Active Minds Blog » mental health http://activemindsblog.org Changing the conversation about mental health Wed, 25 May 2016 12:46:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.11 Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Mental Health Within R&B and Hip-Hop Music http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-mental-health-within-rb-and-hip-hop-music/ http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-mental-health-within-rb-and-hip-hop-music/#comments Fri, 20 May 2016 16:07:22 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4917 Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Recent media conversations surrounding mental health have increased after R&B singer Kehlani publically (and bravely) shared her struggles following a recent suicide attempt. Trouble ensued after Kehlani uploaded a photo of herself in a hospital bed shortly after being admitted. Since then many people, both celebrities and fans alike, have criticized and horrifically taunted Kehlani, claiming that the attempt to end her life was fabricated and was only done in efforts to gain attention.

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Kehlani

First, we must recognize that invalidating a survivor’s lived experience is both despicable and cruel. There is no place for it. Moreover, we as a culture must remember that the famous people we place on pedestals are just that— people— who are prone to experience the same kinds of hurt and pain that you and I encounter every day. Sometimes, life just happens. And in those moments it does not matter who you are, where you are from, or how many followers you have, because life can and will eventually hurt.

It’s during these times that it becomes absolutely critical for us to consider, mull over, and extend grace (not judgment) to others— because behind the smiles and seemingly perfect Instagram pictures, you never know what someone is really going through.

From there it also becomes important for us to remember that Kehlani is not the first R&B or Hip-Hop artist to discuss their personal struggles through music.

In 2015 August Alsina released “Song Cry,” where he openly shared some of his fears, frustrations, and hurts. He went further to pen:

For all them nights I thought of suicide, contemplating
I can’t hold back these tears
Let me cry
They say a man ain’t supposed to cry

You can view the rest of the song here.

Over twenty years ago we saw a similar pattern among rappers like Notorious B.I.G. and DMX who shared their experiences with suicidal ideation and stress in “Suicidal Thoughts” and “Slippin”,  while A Tribe Called Quest shared their views on the matter in “Stressed Out”.

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From left to right: Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, and DMX (Images retrieved from MTV.com and Vibe.com)

In this we are reminded that although anyone can experience difficulty, no one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed for needing help in working to navigate the various mental health struggles they may face. If you or someone you know does need help, please be sure to review the resources listed below. Also, never underestimate the power and strength of sharing your own story, as your willingness to be vulnerable could be influential in helping save someone else’s life.


If you are someone that you know is struggling and needs help please be sure to pass along the information listed below.

If you prefer information via telephone:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Alliance on Mental Health Hotline: 1-800-950-6264

If you prefer information via text message:

Crisis Text Line (http://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works/)

Phone #: 741-741

If you prefer information via the web:

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: A (Heroic) Journey of Struggle, Strength and Human Flourishing (Pt. I) http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-a-heroic-journey-of-struggle-strength-and-human-flourishing-pt-i/ http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-a-heroic-journey-of-struggle-strength-and-human-flourishing-pt-i/#comments Mon, 16 May 2016 18:54:33 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4896 Alfred is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Alfred and his fellow scholars here.

Hey everyone, I hope all is well. It’s been a while and a lot has happened since my last post. Currently, I am wrapping up this project!

Yeah, I know. It’s exciting but also very overwhelming. Next week, I submit this project, which is also m undergraduate honors thesis for the Education department and the week following, I defend my thesis. Thus, in the midst of all this craziness, this post will be split up into several parts, all of which will be looking at the findings, importance, implications, and conclusions of this research.

In reflecting back on the entire journey and also, in thinking about how to present this research, I am reminded of this question: What is the goal of this research? It was and still is, in essence, to highlight a different story of mental health.

In 1999, the U.S. Surgeon General defined mental health as:

“A state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and to cope with adversity.”

However, after doing this research, I have gained a strong sense that we, as a society, have a dominant story of mental health as illness, and not mental health as flourishing.

mental health word art

It’s what Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls “the danger of a single story.”

In her TED talk, Adichie discusses how reading only British and American books influenced her to create characters that reflected the people in those books. She never imagined a person like her could exist in those stories. It wasn’t until she came across books written by African writers that her perception of who can be represented in stories changed. She has this to say:

“The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story… The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”

While Adichie emphasizes the power that a single story can have on our perceptions about communities, cultures, countries, and continents, she makes it clear that this “danger” can exist anywhere.

The interesting thing about this revelation that I, too, had a single story about my own life. One that I didn’t fully acknowledge until I came to university. In a nutshell, I viewed my life through a negative lens. In my mind, I thought I was coming to university at a disadvantaged and didn’t see the strength nor the beauty in the experiences that I had within me.

And that narrative is extremely toxic. The heroes of this research are breaking that dominant story of disadvantage and paving way on doing and being. Stay tuned.

In reflecting on this journey, (as seen in my last post), this has not been the easiest. In fact, I equate this to what Joseph Campbell called “the Hero’s Journey”.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Introducing Heidi T. Tuason, MPH http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-introducing-heidi-t-tuason-mph/ http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-introducing-heidi-t-tuason-mph/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:01:32 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4810 Heidi is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Heidi and her fellow scholars here.

Magandang araw sa inyong lahat! (Good day to you all!) My name is Heidi Tumang Tuason, and I’m a 3rd year Doctor of Public Health student at UCLA, studying Community Health and minoring in Asian American Studies.

I’m excited to share with you about my research. But first, as I’m learning in my qualitative research classes, it’s important to know where the researcher comes from, so before I talk about my project, here’s some background about me.

5 Things About Me through Places I’ve Called Home:

  1. DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA – Daly City born and raised from an immigrant family

I am the youngest of three daughters (“bunso”) of an immigrant family who came to the US from the Philippines in the 1970s, products of the post-1965 Immigration Act wave. I was born in San Francisco and grew up there and in Daly City until high school.

My family is one of the many Filipino families that make up one-third of the population of Daly City, which is why some people call it the “Pinoy Capital”. I’ve realized that growing up here has really shaped how I see the world and my commitment to the Filipino community

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(Left) My mom and sister migrating from the Philippines, 1970. (Right) My sisters and I with my mom, 1986.

  1. MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Only one in my family not born in the Philippines – but studies abroad there and speak the Filipino language
heidi in philippines

Visiting a Farming Community during Study Abroad in the Philippines, 2004

I was the only one in my family (and of my sisters) not born in the Philippines, but among my sisters, I’m the only one who speaks the Filipino language. I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad in the Philippines several times through various programs (2004, 2009, 2010, 2014) and also studied the Filipino language at UCSD and UC Berkeley.

I’m proud to say that I’ve even gotten to the proficiency that I have conducted work and research using the Filipino language, and I’ve even had the opportunity to pass along the language to over 100 UCLA students.

I regularly go to the Philippines now and part of my heart still feels very connected to the motherland.

  1. SAN DIEGO, CA – Engineering Drop-out turned Ethnic Studies & Biology major and Community organizer & activist

I went to UC San Diego for undergrad with the dreams of becoming a bioengineer and making synthetic hearts. But then after studying abroad in the Philippines, I started getting involved with the Pilipino student organizations and became a student activist.

heidi at ucsd and open mic

(Left) Pilipino Students Saving Tagalog at UCSD, 2005. (Right) Performing at a Kamalayan Kollective open mic, 2006.

I got more interested in the histories and experiences of immigrant communities of color and became an Ethnic Studies major, but kept the Biology major as well since I was interested in health. This double major didn’t really make sense (to me and others) at the time, but eventually led me to a career in community health.

While at UCSD, I also worked at OASIS & Summerbridge, helping to recruit and retain historically underrepresented students of color, and at the Cross-Cultural Center as a Diversity Peer Educator, learning how to facilitate workshops and discussions about diversity and racism. My undergrad in San Diego really laid a foundation for how I approach the field of public health and mental health.

  1. SAN FRANCISCO & OAKLAND, CA – Fell in love with Community clinics & Community Health work

After college, I did a program called Americorps Community Healthcorps in San Francisco. I was placed at a free clinic called the Women’s Community Clinic as an Assistant Clinic Manager and thrown into the thick of community health! There, I did all kinds of things ranging from:

  • supervising clinic shifts with over a dozen staff,
  • counseling patients around urinary tract infections, potential unwanted pregnancies, and potential positive HIV results,
  • handling frustrated patients and being thanked by grateful patients,
  • counting our pills to make sure we had enough in stock,
  • improving their paper wait list process and moving it to an electronic database so patients with the highest priority would be seen earlier
heidi at womens comm clinic

Screenshot from the Women’s Community Clinic website, 2009

I learned a lot through that year and continued to work and volunteer there after my year of service. I fell in love with working at community clinics, and in the years following, worked at Asian Health Services and La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, and did projects and interned with other community-based health organizations like Community Health for Asian Americans and API Wellness Center.

At La Clinica, I learned how to be a community health planner, and work with community health workers and staff to develop community-appropriate health programs and then communicate that to funders to get funding by writing grants about our plans and writing reports about our progress. I had the opportunity to work on programs including culturally-appropriate integrated behavioral health services and community health programs like domestic violence prevention using street theater.

After my experience at La Clinica, I transferred over to San Francisco to work on a mental health project through the Asian & Pacific Islander Health Parity Coalition (now called the Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative). I organized community leaders from Samoan, Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian communities in San Francisco through a community-based planning process to develop culturally & linguistically relevant mental health programs. I also helped build the organizations’ capacity to implement those programs.

During my masters’ program, I also started interning with the Center for Digital Storytelling (now called StoryCenter) and after helping out with a couple digital storytelling workshops around HIV stigma reduction, I got to bring this to the API mental health work I was doing.

In 2012, I co-faciliated and assisted with 3 digital storytelling workshops with the Samoan, Southeast Asian, and Filipino communities to help tell their stories around mental health stigma. It is through all of this community clinic and digital storytelling work that I came to my current research project.

  1. BERKELEY & LOS ANGELES, CA – Public Health training I’m getting another kind of doctorate (not a PhD) called a DrPH

After getting a taste of the community clinic setting, I came back to school to get my MPH at UC Berkeley with a focus in Maternal & Child Health to gain skills to help me be a more effective community health worker.

I did my MPH internship in the Philippines working with an organization called Likhaan Center for Women’s Health around reproductive health access using advocacy, direct service, and research. I got to see how Filipino community health workers / promotoras brought health services to the poorest of the poor in the Philippines, and through that experience, deepened my language skills, cultural understanding, and commitment to the Filipino community.

After working another 3 years in the field after my masters, I came back to UCLA to get my doctorate in public health (DrPH), an applied doctorate different than a PhD, to continue to strengthen my research and leadership skills to better advocate for the communities I work with. I’m 3 years in and just passed my first qualifying exam, so I’m on my way to the dissertation!

heidi at mural in la

At the Historic Filipinotown mural in Los Angeles

ABOUT THE KAMALAYAN PROJECT: Digital Stories Addressing Filipino Mental Health Stigma

My research project entitled “The Kamalayan Project” builds upon my community health and digital storytelling background and aims to uncover stories of mental health challenges and stigma in the Filipino community, using digital storytelling (short participatory community-made films).

In this pilot project, I am looking specifically at the mental health experiences of the Filipino community through the lens of Filipino college students (particularly young Filipina women (Pinays), undocumented Filipinos, and LGBT Filipinos).

kamalayan project

The Kamalayan Project will also hold community screenings of the digital stories and facilitate community dialogues about mental health in the Filipino community.

Through data collected from the digital storytelling workshop participants and community audiences, my research project hopes contribute to the body of knowledge that illustrates how creative methods can be used to address mental health stigma, improve mental health awareness, and increase mental health service access in the Filipino community.

WHAT WILL MY PROJECT LOOK LIKE?

Through 3-day digital storytelling workshops (based on the StoryCenter’s curriculum), participants go through a process of sharing their story in a circle of peers, writing their story, recording their story, creating a short digital story with images, and screening their story.

digital storytelling outline

Through surveys and interviews with participants, I will explore the specific cultural aspects that have affected their perceptions and experiences of mental health. I will also explore what effect the digital storytelling process has on the participants’ willingness to share their story, perceptions of mental health, and willingness to seek mental health services and encourage others to do so as well.

We will also conduct community screenings of the digital stories, and have group discussions:

  • with audience members about what they thought of the stories (if any resonated with them and if it affected their perception of mental health in the community), and
  • with digital storytelling participants about how the process of sharing their stories was like

WHAT DO I HOPE TO LEARN?

I am hoping that this research will fill a void in research that talks about the experiences of these Filipino subpopulations and a void in the research that shows how creative methods are used in reducing mental health stigma and increasing awareness of mental health in hopes that people will seek help if they need it and tell their friends and family.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE I BEEN FACING?

I have been blessed to be funded by both the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Active Minds to conduct this research, but since it was my first official research project, I also encountered some challenges.

Coming from a health program implementation background, I did not know I had to get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to do my project or how to go about it. It was a steep learning curve for me, and took me several months to work on the application and get the first draft submitted.

The IRB application has gone through two full board reviews and has since been in review for nearly 5 months now. My advisors, mentors, and I are working closely with the IRB committee to make revisions to ensure the protection of participants, and I am hoping that I will receive approval soon, so my team and I can start data collection (and analysis).

Given the Spring Quarter, it may be challenging to recruit participants so late in the year during one of the busiest times for the Filipino student community (Pilipino Cultural Night season, finals, and graduations), but we will revisit the timeline once IRB approves the project.

Despite the challenges, I’m trying to stay resilient and stay in line with Brene Brown’s philosophies of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong – I’m committed to seeing this project through and am dedicated to the ups and downs of the journey. I’ll be keeping you all updated on how it goes.

heidi and dogWish us luck!

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5 Important New College Mental Health Statistics http://activemindsblog.org/5-important-new-college-mental-health-statistics/ http://activemindsblog.org/5-important-new-college-mental-health-statistics/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 13:18:08 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4752 Breaking news: Research shows that improving campus attitudes towards mental health enhances student success AND saves taxpayer’s money!

Let’s be real, all of us who are advocating for mental wellness on college campuses every day could have told everyone that a long time ago… but still, this is a big deal! We now have some solid data that definitely proves that our work is working, and we are on the right track with the most effective approaches to mental health promotion.

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So, here’s the scoop:

A major study conducted at public colleges throughout California set out to assess factors that influence mental health services utilization among students, and the potential societal impact of investing in mental health programs on campus. The RAND Corporation researchers who led the study surveyed a total of 33,943 students, and 14,018 faculty and staff at 39 public universities throughout California.

Here’s what they learned.

1. Students on campuses where there was a supportive environment for mental health issues were more than 20% more likely to receive mental health services than their peers on campuses where mental health issues are more stigmatized.

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2. On campuses that have invested in mental health prevention and early intervention efforts (think: reducing stigma, reaching out, normalizing mental health) we saw the percentage of students who were receiving treatment for their mental health issues increase by 13%.

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3. For every $1 invested in prevention and early intervention efforts, the state of California sees a $6.49 return. This return on investment reflects the hundreds of additional students who will graduate because they received the support that they needed, will go on to get higher paying jobs that will stimulate the economy, and need fewer emergency services related to mental health crises.

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4. Students with active coping skills were consistently more likely to use mental health services compared with their peers who did not possess these skills. Lesson learned: focus attention on teaching students how to manage stress.

(Speaking of which.)

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5. If the culture of every California public college campus was supportive of mental wellness, we could expect to see a rise in the use of mental health services among students with current mental health symptoms, or recent academic impairment related to mental health issues, by an average of 39%.

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This is groundbreaking research that has the potential to enhance our capacity as a society to become more accepting, welcoming, and supportive of the mental health challenges that so many of us experience. Hopefully this serves as some fuel for the outstanding work that you are doing on your campuses and in your communities, and that we are seeing throughout our amazing Active Minds network!

For those of you who like data and research reports, and want to learn more, here are the links to the two referenced in this blog:

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March Chapter of the Month: University of Dayton http://activemindsblog.org/march-chapter-of-the-month-university-of-dayton/ http://activemindsblog.org/march-chapter-of-the-month-university-of-dayton/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2016 14:14:04 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4521 Univ_DaytonWe are excited to announce March’s chapter of the month, Active Minds at University of Dayton! They recently hosted a GO LIME Campaign, promoting mental health awareness and Active Minds during an NCCA Division I basketball game against the University of Rhode Island broadcasted on ESPN 2.

At the sold-out basketball game on February 27, the chapter distributed 150 lime green (the nationally observed color for mental health awareness) T-shirts featuring a mental health statistic and the chapter’s logo to alert the audience to the number of people that live with mental illness, the resources available for help, and the Active Minds chapter.

In the stadium and on TV across the country, the chapter and the whole student section could be seen dressed in lime green for mental health awareness!

aaron

A student poses in the GO LIME T-shirt with a photo of the University President, Daniel Curran, at the school’s basketball game. 

“The University of Dayton is famous for our love of our basketball team. We have had great NCAA tournament runs in the past couple years which caused an even greater amount of notoriety,” said Blake. “This was the best way for us to get a word out about our cause on our campus that would reach a great amount of people.”

To make the event happen, the chapter requested permission from the “Red Scare,” the student section at all University of Dayton sporting events, and the organization was on board right away. The chapter also distributed information regarding Active Minds and resources available to students on campus for various mental health needs.

Back of Shirt“The fact that all the students were wearing the lime shirts with the statistic on the back showed we are all in this together while providing a positive message regarding mental health,” said Blake.

During the broadcast, ESPN scanned over the student section several times and highlighted the T-shirts. The chapter had sent a memo to the network ahead of time to explain the T-shirts and the cause. However, Blake said that next time, the chapter will make more of an effort to alert the media more in advance to earn more coverage.

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“It got people talking about mental health, which is fantastic,” said Blake. “We even had a woman who is affiliated with an Active Minds chapter in Connecticut take a picture of students wearing the shirts, so hopefully this inspires them to do something similar.”

“I learned that people will support you in raising mental health awareness, because we truly are all affected. The fact that our student fan section and Student Government helped us with open arms shows that people are willing to help if you ask.”

Blake added that events like the GO LIME game can be used to reach people that need to hear the Active Minds message and recommended that chapters utilize the resources on their campuses to bring mental health awareness to the forefront.

Keep up the creativity, Active Minds at the University of Dayton!

 

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When Masculinity and Racism Collide: Meet Tao Liu’s Mentor Dr. Christopher Liang http://activemindsblog.org/when-masculinity-and-racism-collide-meet-tao-lius-mentor-dr-christopher-liang/ http://activemindsblog.org/when-masculinity-and-racism-collide-meet-tao-lius-mentor-dr-christopher-liang/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2016 13:33:51 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4566 Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

When I talk about racism against Asian American men with my friends, some reactions I got was “Seriously? This is U.S.” Among those who have awareness of racism, it is hard for them to connect racism and gender together. However, when they start talking about difficulties with finding dating partners, they know what I am talking about.

There are not many scholars researching the intersection of racism and masculinity, especially for Asian American men. Luckily, Dr. Chris Liang, one of the few scholars focusing on this research area, agreed to be my National Mentor.

tao mentorDr. Christopher Liang is a former President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. His research interests center on how perceived racism and masculinity ideologies are associated with the academic, psychological, and physiological health, and health-related behaviors of ethnic minority boys and men. As he said in our conversations, he intends to use research to make positive impacts on communities. He is not a scholar who only lives in the ivory tower, rather, he regards research as a means for intervention on multiple levels.

With his rich experience working with community partners, Dr. Liang has helped to brainstorm how to collaborate with community agencies and offer my research skills as a way to return to them. We have set up regular meeting times through June.

During our conversations, research is not the only topic that we have talked about. In our phone meeting yesterday, we discussed my concerns of my future career directions. He not only helped me figured out all my possible choices, but also gave me very useful tips for job searching and maintaining a good work-life balance. In addition, he gave me recommendations for my research skills development for future academic positions.

He not only helped me figured out all my possible choices, but also gave me very useful tips for job searching and maintaining a good work-life balance. In addition, he gave me recommendations for my research skills development for future academic positions.

How can a mentor be so helpful to someone who he has even never met before? I am looking forward to meeting him in person in the next Active Minds conference!

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Text, Talk, Act. Because Mental Health Matters. http://activemindsblog.org/text-talk-act-because-mental-health-matters/ http://activemindsblog.org/text-talk-act-because-mental-health-matters/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:55:30 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4461 TTAOften, the most necessary conversations are the ones that are most difficult. Text, Talk, Act (TTA) makes at least one conversation a little easier by assisting students to share their mental health stories through a very familiar platform: text messaging.

Once again this semester, Active Minds is excited to partner with TTA on April 19 as part of Active Minds’ Stress Less Week. Chapters that register to host a TTA event on April 19 are eligible receive a $1,000 cash prize. Past winners have included Active Minds at Coppin State University, Ithaca College, and UCLA!

To participate, all you need is to gather at least three or four friends on April 19, and text “89800” for mental health discussion prompts. You and your friends will be guided through a series of conversation-starters, from videos to polling, along with many other chapters participating across the country.

Want to join this movement? Get started with the three simple steps below:

  1. Register your event and receive an organizer code.
  2. Share your organizer code with everyone you reach out to and ask them to enter it when they are prompted to do so during Text Talk Act on April 19.
  3. Get as many people as you can to Text Talk Act on April 19. Gather your friends, classmates, family, and community members and have them text “START” to 89800 to begin.

REMEMBER: Be sure to share your unique organizer code with your participants to enter at the prompt!

Want to increase your chances of winning and get freebies and materials for your event? Get everything you need for your event here.

For more information, visit http://www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org/texttalkact.

 

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Worried About a Friend? Here’s How to Support Them http://activemindsblog.org/worried-about-a-friend-heres-how-to-support-them/ http://activemindsblog.org/worried-about-a-friend-heres-how-to-support-them/#comments Fri, 26 Feb 2016 13:23:48 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4293 For most of my life, I’ve wished that I had some sort of a handbook for being a friend. I think I do a pretty decent job (although, I suppose you’d have to check with my friends on that one), but there’s no way to be there for someone perfectly all the time.

I mean, how many times have I told a friend I knew how they felt without really having any idea whatsoever?

How many times have I just jumped to giving advice and solving the problem when all they needed was a sounding board?

How many times did I know someone was struggling, but I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything at all?

The truth is that there’s no perfect way to be a friend, and that’s especially true when you’re trying to help a friend admit they need help, seek that help, get the help, and manage their recovery. There are way too many variables in play.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little guide for that journey?

That’s why we created the Be A Friend resources.

If you have questions about whether the warning signs you’re seeing in your friend’s behavior might be a sign of distress, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re wondering how to react when a friend who is in need of help stops going to therapy, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re wondering how to take care of yourself while you do an incredible job of being an amazing support person, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve also added personal stories from members of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau–they’ll tell you what their journey was like, how friends and family helped them through it all, and their advice for being there for a struggling friend.

It’s not the end all, be all of resources. But we look forward to hearing what you think, adding your stories, and continuing to expand the content to include more specialized resources on identity development and the impacts of trauma and discrimination.

You’re a great friend. We’re just here to help you show it.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Tao Liu http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-meet-tao-liu/ http://activemindsblog.org/emerging-scholars-fellowship-meet-tao-liu/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:59:33 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4396 Tao is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Tao and her fellow scholars here.

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Hello everyone! I am Tao Liu, a fourth year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Indiana University Bloomington. I was born and raised in a village in Hebei Province, China.

Growing up in a poor family in rural China, I was continuously exposed to inequalities related to poverty, mental disability, rural residency, and female status.  I questioned why women still had to do more house chores after a day of hard work than men, wondered why a homeless man with schizophrenia was only ridiculed but not cared for, and doubted the negative attitudes directed toward my parents when they went to the city in farm clothing.

I even doubted the right of teachers to spank students as a form of discipline.  Listening to my grandparents’ stories of being victimized in World War II, I often wondered how the wounds of collective and personal trauma can be healed.

All these experiences led me to counseling psychology. After I came to the United States, I encountered racial dynamics in a way that shook my identity of being Chinese.  I was afraid that my accumulated cultural heritage from China was worthless, and that I needed to redefine who I am.  Seeking support from my Asian and Asian American friends, I found that men and women experience stereotypes and discrimination differently.

One thing that struck me was related to Asian men and women’s attractiveness. While Asian and Asian American women are popular in the dating market, Asian and Asian American men face particular difficulties to be perceived attractive and find partners.

Reading the discrimination literature, I found that the current Asian American discrimination measures do not differentiate the distinct stereotypes experienced by men and women. From my personal interaction with my Asian male friends, I also learned that often times discrimination transforms into a threat to their masculinity: being perceived not attractive or masculine enough affects how they perceive themselves as men.

This is how my dissertation, as well as my Emerging Scholars project, came about.

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In my study, I am looking at how Asian American men experience discrimination in a distinct way that is different from Asian American women and other men of color.

In the pilot stage of my study, I have interviewed some Asian American men inquiring their personal experiences of discrimination. Based on these interviews and current literature, I and my research team developed a draft measure for Asian American men’s experience of gendered discrimination.

I also consulted scholars in the fields of Asian American psychology and revised the measure based on their suggestions. In my current project, I will examine the validity and reliability of the measure, and explore its relationships with psychological distress, somatic symptoms, individualism/collectivism orientation, and general discrimination. Currently I am in the stage of data collection. At the end of March, I will start analyze the data.

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An Active Minds Speaker for Every Mental Health Day, Week and Month http://activemindsblog.org/an-active-minds-speaker-for-every-mental-health-day-week-and-month/ http://activemindsblog.org/an-active-minds-speaker-for-every-mental-health-day-week-and-month/#comments Fri, 19 Feb 2016 14:21:29 +0000 http://activemindsblog.org/?p=4352 Speakers_Bureau_Logo_Website

Now is a great time to look ahead and plan your programs through the end of semester and beyond; if you’re looking for a way to promote your Active Minds chapter on your campus, and raise awareness about mental health and suicide, consider hosting an event around one of the mental health awareness campaigns coming up!

Let Active Minds Speakers Bureau provide a presenter on one of the topics being highlighted, and remember– when you book an AMSB speaker, your chapter will receive programming credits toward your annual fundraising goal!

If your Spring semester calendar is already full, get a head start on the Fall!

Whatever your focus is, and whenever your event will take place, let us help YOU educate your campus, promote mental wellness and earn program credits! Contact the Active Minds Speakers Bureau at speakers@activeminds.org or at 202-332-9595 x102 TODAY!

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