While sitting at a traffic light at a busy intersection in Philadelphia, Glenn Wilson looked in his rearview mirror and spotted a young, black man in a hoodie running toward his car. His first reaction was to be prepared for danger; was someone chasing him, was the young man in trouble? Should he call the police?
As the hooded man slowed down and started to jog past his car, Wilson realized that his fear was misplaced. “He wasn’t running from anyone,” said Wilson, a victim advocate for the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. “He was running to catch the bus. My fear is a perfect example of affects of systemic, institutionalized racism and the mental anxieties caused by the residual traumas of enslavement.”
The mental affects of enslavement, anxiety, depression, suicide were just a few of the issues related to mental health in the black community discussed during the 5th Breaking the Silence on Mental Wellness Conference. Sponsored by State Sen. Vincent Hughes the two-day conference held at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia included more than 100 interactive workshops and group discussions that addressed topics related to mental health and how the community can work together to develop strategies to address mental wellness.
“The vision for this conference is to tear down barriers that hinder people from getting the help they need, educate communities about disorders, and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health,” Hughes said. “We’ve internalized a lot of pain as a community. It’s time to stop suppressing it and open up the dialogue.”
The stigma attached to mental health makes it challenging for those who are suffering to seek help. This is particularly true in the African-American community, said conference presenter Argie Allen, director or clinical training in couple and family therapy at Drexel University. Mental illness can disrupt a person’s feelings, thoughts and ability to relate to others. Millions of people and their families are affected by these disorders, which can cause unspeakable pain that severely impairs how they function in the world.
However, trans-generational patters can be broken when people are willing to take the time to seek out support, Allen explained during a panel on mental health in families.
“We’ve proven that we can be resilient as a people, we just need the access to mental health services that help us fully heal,” Allen said Although mental wellness is essential in order to live a full, productive life, many mental health challenges are ignored or never diagnosed. Fully embracing the concept of wellness not only improves health in the mind, body and spirit but also maximizes one’s potential to lead a full and productive life, said Wilson.
“We have more tolerance for folks who have to go to the emergency room because their blood pressure is too high, but those who have mental health issues or experience a relapse are often harshly judged,” he said. Deborah McCoy, 26, a Philadelphia native now living in New York City, knows first hand that those affected by mental health issues need a strong support system to heal. After watching her brother try to readjust to life after imprisonment, she insisted that the entire family seek counseling.
Although McCoy’s brother wasn’t open to the idea of going to therapy, once she got him to commit to a session she watched his entire world change.
“It was the first time he had an opportunity to shed his mask, let down his guard and address his feelings with the support of his family,” she said. “It was also the first time I realized what my father meant when he said the most important thing I could ever do was love a black man… loving my brother enough to help him seek healing was a life-changing experience for my entire family.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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