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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Candace Aliké Smith

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Working in the mental health field for over 20 years has given me a front-row seat to many of the struggles those living with a mental health diagnosis endure. Whether clinically diagnosed or not, many contend with societal stigma, problems locating culturally competent providers, or finding affordable services. Often, I’d find myself listening to stories that could only be described as traumatic; leading to a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD.

What is PTSD?

The PTSD diagnosis is given to those who’ve endured a life-changing traumatic event. Let’s imagine there is a horrible car accident. For that one event there could be four types of individuals subjected to trauma: the witness, the victim, first responders, and later the therapists who may experience vicarious trauma due to assisting any of the three previously mentioned.

Depending on the individual, PTSD symptoms can be…

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2020: A Year of Collective Loss for Black America

{CONTENT WARNING: death, COVID-19, trauma, and police brutality. A 10-minute read.} I think “It” started on January 26th with the news that Kobé Bryant, his daughter and seven others had perished in a helicopter crash. We had just landed for one of two layovers between Shreveport and Las Vegas when the news broke. I recall… Continue reading 2020: A Year of Collective Loss for Black America

Blog Posts, poetry, Previous Posts

Reparation

Reparation: noun (Dictionary.com).• the making of amends for wrong or injury done: i.e. reparation for an injustice.• usual usage: compensation in money, material, labor, etc., payable by a defeated country to another country or to an individual for loss suffered during or as a result of war.• restoration to good condition.• repair I sit here… Continue reading Reparation