Kimya N. Dennis
January 2017 Outreach and Activism Newsletter
The purpose of this newsletter is to connect people and organizations. Do you have a program or event in your city and state to share on my newsletter? Do you have a topic to address? Let me know! My newsletter is every two or three months but can be sooner if there are programs and events to share.
Happy New Year!
There is a lot going on in people’s personal and professional lives. There is a lot going on socially and politically.
We must take mental-physical care of ourselves. This care is essential for our health, strength, and ability to support ourselves and our families, friends, and societies. Personal experiences, biology, genetics and family history contribute to mental health and physical health.
Unfortunately, there are cultures in which self-care is considered selfish, unnecessarily self-indulgent, and foolish. This includes pressure to exude strength and resilience amidst social inequalities; and the tendency to be told feelings and sicknesses are “imaginary,” “easy to ignore,” and "easy to fix."
An example of this can be found in many African diaspora communities. Girls/women and boys/men are often expected to hide emotions and hide pains. This is complex for a number of reasons. One complexity is how oppression, enslavement, or negative life outcomes are highlighted in African diaspora cultures. Such highlighting, historical and contemporary, can be interpreted as equating African diaspora identity with oppression and negativity. This can make it difficult for some people of the African diaspora to see strength, empowerment, and pride in their personal identity and African diaspora identity. It can also be difficult to be conscious of oppression while feeling strong, self-aware and health-conscious.
This influences how mental health services and physical health services are underused or inaccessible in many black/African American and African diaspora communities in North America, South America, and around the world.
Therefore, it is important to do mental health and physical health outreach and activism. Because we all have minds and bodies, every person has mental health and physical health. Many people have mental health conditions or physical health conditions. Diagnosing health conditions is complex for reasons including limited access to resources. There are millions of people who have minimal access or even no access to mental health services and physical health services.
Thankfully, there are organizations that work diligently to increase access to health services, reduce the prevalence of health conditions, and reduce the prevalence of violence and suicide. This is a daily, ongoing process that needs increased funding, resources, volunteers, and community outreach.
How do you address mental health and physical health? Are there organizations, programs, events, and websites you consider effective?
I am co-chair of NCAFSP's Diversity Committee. This committee tackles suicide and suicidal self-harm across demographics. Let me know if you want us to participate in particular programs and events.
Kenneth Archie and I are Program Services Committee for The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County. This committee addresses mental health across demographics. Let me know if you want us to participate in particular programs and events.
Upcoming Events Surf City Campus Out of the Darkness Walk, March 2017
Walk Date: 03/26/2017
Walk Location: Soundside Park - 517 Roland Ave - Surf City
Check-in/Registration Time: 03/26/2017 at1:00 pm
Walk Begins: 2:00 pm
Walk Ends: 4:00 pm
Contact Name: Stephanie Jones (info below) & Kelsey Best (910-685-2112)
Contact Phone: 910-284-5085
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org