Mental Health Reading List #2

Reading "Dancing Granny" and "Amazing Grace" to this awesome group of well behaved chirren was an act of self-care.

As summer approaches and folks run themselves ragged in pursuit of that summer body, don't forget to take some time to work on getting/keeping you mind right. Self-care. Reading. Sleeping. Twerking for cardiovascular purposes. Journaling. Drinking water. Avoiding rabid Trump supporters. All of that. There is great power in reading and relating to someone else's journey, so I figured I'd gather some more of the great, moving, informative pieces I've read on mental illness, trauma, struggle, and healing lately. Here is some more soul food to help you on your journey. Pass it on.
  • HBO actor Michael K. Williams says his acting idol's ‘mental illness’ led him to attack Bronx woman, blames health, prison system for no 'proper treatment' [NY Daily News
Williams, 49, said Nash’s woes began at age 22 with the death of his mother, sending him into a schizophrenic spiral that started with his arrest for trying to steal a car while wearing only his boxer shorts.
 Nash returned home in worse shape than when he went in, with several of his teeth knocked out while behind bars on Rikers Island. Nash was eventually arrested 19 times, and was released from prison in July after a nine-year sentence for bribery and drug possession. 
“The addicts belong in drug treatment,” said Williams. “And the mentally ill belong in a hospital, not in jail. (by Larry McShane)
  • The Crisis Text Line Is an Anonymous, 24-hour Counseling Service  [Life Hacker]
The goal of the Crisis Counselor is to move people from a “hot moment” (like wanting to inflict harm onto themselves or others) to a “cool moment,” keeping them safe and healthy. They do so through active listening, empathy, and respect. (by Stephanie Lee)
  • Melissa Harris-Perry: I've Failed, Over and Over Again [Elle]
I am no rookie when it comes to failure, but during the past decade, my failures have been more spectacular because they have been more public. Once I began to pursue part of my professional life firmly within the public realm, I abdicated a luxury I had not even realized I previously enjoyed—private failure. It is not as though I suffer Kardashian-level scrutiny, but I have been on the receiving end of mean-spirited needling and bloodthirsty frenzies after minor stumbles and serious screw-ups. Public failure by women is gourmet fare for trolls. (by Melissa Harris-Perry)
  • Why We Need to Talk About Racism as a Mental-Health Trigger [Mic]
I lay awake many nights envisioning the faces of black people no longer alive and full of questions about what black people need to do to keep from being killed. There were days when I tried to shed tears that could no longer be shed. 
Mentors encouraged me to find a way to calm my rage. They told me to rest. They stressed the need for self care during stressful moments. (by Darnell Moore)
  • My Husband Died by Suicide, but Died From Depression [The Mighty]
Sometimes after trying a new medication or therapy there would be a day or two of a change in his mood or outlook, but eventually he’d quietly break the news to me it wasn’t working.   
Often with tears in his eyes he’d say, “Honey the blackness is back… I’m so sorry” like it was his fault the depression wasn’t lifting.
That’s part of the problem with the disease of depression. For those who are suffering from it, there is always a tinge of self-blame. (by Marlin Collingwood)

A photo posted by The Black Joy Project (@theblackjoyproject) on

  • This brilliant activist is helping Black people find joy — one Instagram photo at a time [Revelist]
It's called #TheBlackJoyProject, conceived by writer and dreamer Kleaver Cruz. The 27-year-old activist started photographing fellow activists, writers, and other dope Black folks about six months ago, asking them one question: How do you define Black joy? (by Evette Dionne)
  •  You feel like shit: An interactive self-care guide [Jace Harr]
This is meant to be an interactive flow chart for people who struggle with self care, executive dysfunction, and/or who have trouble reading internal signals. It's designed to take as much of the weight off of you as possible, so each decision is very easy and doesn't require much judgment.
He figured it would be similar to getting someone to take a look at a knee injury. Ngongang has good insurance through his work as a consultant for NGOs in Washington. So he opened up his insurance company’s website, typed in “psychologists,” and started calling. 
And calling. And calling. (by Olga Khazan)
  • No, it’s not you: why ‘wellness’ isn’t the answer to overwork [The Conversation]
Nothing can alleviate the stress of overwork except working less. Like the road signs say, only sleep cures fatigue. We need to be reminded of this because tired long-haul drivers can be deluded into thinking that coffee, a can of Mother or an upbeat bit of music might help them stay awake. For the madly overworked, we need reminding that the only cure for working too much is to stop. It’s as simple as that. (by Zoë Krupka)  
  • Why I had to escape my Ivy League life and disappear [NY Post]
I  found out I was a missing person on May 14.  
I had been ignoring the avalanche of calls and texts from friends and family asking where I was and if I was OK. But that night I caved, turned on my phone and decided to look. (by Nayla Kidd)

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