Last night, as I watched the red carpet and cheered for Oscar favorites, I took intermittent breaks to look over the listing of entries to name an Academy Award winner for Familiar Minds. Of course, it took me only a second to realize that all of my writers were winners for their courage and honesty in sharing a bit of themselves, helping to chip away at the mental illness stigma little by little. Even as I know this, I was curious on which posts were most viewed and thought I would share the list with you. Here’s the list of top 10 most viewed. Continue Reading →
Ms. James and Ms. Williams drew inspiration from each other through their sharing of theories, thoughts and writings on the intersections of family and psychopathology, blackness, femininity, youth culture and the Caribbean experience in America. Their richest exchange was a correspondence spanning two years which focused on the impact of their upbringing on the women they grew to become. Tracy passed away on November 14, 2011. Her legacy lives in the hearts of people she ignited and in the conversations she birthed in love, passion, dignity and selflessness.
Ms. Williams’ recollection of Ms. James is written with the kind of harsh personal truth Tracy encouraged.
In Loving Memory of Tracy
Walking through Penn Station with slow heavy steps, dragging a body weighted with emotions as rapid successions of busy passengers buzz about eagerly running away from homes they no longer want to run to… the sounds of a solitary keyboard pour forth melancholy Christmas music from the warped hands of a dwarfed busser.
This is what Tracy Ginger James was like. Intense. Conflicting. Sensational. Invigorating. Depressing. And way too crowded with occurrences to have a sense of clarity or semblance of order. Continue Reading →
My colleague Dr. Aletha Maybank introduced me to Hakeem in her article Weathering our Personal Storms. For anyone who suffers with bipolar disorder and for those who may have a family member or friend who is living with a mental illness, Hakeem’s story will surely rejuvenate you. His honest sharing more importantly lifts up a conversation and gives all hope and courage to seek support if we need it.
“Never Give Up.” Three bold words written across my favorite SGI International t-shirt. The simple phrase resonates with a lesson that I learned from living with bipolar disorder: be relentless. Living with bipolar disorder for twelve and a half years made me relentless in never giving up on myself, in fully pursing my spirituality, and in never giving up on others. Continue Reading →
As we reel from the tragedy and get caught up in the debates on gun violence and mental illness, this is a must read article in Huffington Post A mother provides her very real perspective and fight to save her child from a path of destruction. Thanks Rena for flagging this to my attention.
Familiar Minds joins united with you and the world in mourning the victims of Newtown, CT, shootings. Please check out Mental Health America’s message and their suggestions to help families respond and cope during this difficult time.
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA MOURNS VICTIMS OF NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT, SHOOTINGS
Offers Guidelines to Help in Responding to Impact of Event;
Calls for Action to Prevent Such Episodes in Future
Check out the repost of Mental Illness: A Misunderstood Disease in Bed Stuy Patch. Thanks to their Local Voices column for allowing me to lift up this important dialogue in one community. Earlier this year, Bed Stuy Patch’s Local Voices also gave me the forum to post: What If We Spoke About Mental Illness in Our Communities? So, thanks Bed Stuy Patch and C. Zawadi Morris.
I met Jen a little over a year ago at a leadership seminar hosted by the organization where I work in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I immediately connected with her and her young daughter Dawn. Little did I know, Jen and I would share a deeper connection over both having a loved one with mental illness. In this piece, Jen takes on the many misconceptions about mental illness. An honest reflection on one’s own misconceptions and ignorance is most definitely a prerequisite for eliminating the stigma of mental illness.
Mental Illness: A Misunderstood Disease
If you think mental illness is like the 1970s Jack Nicholson movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” then you may need to update your knowledge of mental illness. Like Beyonce said, “Let me upgrade you.” There are many books and organizations to help you learn more about this misunderstood illness. Understanding the kinds of depression have become more accepted, but more progress needs to be made. Continue Reading →