A dear friend of mine passed away from breast cancer and I’d like to write about her experience and how we became friends.
My husband and I met Maggie and her husband Ray at a neighbor’s barbecue in 2005. We immediately clicked. I don’t know what it was about Maggie, but I found myself confiding in her. Concerned about my horrible experience on September 11, 2001, she understood my fear of driving and not mingling much with people. Twenty-four-years older than me and she offered to do my grocery shopping. Of course, I couldn’t accept. This was truly a kindhearted person. I’m sorry after that barbecue we didn’t speak again until 2011.
May is Mental Health Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness and help end the stigma for people with mental health conditions.
Let’s remember that as public discourse about mental health increases, the associated stigma decreases. That’s why it’s critically important to shine a spotlight on a range of mental health issues affecting people of all ages, from depression to dementia.
It’s bad enough that blacks are already more likely than whites to die from HIV/AIDS. But a drug company’s scheme to put profits ahead of lives only compounds the anguish of targeted communities and amplifies cries for justice.
It’s an absolute outrage. We believe pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences knew its popular and hugely profitable HIV/AIDS drugs were harmful but purposely delayed releasing safer versions. Company executives didn’t see patients as people — they saw them only as dollar signs. That is why I have joined with co-counsels at the Hilliard Martinez Gonzales and Morgan & Morgan law firms to file a federal lawsuit against Gilead.
Would my fellow Americans like to take a nap? We Americans value hard work and when we stop working we feel guilty. We believe that we’re falling behind while others are getting ahead. And we don’t want to be viewed as lazy or lacking drive and ambition. However, there are many benefits to a nap.
In case you missed it, October 10th was World Mental Health Day. The annual observance is sponsored by the World Health Organization to raise awareness of critically important mental health issues.
Now it’s time for more people around the world to step up and sustain the momentum by uniting in a daily effort to #EndTheStigma.
Fostering open communication, education, transparency, advocacy and outreach — both online and off — are solid strategies to eradicate myths, fears and stereotypes surrounding people with mental illness.
Before going in for brain surgery in 2013, I feared that studying, researching and thinking too much about my condition would leave me bereft of hope. I dreaded being swept up with sadness or anxiety or both. I resolved to trust in all my doctors and in the destiny already laid out before me. To achieve that state of mind I returned to reciting the quatrains found in the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. As a result, I was able to enter Virginia Mason Hospital calm, a bit exhausted, and filled with acceptance.
Although she may disagree with the frequency (she’s entitled, eh, to be wrong), more often than not Deborah Levine, the founder of The American Diversity Report, and I laugh a lot during our conversations. Hey, given the nature of the kinds of issues we tackle – among them race, religion, harassment), the ability to step back and laugh is an essential survival tool.
So there’s a grain of truth in that old saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Shucks, a side-splitting guffaw or two is a “day maker” for me. I get amazing energy and creativity boosts right after.
Some of us have extra-sharp hearing, and others begin to lose their hearing at different times. For the first time in history, 20% of those in their late teens and early 20’s are reporting signs of a hearing loss – a problem that will cause major challenges for commerce and industry. (One cause for this is loud music played through earbuds for too long.) Presbycusis, hearing loss caused by age, is another challenge, and often starts in the late 50’s or early 60’s. By age 65, one third of Americans experience this problem. There are simple, practical strategies that can help. Here are three taken from the e-book, “What did you say?”
Experience Camps are one-week camps for boys and girls who are grieving over the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. It’s a place where kids can laugh, cry, play, create, remember the person who died, or forget the grief that weighs them down. It’s a place where they can feel “normal”, because everyone there has been through something similar and understands what it’s like to lose someone important to them. It’s a home away from home. And just about everyone will tell you…”It’s the best week of the year”.
As our campers settle back into their school year routines, they often tell us that the kids and adults back home just don’t “get it”. We asked our campers what they want their teachers to know. This is what they told us… Please share with anyone who might be working with a grieving child this year!
Who the heck needs it? It’s personal, can hurt deeply and can leave an indelible emotional scar. Fact is, just like the air we breathe, we live in a world where rejection is all around us, always has been, always will be.
Rejection is part and parcel to life in general, to systems and eco-systems, to processes, to negotiations, to decisions, to change and reactions to change. Arguably, the worst types of rejection occurs when the body rejects an organ transplant or chemotherapy.