Mental Health News Round Up: June 24

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ClfllxtWEAEgtroOrlando Shooting Sheds Light on Mental Health Disparities in Florida’s Latino Community

After the Orlando shooting, many Latinos in the area are ending the stigma about mental health. Over 40 Latino-led organizations have formed since the tragedy to help low incomes families receive proper resources for those who were affected.

(Note: See a message from the Active Minds staff regarding the tragedy in Orlando.)

Prince William Makes An Excellent Point About Mental Health

Prince William, father of two and mental health advocate, opens up about the importance of parents and the ability to openly talk about their children’s psychological wellbeing. He encourages parents to accept mental health and treat as serious as physical health.

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From the Active Minds Speakers Bureau: Pride Cometh Before

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Maggie Bertram is a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring her to your campus or organization to speak about mental health.

7b47cba0-12f0-0134-e753-0a315da82319Note: I originally wrote this blog post before I heard the tragic news out of Orlando early Sunday morning (6/12/2016). There is still a lot of speculation about motivation and circumstances that we’ll continue to hear about in the weeks ahead. However, it’s hard not to look at this tragedy for what it is: a hate crime.

I don’t think any of us in the LGBTQIA+ community are feeling the same sense of security we felt before–no matter where we live.

I originally wrote about shame, homophobia, and the recent state laws that are curbing the rights of LGBTQIA+ Americans. It is still very important that we change these laws, but I have to acknowledge that doing so will not immediately prevent tragedies like these. Even in my home state, where my rights as a lesbian are protected, there is very little that might stop a single person from expressing their rage. Continue Reading

Emerging Scholars Fellowship: 5 Reasons You Should Be a Transgender Ally and Advocate

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I expected to learn a lot about what it means to be trans and its relation to suicide when I began this project. However, I have been surprised with how much I also identify with the issues that were discussed.

quintin and brotherEssentially, I am a bleeding heart and I believe in supporting anyone that might be considered an underdog. I am passionate about understanding suicide and suicide prevention because my brother took his own life when I was eight years old (see picture with eight-year-old me and Eric, my brother). I expected to be able to get on board with suicide in the trans community because I do not want more people to have to go through what I went through losing a brother to suicide.

However, I found that the issues these transgender youth talked about are things I too have experienced.

1. If you have ever felt like family members just don’t get you or support you, you can understand. Most any person that has ever had family can understand what it’s like for a family member to not believe you or question a decision you’ve made. This might have been really frustrating when your parents didn’t approve of your boyfriend, or of your college major. It was annoying when you came home and they asked when you’re going to get a real job or finally settle down and have kids. Now imagine those experiences are about something much more integral to who you are inside.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Reflections and FAQs on Working with Trans Youth

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

01-trans-child-big-ss-225x300When I began the project for the Active Minds Emerging Scholar fellowship, a qualitative examination of the experiences of suicide in trans*-identified youth, I expected to learn a lot about the experience of being trans*. I expected to have some emotional reaction due to the heavy content of suicide and discussions of wanting to die. I did not expect to have such emotional responses because the experiences hit so close to home.

I’ve had a great deal of trouble writing this post that is becoming more and more needed. As I’ve struggled to write this I learned of the passing of Prince. Prince was one of the key influential artists for my adolescence. Like any kid in high school in the 90s, every party included 1999 on its playlist.

Prince, famously known for going by an unpronounceable glyph that had a striking resemblance to the symbols for both male and female genders, for dressing in women’s underwear and raincoats in high school, and for loving anything purple, was an example to me and the rest of the world that there is not one right way to be a man. This pressure to be the right kind of man or right kind of woman is something transyouth commonly identify as a reason for wanting to die.

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Suicide and Families: What Should We Talk About?

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people what I do for school/work. I work with a lot of depressed folk and talk about suicide. I’m also studying the suicide experiences of trans-youth. It doesn’t make for great topics for parties. Usually people nod and don’t say much; then they slowly drift away. Despite the poor fit for party topics, I still talk about it—because it’s important to me; almost invariably I have one tear-filled bonding experience with someone who’s been depressed and desperate for someone to talk to.

Dr. Brene Brown, talks about the power of this connection in her TEDTalk, The Power of Vulnerability. She says, “The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.” After spending hours upon hours listening to trans youth talk about their experiences with depression and suicidality, that quote sticks in my head. These kids are not deviants—they are people desperate to survive. They are desperate to hear someone accept them and struggle with them.

brene brown quote

 

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Quintin Hunt

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Quintin is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Quintin and his fellow scholars here.

quintin 1Hello! My name is Quintin Hunt and I am second-year PhD student in the Family Social Science program with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy and the University of Minnesota. I also practice clinically as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

I am strongly committed to understanding and supporting families as I believe that through family-based intervention we can best prevent a great deal of mental and behavioral challenges that may arise—depression and suicide are the two foremost issues I have most interest in preventing.

This project came about as an evolution from my Master’s thesis at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Go Rebels!) in which I interviewed survivors of suicide loss about their experiences. During this process—and my work as a therapist—it became clear to me how important it was to understand the processes within families that lead to and prevent suicidal thoughts or actions.

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Mental Health News Round Up: July 3

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imagesWhy Gay Marriage is Good for a Person’s Mental Health

A study from 2010 showed that people who identified as gay residing in states where same-sex marriage was banned experienced higher rates of mental health disorders. Since gay marriage is now legal in all states thanks to the Supreme Court, this reporter hopes that mental health outcomes for LGBT people will improve.

UC Davis Psychiatrist Discusses Mental Health Stigma among Immigrant

Cultural stigma in immigrant communities prevent many from getting treatment. Dr. Russell Lim, a leading psychiatrist who focuses on the stigma in refugee populations, discusses how language determines how one describe mental health disorders, the importance of linkages to the communities, and the benefits of seeking treatment. This is an especially important read during Minority Mental Health Month (#MMHM).

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: All Good Things Must Come to an End

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????????In November 2014, I received an email from the teaching assistant of a course I was enrolled in. The email provided details about the Active Minds Emerging Scholars fellowship and encouraged students to apply.

With much apprehension and hesitation, I decided to put together an application and reached out to a former collaborator about possibly working with her dataset. She agreed and I turned in my application, resolute on the idea that I had applied and with no real expectations of what the outcome may be.

The reason for applying to the fellowship was simple: mental health in the Black LGBT is understudied. A plethora of research funds have been allocated to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black gay community. While this is much needed, there is also a need to understand and investigate the mental health status and needs of this community.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 15

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Silence is Deadly: Mental Health and the Black Community

The first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, shares her father’s personal experience with depression and her daughter’s struggle with addiction and anxiety to fight the silence in the black community surrounding mental heath.  This op-ed follows her announcement of $73.8 million dollars in initiatives to provide treatment to those with greatest need and the least access in NYC.

LGBTQ Students At Higher Eating Disorder Risk

A new survey of university students compares the rates of disordered eating for sexual and gender minorities to heterosexual females since most of the research focuses on this group.  Students who identified as transgender were four times more likely to report an eating disorder.

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Mental Health News Round-Up: May 3

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A New Look at Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use Among Adults

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released statistics about how adults of different ethnicities utilize mental health services.  Those who identified with two or more races were the most likely to seek therapy, while whites were most likely to be taking medication. All groups cited the high cost and lack of insurance coverage in reasons for not seeking treatment.

How a Collegiate Runner Conquered the Growing Dilemma of Male Eating Disorders

Zachary Stepanovich, a runner at Aquinas College, is fighting the intense stigma about men’s eating disorders and athlete’s mental health by sharing his story. He discusses the connection in his mind between athletic success, losing weight, and control. And unfortunately, he is not alone; both men and athletes struggle to talk about their mental health.

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