will work smarter, not harder.
  • I will celebrate the small victories.

NOVACares does not endorse the application referenced above; it is included for illustrative purposes only.

Setting and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries


Boundaries are absolutely vital for healthy relationships- most importantly, your relationship with yourself.  It is a way to maintain balance in your life by learning, acknowledging and holding others to your personal limits.  This supports positive self-image and healthy self-esteem.  For most of us, it is not a skill we were taught, rather, through experience and watching others, we determine what is- and is not- acceptable for each of us.  As this skill can be challenging to develop and maintain, below are some tips from Dr. Dana Gionta for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries (courtesy of Psych Central article, 10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS):

  1. Name your limits.

You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. So identify your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits, Gionta said. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.  “Those feelings help us identify what our limits are.”

  1. Tune into your feelings.

Gionta has observed two key feelings in others that are red flags or cues that we’re letting go of our boundaries: discomfort and resentment. She suggested thinking of these feelings on a continuum from one to 10. Six to 10 is in the higher zone, she said.

If you’re at the higher end of this continuum, during an interaction or in a situation, Gionta suggested asking yourself, what is causing that? What is it about this interaction, or the person’s expectation that is bothering me?

Resentment usually “comes from being taken advantage of or not appreciated.” It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty (and want to be a good daughter or wife, for instance), or someone else is imposing their expectations, views or values on us, she said.

“When someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a cue to us they may be violating or crossing a boundary,” Gionta said.

  1. Be direct.

With some people, maintaining healthy boundaries doesn’t require a direct and clear-cut dialogue. Usually, this is the case if people are similar in their communication styles, views, personalities and general approach to life, Gionta said. They’ll “approach each other similarly.”

With others, such as those who have a different personality or cultural background, you’ll need to be more direct about your boundaries. Consider the following example: “one person feels [that] challenging someone’s opinions is a healthy way of communicating,” but to another person this feels disrespectful and tense.

There are other times you might need to be direct. For instance, in a romantic relationship, time can become a boundary issue, Gionta said. Partners might need to talk about how much time they need to maintain their sense of self and how much time to spend together.

  1. Give yourself permission.

Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls, Gionta said. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member. Many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” We might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.

Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them.

  1. Practice self-awareness.

Again, boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, Gionta suggested asking yourself: What’s changed? Consider “What I am doing or [what is] the other person doing?” or “What is the situation eliciting that’s making me resentful or stressed?” Then, mull over your options: “What am I going to do about the situation? What do I have control over?”

  1. Consider your past and present.

How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. If you held the role of caretaker, you learned to focus on others, letting yourself be drained emotionally or physically, Gionta said. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.

Also, think about the people you surround yourself with, she said. “Are the relationships reciprocal?” Is there a healthy give and take?

Beyond relationships, your environment might be unhealthy, too. For instance, if your workday is eight hours a day, but your co-workers stay at least 10 to 11, “there’s an implicit expectation to go above and beyond” at work, Gionta said. It can be challenging being the only one or one of a few trying to maintain healthy boundaries, she said. Again, this is where tuning into your feelings and needs and honoring them becomes critical.

  1. Make self-care a priority.

Gionta helps her clients make self-care a priority, which also involves giving yourself permission to put yourself first. When we do this, “our need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger,” she said. Self-care also means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them. These feelings serve as “important cues about our wellbeing and about what makes us happy and unhappy.”

Putting yourself first also gives you the “energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there” for them.” And “When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.”

  1. Seek support.

If you’re having a hard time with boundaries, “seek some support, whether [that’s a] support group, church, counseling, coaching or good friends.” With friends or family, you can even make “it a priority with each other to practice setting boundaries together [and] hold each other accountable.”

Consider seeking support through resources, too. Gionta likes the following books: The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time and Boundaries in Marriage (along with several books on boundaries by the same authors).

  1. Be assertive.

Of course, we know that it’s not enough to create boundaries; we actually have to follow through. Even though we know intellectually that people aren’t mind readers, we still expect others to know what hurts us, Gionta said. Since they don’t, it’s important to assertively communicate with the other person when they’ve crossed a boundary.

In a respectful way, let the other person know what in particular is bothersome to you and that you can work together to address it, Gionta said.

  1. Start small.

Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Gionta suggested starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”

“Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support,” Gionta said. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.

Source:  https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

TIP OF THE WEEK: Back to School Study Tips

With Fall 2019 semester now in full swing, the academic load can be overwhelming. Let’s take a moment to determine how we can make this a successful semester! Consider the following as you go about your everyday:
1. Stay Organized: Keep a detailed calendar for both your academic and social calendars and make sure they do not collide. Setting reminders in your phone and/or using sticky notes is a great method to staying on track.
2. Time Management: This may be the most important skill you master in your NOVA career and beyond. Prioritizing your work load is essential to your success! Make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of time for your class load each week in accordance to your work life. While you may be taking on a lot this semester, may sure you make time for self-care!
3. Don’t Cram or Over Study: As tempting as staying up until 3a.m. to study for that test may be, studies show that last minute cramming only leads to undo stress, sacrificed sleeping and ultimately poor test performance. Instead let’s practice time management discussed above.
4. Unplug & Disconnect: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a great source for staying in touch with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, however, it can be a huge distraction. In your appointed study hours consider turning off all social media accounts and focusing on the here and now.
5. Find Your Comfort Zone: It is all about finding what works for you. Whether it may be the quiet library, the busy coffee shop, or the local park with distance sounds of nature. We all operate different and finding the place to focus your mind is essential to your studying success!
6. Take a Break: Sometimes the work load can seem overwhelming. Take a break! Sometimes walking away from a tough paper you are writing or a stressful test you are studying for can give you a fresh perspective when you walk back to it. Allow yourself to clear your mind and regain focus.

We hope you can find these tips helpful in your NOVA success. Additional resources can be found at: https://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/resources.html
If you need additional support, feel free to email us at: NOVACares@nvcc.edu

NOVA SAS Project – Vision Wall: Imagine a World Without Sexual Violence!

Imagine a World Without Sexual Violence!  What would be different????  Stop by our outreach events this semester and let your voice be heard on our Vision Wall!  Just write a note (it’s anonymous) to be added to the Vision Wall on what the world would be like without sexual violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Help us spread awareness and show support to victims and survivors by participating in The Clothesline Project. Happening at the MEC today (October 3) and tomorrow from 10am – 3pm!

 

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other.

Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women that were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people that were killed fighting in war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

-Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.

-The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry, and does love them.

-It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.

-They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.

They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #DomesticViolenceAwareness to post on social media. Sometimes, people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they’re used to their partner calling them crazy or making them feel like all the problems are their own fault. Here are a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.

  1. Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.
  2. Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.
  3. Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.
  4. Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.
  5. Your partner threatens you or your family.
  6. Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)

HISTORY

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.

As this month comes to an end, the important discussion it brings to the forefront about domestic violence’s horrific repercussions should not.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.

 

Tip of the Week: Signs of Depression

Signs of Depression
Depression is a common mood disorder that can affect a person’s feelings, thoughts and body. People occasionally do feel sadness but it’s only for a brief time. With depression, it’s constant and it can interfere with your everyday life.
Experiencing signs of depression? If you think you are depressed then remember you are not alone and that you have the option to seek help. You can always reach out to NOVACares by filling out the NOVACares report.
http://www.nvcc.edu/novacares
People with depression may experience:
o Loss of interest
o Hopelessness
o Irregular sleep
o Concentration problems
o Feelings of guilt
o Insomnia
o Fatigue
o Weight loss or weight gain
o Suicidal thoughts
o Mood swings
o Constant sadness
o Restless sleep


For more information go to:
https://www.jedfoundation.org/
https://www.healthyplace.com/

TIP OF THE WEEK: Resources for Homeless Community Members

homeless1NOVACares provides information for local emergency shelter for homeless community members. There are several options for housing in NOVA such as, off-campus housing, Arlington County Assistance Bureau, and Alternative House to name a few. For more information on homeless housing in Virginia please visit http://www.nvcc.edu/support/_files/HOMELESS-SHELTER-REFERRAL-LIST.pdf. If you or someone you know is homeless and you are seeking guidance submit an online report at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?NorthernVirginiaCC

Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence

October 2, 2015: Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence

DVAM:
Did You Know?
Did you know that each of the major professional sports leagues in our country have policies and services to respond to domestic violence, whether their players are victimized or perpetrate violence?
MLB (Major League Baseball): The most recent league to implement a policy, MLB’s is a comprehensive response that includes investigation and discipline for current offenses, treatment and intervention for both the victim and the offender, and regular prevention education.
NBA (National Basketball Association): Domestic violence convictions are handled under the league’s rules about “Unlawful Violence” – players are immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games, must get a clinical evaluation and attend counseling sessions. Additionally, NBA union officials said players already receive [prevention] training at least one year before they join the basketball league.
NFL (National Football League): The NFL’s policy, announced in December 2014, includes developing critical response teams for each team as well as prevention education programming for youth in football programs.
NHL (National Hockey League): Officials said they meet with players annually to discuss conduct and conduct and determine responses to domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.
Sources: Click on the hyperlinks above for more information.

What can we do?

 Get Educated!
o Watch the NFL’s Call to Coaches video

o Read this research overview on engaging men and boys and this research on how to mobilize men and boys as allies

 Promote implementation of primary prevention programs such as:

o Coaching Boys into Men

o Teach Early

 Attend George Mason University’s Healthy Masculinity workshop on 10/28.

 Use social media to spread the word!
o DVAM: Did you know that all major professional sports leagues have policies in place to respond to #DomesticViolence? Let’s take their lead and promote prevention efforts, such as Teach Early, in youth sports leagues here in #FairfaxCounty. #DVAM2015 #LookAgain

o DYK we can help stop #domesticviolence through youth prevention efforts, such as #TeachEarly. #DVAM2015 #FairfaxCounty #LookAgain
[Go to: http://teachearly.org/, when you scroll down the page, social media links will pop up on the left.]