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Mental Health


Getting Back

in the Game!

By Kendra Hathaway, M.A., LLMFT




Warrior Zone VI: Neta Vaught Lorelai Symmes

Do You Realize Who You Are? By Denise Walker


By Talona Smith

HANNAH & CHARLIE Teen Creators of the NOT OK App A True Definition of I Fight, You Fight, We Fight Together

Special Feature: DELTON MYERS

11 year old Author of Mental Health Children's Books


Founder of Goddess Food Factory

Fall Issue 2019

Features: COACH SHENESIA EWING Founder of Uncovering The New U, LLC RENE' BROOKS Founder of Black Girl, Lost Key KATIUSCIA GRAY, LCSW-R,CYT


OUR FIGHT Unapologectic

and Unbothered

Mental Health Warrior

The Power of a

Praying Mother &

A Mental Health Coach

This Powerful Duo Still Taking

Mental Health By Storm

Photo by  Cash Captures Cover Photo by: Vania Photo Studio

If you need help now or feeling suicidal call 911. 1800-SUICIDE (1800-784-2433) 1800-273- TALK (1800-273-8255) CRISIS TEXT LINE Text "FIGHT" to 741741 A free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis

www.therapyforblackgirls.com Residential Crisis Services, Mosiac Community Service Phone:(410)938-5030 www.mosiacinc.org/programsservices/residential-crisis-program Hours of Operation:24/7

NAMI Helpline M-F, 10 am - 6pm ET 1800-950-NAMI

Spanish Suicide Hotline Phone:(800)784-2432 or (888)628-9454 Hours of Operation:24/7

We Fight Foundation, Inc. 240-34-FIGHT (240-343-4448) www.wefightfoundation.org available crisis chat line.

The Trevor Suicide HelpLine Phone:(866)488-7386 www.thetrevorproject.org Hours of Operation:24/7

TEEN LINE 1800-852-8336 www.teenlineoonline.org Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1800-273-TALK (1800-273-8255 PRESS 1) LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Hotline: 1866-4-U-TREVOR NAMI National http://www.nami.org/ Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1800-273- TALK (1800-273-8255 PRESS 2) Family Crisis Center, Inc. Phone:(301)731-1203(Hotline) www.familycrisisresourcecenter.org/ Hours of Operation:24/7 Family Crisis Center for Domestic Violence Phone (410)828-6390(410)285-7496(Emergency Safe Shelter) Hours of Operation:24/7 Korean Suicide Hotline Phone:(855) 775-6732 www.koreansuicidehotline.com/ Hours of Operation:24/7

Veterans Crisis Hotline Phone:(877)838-2838 www.veteranscall.us/ Hours of Operation:24/7 Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org/ American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) http://www.adaa.org/ National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov/ Obsessive Compulsive Foundation http://www.ocfoundation.org/ Mental Health.gov https://www.mentalhealth.gov/ Apps The Safe Place notOK App

National Hopeline Network Phone:(800)442-4673 www.hopeline.com Hours of Operation:24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline,RAINN Phone:(800)656-4673 www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline Hours of Operation:24/7 Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15-24. Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24. ~Mental Health First Aid


RALLYUP & See What's INSIDE 09 Meet the Contributers 11

Behind the Scenes

12 Fashion Section: The Body Positive Zone 15 Poetry Corner Brionna Mayo Talona Smith Jada Carrington 17 YOUTH ZONE Mama Said | By: Lorelai Symmes How I got through BULLYING | By: Nina Hollingsworth 22 Cover Story Hannah & Charlie Lucas 24 Getting Back in the Game! By: Kendra Hathaway

26 Faith and Mental Health God's Promises to His BELIEVERS | By: Andrae Hayden Do You Realize Who Made You? | By: Denise Walker 27 ACCEPTANCE By: Kristin Freeman 29 Therapy Is Dope:

The Stranger Dorming in Your Room and Sitting In Your Seat

By: Amanda Fludd and Katiuscia Gray, LCSW-R, CYT

31 DEAR AMANDA 32 Warrior Zone VI Neta Vaught Lorelai Symmes

22 36 Fall Into Transitions By: Tyi Flood 37 BEAUTY Beautiful Chaos 38 Making A Difference Shenesia Ewing Rene' Brooks 40 Struggle In My Strength By: Talona Smith 42 You Belong Here By: Lex Morgan 43 Special Feature Delton Myers 44 4 Love and Mental Health Desperately Single By:TJ Woodard 46 Health & Wellness Featuring: Chef Simone Bridges

Be GR8 Today All Day Everyday! Continue the FIGHT to spread mental awareness and educate people on suicide prevention; especially in our minority communities.

: @gr8clothingline : GR8 Clothing Line : 2022772934


Vol. 2 Num. 4 Fall 2019 Founder & Editorial Director Nikita Powell-Cottman Managing Editor: TJ Woodard Asst. Managing Editor: Vanity Dawson Associate Editor: Paul Cottman Article Editor : Denise M. Walker Fashion Director: Kena'I Hollingworth Fashion Assistant: Tyshia Douglas Beauty Editor: Nekesa Smith Photographer & Photo Editor: Chamille Cash Media & Marketing Intern: Isabelle Tyshing Contributer Writers: Jada Carrington Vanity Dawson Andrae Hayden Denise A. Kelley Denise M. Walker Kendra Hathaway Talona Smith Guest Contributing Writer Brionna Mayo Chef Simone Bridges Youth Contributing Writers Lorelai Symmes Nina Hollingsworth Dasia Wood

Lex Morgan Rhonda Wood Tynesha "Tyi" Flood Amanda Fludd Kristin Freeman Kena'i Hollingsworth


Fall in LOVE

with Your

Mental Health!


e must leave these myths and unhealthy habits about mental health in 2019 and move into 2020 intentional! That you will do what it takes to FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF as a whole!... mind, body and soul!

No matter how old you are! An unhealthy mind can cripple your body. How? I'm glad you asked...many people think you have to have a mental illness or disorder to take care of your mental health. Wrong! In many ways, our mental health is just like physical health. Everybody has it and we need to take care of it, PERIOD! Good mental health means you are able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live a meaningful life. If you are experiencing "poor mental health" you may find it difficult, or even impossible to cope with life stressors. Mental illness can feel just as bad as physical illness or worse. In this issue, we are focusing on Youth and mental health; although our magazines have mental health awareness for everyone. We are inspiring and educating our youth on the importance of taking care of their mental health. According to American Psychological Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 33 years old. Our youths are experiencing extreme mental challenges just trying to "survive" in their communities, peer pressure, social inclusion, negative school environments, dysfunctional home and much more! Too much for them to face alone! You know youths will always have a soft spot in my heart because my daughter's first attempt of suicide was at the age of 13. I had no idea that she was carrying so much weight of the world on her back:( The thought of other youths fighting alone breaks my heart! We need to consider making ourselves more available to have those uncomfortable conversations with not just our youth but anyone in our travels that appear to be struggling mentally or seeking help. Change starts with us! We must not only start the conversation but continue to educate ourselves so we can ASSIST them. The Fight Continues;

08 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019

Meet The New CONTRIBUTORS Kendra Hathaway

@author_kendrahathaway Contributing Writer

A word people often use to describe me is: Caring One thing I'll never change about myself is: My love for helping others, my love for God, and my big heart. When I look into the mirror I see a woman of strength and love. One who has been through many adversities, but also one who has been made stronger because of her struggles I’m most my authentic self when: I'm in an environment where I can be both honest and transparent about my feelings, but also loving and helpful to others. I maintain my mental strength by paying attention to my emotional needs daily. I ensure that I check in with myself throughout the day and I take my thoughts and feelings seriously. Normally, I keep motivational materials on hand such as books, inspirational sayings, music and speeches that help to keep me centered and thinking positively. I stay away from negativity as much as possible.

Talona Smith

@talonayvette Contributing Writer

A word people often use to describe me is: Encouragement. One thing I'll never change about myself is: I don’t try to fit in. When I look into the mirror I see progress, endurance, strength, love. I’m most my authentic self when: I can unapologetically be me, and while encouraging others. I love life and embrace it every day with thanksgiving. I maintain my mental strength by with prayer, a support team that does not allow me to give up, taking one day at a time, counseling, yoga, and thanking God for saving me from myself.

Lorelai Symmes (15 years old) @lorelaisymmes Contributing Writer

A word people often use to describe me is: is resilient. One thing I'll never change about myself is: my will and determination. When I look into the mirror I see I am growing to accept myself. I’m most my authentic self when: I'm with my friends. I maintain my mental strength by writing poetry.

Nina Hollingsworth @princess_nina_beana Contributing Writer

(12 years old)

A word people often use to describe me is: Beautiful. One thing I'll never change about myself is: My personality When I look into the mirror I see Strength. I’m most my authentic self when: I am around family and friends. I maintain my mental strength by reading my words of affirmations. Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 09


Community Care’s mission is to provide resources and services to consumers, families community partners, and other agencies based upon the areas of needs.


Community Care’s vision is to be the number one resources of services and tools that provides multiple services determined by the communities expressed needs.


Behavior Health Rehabilitation Service for children and adults living with mental illness and in need of behavior modification and skill building Behavioral Health Assessments Psychological evaluations for individuals living with mental illness


Individual, group and family psychiatric therapy.


Great things in business

are never done by one person. They're done by a

TEAM OF PEOPLE. Building a powerful and successful team can be challenging and tough because it brings together different values, opinions, experiences, past work, skills, communication and team building, but a team with a clear purpose that forms into a cohesive whole produces great success. Whether you're on the editorial team, the photographer, writer, intern, marketing or a volunteer...we all are fighting to spread awarness of mental health and suicide prevention as well remove the Stigma!

The Fight Continues;

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 11

You Are Entering...



No Negative Self Talk, Negative Body Image or Excuses Allowed Here

10 DAILY AFFIRMATION FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH 1. I Am Enough 2. I Am Strong 3. My Feelings Matter 4. I Matter 5. I Will Get Thru This! 6. I Deserve To Be Loved 7. I Am Great 8. I Can Find Peace & Happiness 9. I Have the Power 10. I WILL SURVIVE & Will To Live

Photo by  Cash Captures

All Plus Sizes: Highway Destroyed Denim Duster $24,99; Afro Girl Tee Bodysuit $14.99; Chuck Taylor

rainbowshops.com and converse.com

Don't forget to check our our Youth Fashion in Our Youth Zone

Plus Sizes: Button front plaid skirt $14.99; Ribbed Off the shoulder Button $10.97 rainbowshops.com

Photos by  Cash Captures

Plus Sizes: Rib Knit Cami Maxi Dress $16.97 ; Stripped Chain Button Blazer $19.97


Be GR8 Today All Day Everyday!

Make Your Purchase at www.gr8clothingline.com Use Code RALLYUP & 15% will be donated to We Fight Foundation Inc. to help them FIGHT for Mental Wellness & Suicide Prevention.

 : @gr8clothingline  : GR8 Clothing Line  : 2022772934

POETRY CORNER Free From Anxiety By: Brionna Mayo

Before I knew what anxiety was it grabbed hold of my heart like a tourniquet around the arm of an addict. My soul, became susceptible of the injection of depression But, if you seen my scars you'll see the marks of oppression, whipped across my body like chains on a slave And still I smile Knowing no one will take the time to peel back my mask So, I Freddy my own dreams. I stopped breathing when depression became the dark matter of my body.

I searched through the universe to be whole And behold I found the One who Taught me the verse of U.N.I Caused Him to leave the Heavens to make us whole Nested together in love of Him Through His blood So, that I never have to self-mutilate mines. See, everyday I aim to congregate His love in this temple. Never forgetting the grave of Life is worth living Free from Anxiety.

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 15


I’m Not Hating,

I’m Hurting By: Talona Smith

Don’t think you know my thoughts when you don’t know my journey, Don’t assume I am mean and bitter because my excitement is not like yours. Don’t call me spiteful when I frown and turn away, Don’t consider me jealous when I don’t join in with your praise. Did you ever fall in love with an illusion that broke your heart?


“Self-Expression” By: Jada Carrington

I captured this picture because I thought it was absolutely, stunning and I just had to capture the moment and write to it. Writing is my freedom, my peace and my voice; it's how I cope with life. “The more I looked at the picture, the more I started to see myself. I saw all the things that makes me perfect and all the things that makes me flawed. I saw happiness and pain, sunshine and hurricanes. I saw my future and my past; I saw transparency and my mask. I saw secrets, I saw lies, I saw truth, and I saw demons die. I saw the darkness, I saw depression, I saw my own self-oppression.

Well, your happiness reminds me of my blues.

I saw hope, I saw peace, I saw everything being released.

Your joy reminds me of my pain,

And then, I saw God.

Your accomplishments remind me of my disappointments. Your union reminds me of my loneliness, Ask me if I am okay and don’t assume that I am envious. I’m not hating on you at all, I just don’t want to be reminded of what is gone and I no longer have.

16 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019

I saw blood, I saw tears, I saw anxiety and all my fears.

I saw power, I saw songs, I saw the anointing, and I saw no wrong. I saw the Godliest beautiful tragedy amid the water and the trees. It was like looking in a mirror, I finally saw me”

Photo by  Cash Captures

OUR VOICES MATTERS Platform for 18 and under

Mama said


By: Lorelai Symmes

A little girl stands in front of a mirror With tears flowing down her soft rosy cheeks Instead of holding hands with children, she holds her stomach rolls Because mama said that pretty girls do not have rolls And pretty girls absolutely do not eat rolls But Mama said no doughnuts unless I exercise Exercise,exercise, exercise Something meant to be a joy, not a chore To burn off the energy inside of her innocent soul Mama said that she has to be a size zero Because anything bigger means her beauty is taken away And all of that “ effort “ she has put in is stripped away Mama keeps saying that I must be thin Boys will only love you if your hands can fit around your waist But mama is wrong She is sick, her brain polluted by the monster named diet culture That tells women their beauty is determined based on the size of their hips Diets are thrown around Keto, paleo, and other crazy words that mean nothing But to these brainwashed women, they mean everything For every pound shed comes motivation to lose just one more Today’s women are addicted and they cannot halt Going to the gym twice a day and sitting with their group of friends Who discuss the newest fad they have fallen for And how their children eat too much, and need to stop The children… If it isn’t already bad enough, these ladies have to control the food sitting in the stomach of the babies that they carried themselves Those long nine months were the time of a plot to how their children will be thin As growing up fat is a sin These children will grow up with the sour taste of kale in their throat These children will grow up unable to eat at birthday parties, because cheat day no longer exists Mama is obsessed beyond control To her, there is no problem, it is a lifestyle, not a concern

18 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019

And who do we have to thank? World, meet the media Who shows pictures of women thin as a rail Because that is what true beauty looks like Give me five minutes with the Kardashians and I will level them down Ma’am with all do respect You are the face of today’s society Yet your feed is filled with pills and teas That control what women feed Telling them that skinny girls never eat But here is what I must tell you, as I revoke my loyalty In the U.S. alone, 30 million people struggle each day with a battle stronger than steel Known by the name of an eating disorder These harmless standards that you promote Makes the universe’s girls question their worth As a 14 year old girl who has suffered twice Let it be heard that what you show just is not right Delete the images and cancel the ads For how influential you are, what you do is influencing for all of the wrong reasons I know I am just a child, but I have experiences that even you don’t All I ask is for you to promote Strong women and inner growth All I want from what I say Is for mama to step back and take a look As this painful life she has overtook No longer will mama say you have to change to be beautiful Mama will say baby, you are perfect just the way you are Do not change for anyone Your inner beauty outshines the brightest stars Please don’t rip yourself apart For what you are is all that matters Go out and enjoy the world Eat the foods and wear the clothes And baby, hear me out Diet culture will shame your frame Life, my love, is a twisted game But you, you, can be the change Say no, it is the most powerful word My mama said

How I got through



By: Nina Hollingsworth

oing through bullying was probably one of the worst times. It all started at my old church I used to go to with this girl. I was besties with one of the girls that went to my school and my church. My best friend and I became friends with this other girl that went to my church. Everything was fine until this girl, me, and my best friend became friends with started to act weird. She started trying to pull my best friend away from me. She started acting rude and shady towards me. My best friend never saw anything wrong cause the girl never did anything in front of her. Then one day my best friend had a sleepover for her birthday and we were having a lot of fun. During the sleepover we all went into the bathroom to talk and I remember my best friend and the girl whispering a lot and not telling me anything. I remember them talking about their boyfriends and crushes and stuff, and it was awkward because I didn't have anything to talk about. I asked them what they were saying to each other and the girl said it was a secret and they couldn't tell me. I felt so left out and awkward so I just stood there. Stuff like this was going on for about a year now until my best friends next birthday. This time she had a pool party. I remember having so much fun and it was really great. Until the girl said something, I can’t remember Photo by  Cash Captures what she said but I remember it was so mean that it made me cry and I had to leave the party early. After that me and the girl weren't friends anymore but I still had my best friend. We started going to another church but I didn't move to another school.I was fine for the years I was going to it, But once second grade came everything went south. A lot of girls started lying about me and spreading rumors. One time this girl went home crying saying I did something to her and I overheard her older sister say she was going to beat me up. I went to the principal's office so many times and everytime the girls I reported found some way to get out of it. It got to the point where they started not believing my reports. It didn't feel great to be bullied and talked about. The bullying lasted 3 years until I moved to another school.The school I started going to was a way better school then the other one. There were no bullies and I was doing ok. Throughout this entire time I always had my mom, my sister and my brother on my side. They always made me feel better and I'm grateful for them. It's really hard to talk about this because it was a very bad time in my life, but I'm doing it for all those kids who are being bullied just like I was. For all the kids being bullied don’t keep it to yourself, make sure you tell a trusted adult so they can help you. No kid should have to deal with this alone.

MY POINT OF VIEW Having a sister with mental health issues can be a bit hard sometimes. It’s like one minute she’s cheerful and happy, and the next minute she wants to slam everything in her room. Sometimes I admit, it is me that gets on her nerves, but half the time I don’t mean to. Yet I still spend time with her and she makes time for me. Despite her mental health issues I love my sister, and I always will!

-Nina Hollingsworth Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 19

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Photos by  Cash Captures 20 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019




















Check All That Apply...  Continuous feelings of sadness; hopelessness  Irritable or Anger  Vocal outbursts or crying  Social withdrawal  Difficulty concentrating; grades dropped  Increased sensitivity to rejection  Low Energy and do not want to participate in extra curriculum activities at school or home.  Change in appetite (increased or decreased)  Feelings of worthlessness or guilt  Thoughts of harming themselves  Anxious  Change in sleeping in patterns (insomnia or excessive sleeping)  Thoughts of death or suicide.

If your child is experiencing these symptoms, please seek help. Depression is Real! and It's Treatable! Make an appointment to rule out any underlying medical issues. (Resources & Numbers pg.3) If there are suicidal thoughts, seek medical attention immediately!

Q & A with


& CHARLIE Creator of pre-crisis suicide prevention notOKApp. Interviewed by:

Kena'i Hollingsworth Hannah and Charlie Lucas are a perfect example of I Fight, You Fight, We Fight Together! During a time when Hannah's health condition immobolized her and she found it difficult to verbalize what she was feeling. Her body was being consumed by depression and anxiety which lead to self-harm, an eating disorder and eventually a suicide attempt. Hannah came up with an idea to build an app that is quickly acessible when she is struggling and need immediate help. She knows firsthand why people who suffers with a mental illness finds it difficult to tell people what is going on. One main reason is they do not want to feel like a burden. Well, her brother Charlie absolutely did not feel like his sister was a burden; in fact, he felt it was his duty to help her. Being the "technical genius" that he is, Charlie researched the most effecrive way to support his sister's idea and Together Hannah & Charlie created the award winning pre-crisis suicide prevention notOKApp. The notOKApp is created to alert whomever is on the user's support team. That could be a family member, friend or their therapist; anyone who they feel will be their best support when they need them most. There is no survey or fee and reaching out for HELP is as easy as a PRESS of a button. It is a digital panic button to get you immediate help via text, phonecall or GPS location when someone is finding it difficult to reach out. The app is available in iOS and Android version. "HELP IS ONLY A TAP AWAY" so no one have to suffer alone! When these two passionate advocates and young entrepenuers are not brainstorming on the future growth of the notOKapp, they are living the lives as typical high schoolers. As a high school senior, Hannah Lucas splits her time managing her non-profit, advocating to raise awareness on mental health

22 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019

Photography by: Vania Photo Studio

issues, and being a teen. She loves fashion, shopping, hanging out with her very best friends, and marathoning—via Netflix because she’ll only run if being chased by zombies. As a high school freshman it can be tough, but Charlie Lucas makes the most of it by attending a STEM High School, where he focuses on cybersecurity, animation, and game design. He enjoys playing video games, teaching himself how to play the piano, and anything in musical theater. Looking at Charlie, you won’t believe he’s also a black belt in American Karate and an MMA-style fighter. I am sure other youths and adults would find their interview with RallyUp Magazine (RUM) as inspiring as we did. Whether it was Hannah's strength or Charlie's unconditional love...these two mental health change agents are mental health/mental wellness warriors!!

RUM: What defines you? HANNAH: I think I define me. I have overcome so much in my life, I think my strength defines me. RUM: When you look in the mirror what do you see? HANNAH: When I look in the mirror I see strength and confidence. Strength to push through my fears. RUM: How did you see your household change, when Hannah first began struggling? CHARLIE: Our household changes a lot. Everything became about Hannah, trying to make things easier for Hannah. It was like walking on eggshells. RUM: So Charlie how did it make you feel going through that ?

HANNAH: I think a biggest sign for me and a lot of people was body aches and pain. My back would hurt so much and I wouldn’t be able to sleep. RUM: Healing is a process. What are some steps you had to take on your healing journey? HANNAH: The biggest step I had to take was cutting out everything. I used to relie on looks and friends. Some of them were toxic friends I had to cut out in order to heal. I honestly had to take a hard look at myself in the mirror and learn to be ok. Working with a therapist and eventually a life coach helped me a lot. I had to list 5 things about myself that I like wether it was simple things like my hair looked nice today to deeper things like my personality. It helped me learn to heal. RUM: There may be a younger reader who has thoughts of giving up or going through a hard time, what are some encouraging words you have for them ?

CHARLIE: It made me feel helpless. It hurt knowing she was going through so much and I didn’t know how to help her.

CHARLIE: You are not alone. 1 out of 4 people struggle with mental illness. Reach Out! There are people out there who are struggling too.

RUM: Mental struggles are not always obvious; what are some of your visible signs that goes unnoticed?

HANNAH: Not be a shame. No one looks at a broken foot with shame so mental issues should be the same way. Don’t be ashamed. We all go through.

Photography by: Vania Photo Studio

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 23

press kit Photography by: Vania Photo Studio

Photography by: Vania Photo Studio


for more info: robin@notOKapp.com

award-winning pre-crisis suicide prevention app

for more information: robin@notOKapp.com

Page 1 " of 10 "


Returning back to school or work after a long break can be a daunting task. Intimidation and feelings of apprehension can quickly turn into feelings of fear, anxiety, or depression. If you are feeling this way, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Studies say that many youth and adults who return to school or work after a period of time feel nervous, and or afraid of what is to come. If you know anyone in this situation, and or you are in a situation such as this, know that there is something you can do. First, recognize how you feel. Your body will give off signs and symptoms when you don’t feel right. For example, when you are feeling anxious you might feel nervous, your palms might be sweaty, or you may sweat in other places on your body. Some even say they have felt sick to their stomach, or unable to speak during these times. These are all signs that you are afraid. Most times when we feel anxiety, we are afraid in a situation where there is little to no risk of danger. In these situations, you can calm yourself down by thinking positive thoughts. This is called self-talk. Self-talk can help in situations where you feel uncomfortable because it provides comfort and it allows a person to reason with themselves which also helps one calm down and see a situation for what it actually is (non-threatening). An example of self-talk can be, “I am ok”, “there is no reason to be afraid”, “I am not alone”, “I am strong, I can do this”, and so on. If you believe in God, you can also add prayer or grace into your self-talk by saying things like, “I trust you father”, “I know you won’t allow me to endure situations that I can’t handle”, or, “help me father”, “Please strengthen me, and protect me”. These are just some examples. However, you can talk to yourself in ways that you feel comfortable. The key here is to be in the moment when you talk and listen to what you are saying. When you listen to yourself you began to hear yourself and believe in yourself. All of these things can help you to remain calm and take your focus off of being afraid, and on being strong and doing what you have to do. You can do it! Go ahead, get back in the game!

24 | rallyupmagazine.com | Fall 2019

GOD’S Promise to His BELIEVERS

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (ESV)

Taken from the book

“DEVOTIONALS FOR THE MIND” by Andrae Hayden Available on Amazon.com

Sometimes when trials come one after another, we become so overwhelmed that we start to question God. We must remember that God is in control. It’s like a puzzle. When all the pieces are scattered, it looks messy. We know that the finished product will be beautiful, but we are so busy focusing on the pieces. We must keep our mind on the promise and not the pieces. We can rest knowing that each piece of our life is a stepping stone to greater blessings, greater miracles, and greater victories throughout our lives.

Daily Affirmation God, I will only focus on you and the promises that you have for me. I know that all things are working together for my good. You have not forgotten me. I stand firm in knowing that you will never leave me nor forsake me. I am forgiven, I am whole, I am blessed, I have purpose, and I am loved by you. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Let’s be the ones who Talk About Mental Health so Much that our Next Generation Never Feels the Stigma ♥

We Fight Foundation Inc. 240-34-FIGHT (240-343-4448)



Faith & Mental Health


As I studied Exodus chapter four, the above title jumped out at me? In the chapter, Moses was being instructed by God to go and tell the Pharaoh of Egypt to let the children of Israel go. Moses had a speech impediment. Therefore, he struggled with fears and insecurities. He asked God to send someone else in his place. God showed grace to Moses and sent his brother Aaron. However, God still required obedience from Moses, for He desired to use him. God wanted to use Moses despite his limitations. He wanted to show His great power through Moses, and he wants to do the same for each of us. Although, one may have a medical diagnosis, God is greater than the diagnosis. He wants us to understand that our call to purpose is not limited to our limitations in our flesh. He wants to use us for His glory. If you, as myself and Moses, are wrestling with God’s purpose for your life, He only needs a surrender. He will do the rest; we only need to show up and watch Him move on behalf of others as they witness what He has and is doing in our lives. What have you told God you couldn’t do? Who have you tried to send in your place? God is calling you. Now! You only need to trust that He is your maker, and He will equip you for such a time as this. God is able to do the miraculous in your life. Never fear walking out your purpose. Where you are weak, he is strong. Pastor Denise M. Walker Speaker, Podcaster, Author & Teacher Hope-in-Christ Ministries, Inc.

Then the LORD said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:11)

ACCEPTANCE By: Kristin Freeman

’ve come to accept that sometimes it does not matter how much you’ve healed, how clear your head is, how much your spirit has lifted, how kind or thoughtful you are. To SOME people, you will continue to be broken, messy and desperate. Remembered for your lowest point or your worst mistake. THOSE people are not going to cheer for you or say they are proud of you, no matter if your growth is large or small. To THEM, you will always be who you were. To THEM. Yes, we should always applaud ourselves, but when you are working your way out of your own personal hell, there is strength to be found in the encouraging words of others. That strength may be what we need to take the next step and another and another. Keep going sister. Keep going brother. THEY don’t see you, but I do!

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www.amandaudd.com |  @therapyisdope

tarting college is a widely celebrated milestone marking the entry way to adulthood. This significant accomplishment, its accompanying changes, and new expectations are creating new challenges on the emotional health and well-being on a growing number of college undergraduates, many of whom end up back home after their first year of college. Who would think developing emotional resilience and an ability to ask for help would become key factors to your success at college?

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The reality of balancing life skills like time management, adjusting to life with roommates, navigating a lecture hall of fifty to five hundred students, all the food you can eat, doing laundry, and figuring out how to belong, coupled with the stress to be successful and a dash of perfectionism is hard. These emotional demands can sometimes trigger a crisis, unmask underlying depression, or in some cases psychosis from some young adults. Ms. Katiuscia Gray, the owner of Mind Movement Holistic Services, PLLC, located in Valley Stream, NY, raises an important dynamic during this time, social media and identity. “Too many college kids hold their self-worth and self-esteem based on social media and the people that they follow. They believe that they should be doing more, and if they do not measure up to what their followers have or are doing they rule their lives as a failure. This is where anxiety and then depression comes in for them.” Emotional changes can be subtle or sometimes very clear, however, students don’t always know the signs that something is wrong, or they may know they need more help and are too afraid or filled with guilt or shame to share they are falling apart. There is also still a great deal of stigma surrounding mental health. The numbers tell a tale of one in five college students who experience a mental health condition (NAMI), with three out of five students experiencing overwhelming anxiety, with two out of five students

too depressed to function. That could be you, your studious classmate, or even the athlete across the hall. The Journal of Adolescent Health report undergrads are struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and actual attempts. What is even more alarming is on average only about 15% of these students actually seek supportive services. “There is a lot of anxiety that shows up for adolescents and young adults and much differently than it would with adults. You hear things such as my mind is always racing, right before a test, or my mind goes blank even though I studied or my heart starts racing so fast I don't know what happened or what is happening”, said Ms. Gray. We actually see some students who over-compensate, “some adolescents over prepare for tests [or other assignments] by studying repeatedly, often not sleeping or eating, and being consumed by school, i.e. looking at their grades online daily, sometimes multiple times out of the day. I call this the perfectionist child, which is underlying anxiety”, according to Ms. Gray, LCSW, CYT. In adults this can look like the high achiever who never leaves work on time, is constantly tired and has trouble enjoying success. What we recognize with our clients as therapists, particularly college students, is “often times they don’t have a name for what they are going through”, Gray said. That experience can be anxiety, but Ms. Gray reminds us that, “depression and anxiety also go hand in hand with this population”. Depression in this case may feel like you are “stuck…shut down or don't have the desire to do anything and often drop out of school”. Gray goes on to explain it can sound like, "I don't know what to do with my life". Knowing the signs and how to manage it can be a great tool in lowering risks and preserving good mental health. For students and families here are a few signs to look for: 1. Missing classes, trouble thinking or concentrating at school, work or team activities. 2. Shutting off from friends or family, spending more time alone and thinking you don’t want to burden anyone with your problems. 3. You just don’t feel like yourself. There has been a change in your mood. Maybe feeling down or blue most of the day, a sense of sadness or heaviness that you just can’t shake. 4. More anxious than usual, maybe around the thought of doing a task or showing up for class, or even procrastinating to the point that nothing gets done.

If any of these sound like you, it is time to get help, and we want to make sure you have access to great resources to thrive. If you or someone else you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center. Other resources: Your College Counseling Center. Every campus has one and they can provide confidential support to you or refer you to off campus support. Families can make sure their young person knows where their local center is. Some 80 to 90% of college students who commit suicide had not received assistance from their college counseling center (www.activeminds.org). It’s ok to skip go and find someone off campus yourself. In my psychotherapy practice I get a lot of college referrals from sites like psychologytoday.com, therapyforblackgirls.com or directly at www.amandafludd.com. Disability Centers: Disability centers right on campus are an awesome way to get access to additional evaluations, approval of accommodations (like someone to take notes for you in lectures), and academic coaching/accountability. If you had an IEP in High School you want to connect with this office. If your emotional health is impacting your learning, and you see a therapist or psychiatrist, you can coordinate with them and the disability center for more academic supports. Every Day Self Care: Don’t underestimate the power of these easy every day recommendations to take care of yourself, reduce stress, and boost your overall health. Ms. Gray is a champion for overall wellness, and agrees that “college can be a difficult time and due to the hectic schedule of studying and classes, its super important to try to eat at least 3 balanced meals a day. Healthy body, healthy mind. I would also advise going for walks, and just observing what's around you, it’s called mindful walking which is a great stress reliever. Another great stress reliever is yoga”. Ms. Gray is a licensed Psychotherapist and Yogi (Yoga instructor) who isn’t afraid to merge the two worlds to help clients realign their lives. “People often misconstrue yoga with doing headstands on your head or it not being inclusive for people of color however, Yoga allows you to connect your mind to your body, and allows you to observe and listen to when your body is talking to you because it’s always talking we are just never silent enough to listen. After all your mind is connected to your body and your body is connected to your mind”.

7. Change in appetite

In addition to these tips students, try not to skip meals so you have enough energy for the day, create social supports like your academic advisor or professor, join a few local on campus clubs like the black student union, and do the opposite of what you feel if it is counterproductive to your health. We encourage you not to go into hiding, or keep your experiences a secret, but speak up, especially if the stranger overwhelmed is you.

8. Loss of interest in activities you once loved doing.


5. Consuming more drugs or alcohol than intended, especially to not feel anything or feel better. 6. A boost in energy for no clear reason, less need for sleep; more talkative than usual; racing thoughts; distracted; or sudden increase in activities like shopping or sex.

9. Unexplained and frequent physical problems, such as back pain, stomach aches or headaches 10. More self-critical, feeling guilty, negative and unhelpful thinking. Wondering what it would be like if you gave up, or thoughts of death and ending your life.

Journal of Adolescent Health July 2019. SOURCE: bit.ly/2MGbBoQ Journal of Adolescent Health, online July 3, 2019. NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness. www.nami.com

Photo Credit: Stanley Morales from Pexels

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 29

THERAPIST HIGHLIGHT KATIUSCIA GRAY, LCSW-R, CYT A special thank you to Katiuscia Gray, LCSW-R, CYT and also a Trauma & Anxiety Specialist for contributing to this piece. A bit more about her: A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT- 200hr), Certified Restorative Teacher, Yoga Nidra Certified, and kid’s Yoga teacher. She graduated from Adelphi University in 2006 with a Master’s degree in Social Work. In addition, she received her certification in Yoga in 2018. She is the owner of Mind Movement Holistic Services, PLLC located in Valley Stream, NY, which focuses on individual, group and family therapy for children adolescents and young adults. Dear Amanda, How do you know if you need therapy?


We all deal with unexpected situations, stress, work demand, grief, tough break ups, anxiety, lingering resentment and even those I just can’t do this moments, but when is it too much and time to set up an appointment with a therapist? Mel S from Upper Marlboro, MD, this is a great question so let’s get into it because the earlier a person reaches out for help, the greater your chances of getting back on track and resolving the issues. 4 signs you might need to see a therapist:

Everything you need to know about

Mental Health

Photo by Stanley Morales from Pexels

1. Looking for alone time. We all can appreciate time to ourselves, but if you find its taking you longer to come out the car to go into the house, or more times than not you are in your room with the lights off, or cancelling opportunities to go out when you usually do, it may mean there is just too much on your plate to deal with and it’s time to dish it out with a trained and consistent listening ear. 2. The body often tells the truth. If its speaking to you with irritating headaches, frequent colds, discoloration of the skin, insomnia, restlessness, stomach aches, or tense muscles and relentless fatigue, it can mean stress or emotional overload is taking its toll and showing up in the body. 3. Using a substance to cope. If your feel good is an increase in cocktails or another beverage, and/or drugs in greater quantities, or even increase in casual sex and other risky behaviors it’s a sign you may be avoiding some difficult emotional areas. 4. Your friends are concerned. Sometimes friends or close family members notice patterns that are hard to see ourselves and it may be a good idea to consider their perspective, especially if you love and trust that person. 5. A sudden change. The best tip is any sudden change in how you feel or new behaviors (like over sleeping or more irritable) that real impacts your daily life is a key sign. If it last more than a week or regularly comes back and just feels like more than you can handle, that’s an important clue that it is time to check in with a therapist for at least a consultation.

If you think you may fall into one of these categories and need to find a therapist. A few great resources are: The back of your insurance card and contacting that customer support number, Open Path Collective if you don’t have insurance, or Therapy for Black Girls and Psychology Today to search for a local therapist that specializes in your needs.

Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R Licensed Clinical Social Worker www.amandafludd.com

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Send All Questions for Dear Amanda to rallyupmagazine@gmail.com cuffing season is credited to http://about.urbandictionary.com/tos



Unlovable. WOrthLESS. USELESS. Impossible. Hopeless.


Nikita Powell-Cottman Anxiety & Seasonal Depression

Vanity Dawson Bipolar Disorder & Depression

Tai Campbell Depression & Anxiety

Kenai Hollingsworth Suicide Survivor, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety & Depression, PTSD

Neta Vaught Suicide Survivor, Depression, Anixety, PTSD

Mental Health Warrior Zone vi Fighting Back Against the

YOU CAN live a meaningful & prosperous life with mental illnesses. It does NOT define You! Once you are able to develop the mental strength of a warrior, not only will you be able to achieve just about any goal you want in life but the world will become your canvas. You will be able to paint and create the life you want, every single day. See previous warriors at www.rallyupmagazine.com

Tamika Woodard Anxiety & Depression

Tanzania Fair Depression & Suicidal Ideation

Lorelai Symmes OCD, Anorexia, PTSD

Dasia Wood Suicide Survivor, Anxiety, Bipolar, PTSD & Depression

Kayla Sampson Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar

Jada Carrington Anxiety & Depression

Craig Cooper Depression & Suicidal Ideation

Tyshia Douglas Depression

Elyse Lancaster Suicide Survivor

Photo Credit: @yposeimages

The Comeback

Neta Vaught y name is Neta Vaught. I’m a mother of five amazing children, caregiver, advocate and author. My voice today is one that speaks for those who are silent, masked and in trauma. Today, I stand as a leader sharing the story of my life inspiring others. Not only do I inspire but I like to educate those who have stigmas when it comes to mental health. Growing up I was like many little girls wanting a family, house, and to become a successful doctor. All I knew on the inside of me is that I wanted to save lives so people would live and not die. My life’s circumstances snatched those dreams and beliefs away from me like a thief in the night. This thief kept coming back and it left many open wounds and me in a state of pain leaving me to face mirrors, reflections and unwanted company that hid itself deep down to my soul.

with bipolar and paranoid schizophrenia. She had been seeking help but didn’t tell anyone. As a child I was embarrassed, and I was angry with my mother. Over 30 years ago anything with mental illness was a taboo. I would cry many days because I felt that she hated me, and I questioned why she didn’t love me anymore. While I was questioning my mother, I didn’t know that as a child I was in my own state of depression. In 2009, I attempted to take my own life. I was tired of hurting and it hit me hard, the feeling that all my life things were snatched from me. What was the point of living if it was going to be nothing but hurt, pain and loneliness? After being admitted to the hospital following my suicide attempt, I was then diagnosed with major depression, generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. I hated myself and here I was a mother of three children. Even then I didn’t understand it all until 2015 when I was forced to face again what I didn’t understand about depression and that I was hiding it. Depression didn’t come knocking but it came in like a thief in the night. I would go to bed feeling okay but then wake up feeling like I was fighting for my life. It was this time in 2015, that I refused to lose and was determined that giving up wasn’t an option. It was during this time I took off my mask and decided to face my past and all the challenges I had to endure. This time I didn’t want to just fight for myself, but I wanted to fight for others. I knew I wasn’t alone although I felt lonely. What I knew was that me continuing to live, overcoming all I’ve gone through was for me to help save the lives of those experiencing similar things that I had. I changed my perspective of my life’s circumstances and I learned that I was much stronger than I had believed. In 2016 I birthed my business Reconnecting Our Communities LLC. Wanting to create a safe space for others and share my story it was my desire to build a judgement free healing zone for people like me. I also went on a journey seeking other survivors to write a book of real, raw and uncut stories in a compilation with other survivors titled Shattered Mirrors, Silent Voices. If I hadn’t gone through the life obstacles and circumstances, I wouldn’t be who I am today. No, I didn’t go to college and become a doctor like I had imagined, but what I did was remained hopeful and used my pain to now provide support, hope and education by being myself; transparent, unmasked and unafraid to share my story. My motto is “Free the minds of the people, and the people will heal”. If I were to leave you with words of encouragement it would be to learn to embrace the difficult times because it builds your character. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and don’t allow anything or anyone to keep you silent. Everyday give yourself permission to heal and remove your mask. Take back your joy and reclaim your life because it’s worth living. Everyday life seems like a fight, but I know that I don’t have to fight alone. We can stand together as one. Let’s make the noise to put the stigmas to rest and not our voices or lives. My comeback is greater and better than every struggle and so is yours.

To dive right in when I think about all I have endured, I call myself a conqueror. I have conquered and continue to do so despite my obstacles. I was raised in a fatherless home and I am a survivor of molestation, rape, domestic violence, attempted suicide and much more. Growing up in my household was different from others. I remember the good old days when my mother would paint with me and teach me how to model. One day that changed when my mother was diagnosed

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 33

Photo by  Cash Captures


Lorelai Symmes ou probably want to know a little bit about me before I start expressing my struggles, so here you go. My name is Lorelai Symmes and I am 15 years old. I love anything horse related , poetry, and sunflowers. My struggles with mental health started when I was 9 years old. I began displaying extreme OCD( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) symptoms and was soon sent to therapy. This lasted for a while and soon I was able to get my disorder under control. Unbeknownst to anyone , at this time I began experiencing body dysmorphia and was doing anything possible to lose weight. When I was 11, things began to go downhill. I was in an abusive relationship that resulted in my young self being taken of so much innocence and love for myself.

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This soon resulted in the development of anorexia. I was in outpatient treatment for a while and was soon discharged from the services. A couple months later, I relapsed and I relapsed hard. My symptoms progressively got worse until they were realized by my parents. I was put back into therapy but it did nothing. My weight and health plummeted until finally I was so ill that I was sent to the emergency room. From there I was referred to an EDU (Eating Disorder Unit) where I stayed for three months. It was months of tears and fear, but on February 1st 2019 I was discharged. This time, I was truly choosing recovery. I began to write poetry and eventually signed with a publishing company to publish my first book. When I was discharged, I thought it would be the end of my struggles, but boy was I wrong. In September, I developed PTSD from my abusive relationship and hospitalization. I recently began EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as a way to reprogram my current negative thoughts and feelings. I am so grateful for Rally Up for allowing me to work with them to fight mental illness one day at a time!!

Born Overcomers bit.ly/notdiscouraged

Negative Thinking, Rape, Lust, Sickness, Ungratefulness, Tragedy, Worthlessness, Domestic Violence, Death. Do any of these words resonate with you? The powerful testimonies of Lakesha and four Featured Overcomers are designed to instill hope and inspire you to begin experiencing the overwhelming freedom that can be found in overcomingjust as they did!

Are you dating, considering dating or have dated and tired of making the same mistakes? Have you given up on finding love altogether? TJ Woodard and Alton L. Fitch shows you that following God's instructions as it pertains to dating will change the course of your relationship. They encourage you to recognize you are royalty and should be treated as the Queens that you are. God has someone He designed especially for you, and if we stay on course He will give you the desires of your heart.


Dear Fear Volume 3 by: Tiana Patrice booklaunch.io/tjwoodard

Dear Fear Volume 3 is a book by visionary author Tiana Patrice that consists of powerful stories by women who have had to look fear in the face and push through adversities. “Activating your Fearless” is what Coach T calls it. TJ Woodard is one of those women who tells her story in this book compilation where she shares having to grow up with the secret of being molested and hiding it for years. This secret crippled her most of her life silencing her in so many ways. In this book she finds that her voice has power in her chapter titled, “Dear Fear…You Can’t Have My Voice!”


This book highlights stories of warriors and survivors of depression. These women have struggled and aim to inspire other struggling women. Their stories of survival overcome pain and conquer strength. Together we can stop the stigma of mental health and give hope to others. This book exposes the raw truth of adversity and breaks our silence. https://squareup.com/store/reconnecting-roc to the book Shattered Mirrors, Silent Voices

Shattered Mirror Silent Voices By: Neta Vaught

Life After Trauma

By: Vanity Dawson

With God, you will make it through any storm, trauma, or bad experience! How can there be beauty in a traumatic experience? Oh, there certainly is and Vanity can tell you first-hand how from her experience. God brings us true healing from the after effect of our trauma. Trauma impairs our thought process, our relationships with other people and ourselves, and how we behave. However, God repairs and restores us back to how He purposed us. He repairs us in ways better than before we experienced trauma. He takes what was meant to hurt us, set us back, or destroy us and turns it into a beautiful story. He turns it into an experience that we have overcame and can help the people around us that are experiencing the same or similar things. Our traumatic experiences aren’t for us to harbor but to share hope and faith with the people around us that they too can make it through. With God, you will make it through any storm, trauma, or bad experience. Just hold onto faith in Him and trust His process. www.takemyhandco.org FB:TakeMyHandLLC IG: vanityd_tmh

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 35



me lose focus on my healing process, and cling to finding simple pleasures in my life. This resulted in me doing the following: 1. Logging off social media: I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to log-off, but I knew that I had to stop viewing and analyzing everyone else’s life. Social media was an automatic depressant for me and did not contribute to my healing process. 2. Checking in on old friends: although I didn’t want to fall back into old habits with friends who weren’t good for me, there were friends who were extremely healthy for me, whom I had isolated myself from. It felt good to laugh and reminisce and find that hidden glow.

Photo Credit: Mosuno Media (Stocksy.com)

As seasons change, we go through the frustrations of the change of weather; if it’s going to be cold today, hot tomorrow. Simple nuances like changing our closet, vehicle upkeep, and other seasonal necessities are put in place to assist us with managing the next few months. This can also be true as it relates to our daily lives and how we manage change, both physically and mentally. Transitions are never the easiest season to be in. You face fear, possible let downs, and sometimes breakdowns as you weather the in-and-out moments you’re in. Within the last few months I’ve faced insane changes in my livelihood and lifestyle: I relocated, started a position at a new job, and ended a five-year relationship. This all happened within one season - which equates to about three months, and although all were great blessings and a sigh of relief, once the adrenaline settled, I found myself depressed and anxious. I continue to remind myself, “girl, you have the opportunity to live better and love on you,” but there are times when I also sit and wonder if I’ve made the right choices, if I will ever find the right man, or if I will ever be happy. I knew this transition was going to be a challenge and stressful at times, but every day I meditate on the BIG picture. In order to truly focus on my WINS, I decided to withdraw from anyone or anything that made

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3. Finding new hobbies: for some odd reason, I picked up an urge to play pool, and with the recent move I dabbled in designing my new space. Getting back in shape and taking control is also on my list— but hey, me and pizza still have a love/hate relationship. Lastly, I’ve been working on my voice. Being able to vocalize my thoughts through paper and releasing those negative thoughts that creep in from time to time. During this season, I’m living in my transition and learning to take control of every twist and turn it brings. This is my time to declutter and restore every part of me.

Beauty in

Every Flavor By TJ Woodard

“Beauty in Every Flavor” is the catch phrase of the new and upcoming cosmetic line created by Tamika Woodard. Tamika Woodard launched Kandi Girl Cosmetics back in 2008, as an independent cosmetic line, where her products were sold in local boutiques and spas. During this time, Kandi Girl Cosmetics could also be found on runways contracted as the featured cosmetic line for David’s Bridals Bridal Shows up and down the East Coast. After taking a pause, Tamika Woodard decided to relaunch Kandi Girl Cosmetics in a different fashion. This unique cosmetic line now includes smaller collections that are tailored to specific subjects, organizations, causes, and trends. Kandi Girl was originated and designed to encourage women and young girls to embrace the little girl within all of us. Kandi Girl embodies fun, sophistication, strength, power, intelligence, and so much more. There’s a Kandi Girl in all of us. “Beauty in Every Flavor” means just that. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, shades, ages, ethnicities and does not discriminate. We are all beautiful and should embrace who we are. This cosmetic line is not geared to promoting changing how you look, but to encourage those who just want to enhance their natural beauty and provide the tools to do so. There’s a little something for everyone. One of the first two collections that will be launched by Kandi Girl Cosmetics is the Beautiful Chaos Collection. The Beautiful Chaos Collection is in support of We Fight Foundation and Mental Health Awareness. Its name is significant to the daily struggle of someone that has a mental illness, and the challenges they face. Beauty is all the great things and the great moments about who we are and how we’re striving, and the Chaos is the more challenging side to mental illness, and the struggles associated with living with a mental illness. Tamika is excited that the Beautiful Chaos line is the first of multiple collections launching Winter 2019. The powerful message behind the collection will touch the hearts of many while spreading more awareness surrounding mental illness, suicide, and depression.

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 37

SHENESIA Ewing Founder of Uncovering the New U, LLC "Change Begins with U"

SheNesia Ewing

, is a Certified International Speaker, Transformation Life Coach, Master Fitness Trainer, and published author. Life Coach Nesi started UncoveringTheNewU, LLC in early 2010. As a Life Coach, Nesi’s mission is to teach women and empower the youth on how to transition into their desired transformation to show them how to let go of their past and push them into their present. By showing them how to change their perspective and how they see, react, and resolve the challenges of life. Growing up Coach Nesi experienced trauma in her youth. Bullying, sexual assault, domestic violence, and losing a child which led her into depression; in silence. She disliked how she looked, felt, and questioned her existence. Over time she realized that it wasn’t normal to live this way battling suicidal thoughts and giving up on herself. It wasn’t until 2016 as an adult that she had her breakthrough not from life, but from herself. In June 2019, she spoke to a group of beautiful young ladies age 10-17 in Opelousas, Louisiana. She was invited by Kimiko Hart. Opelousas is Ms. Hart hometown and family church. Coach Nesi knew that these ladies battled with many of the same issues that she did growing up, in a small community and many of the topics go unspoken of. With the mission being “Your Voice Matters,” the five days compiled of DAY 1: YOUR VOICE MATTERS. These young women gave me permission to tell them why the sounds of their voice matters. The words they say matter whether the message coming out is good or bad. DAY2: FINDING THE VALUE IN YOUR MESSAGE. This day we spoke on why it is important that no matter what a child says there is value to every word. They just have to say it! DAY 3: WHERE CAN MY UNHEARD MESSAGES LEAD ME? I provided the message of how my silence almost pushed me into depression. It led me to hate others around me when I was only hating myself and pushing others away. DAY 4: WHAT IS MY MESSAGE? WHAT DO I NEED TO GET OUT OF MY HEART RIGHT NOW? My personal message was that I was hurting, I was scared, I felt alone, and I needed a friend, my mom, my dad, and just learn to find my way.

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DAY 5: WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY MESSAGE? SAY IT WITH ME… I don’t have to go through this alone! There is so much as youth are afraid to say because of the foundations of family and the desire to have friends. It can be hard to translate how we feel especially if we feel that we could lose those closest to us or want in our lives. Coach Nesi is the author of “UncoveringTheNewU, Change your mind, Change your circumstances,” and “The Civilian Soldier,” and a Health and Wellness writer in the Life Coach Network Magazine. She has contributed to several books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and spoken on multiple radio stations across the US. She has shared her expertise globally by visiting Dubai UAE, Paris, France, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Cape Town, South Africa, Tokyo, Japan and others.

Contact:  : info@AuthorNesiEwing.com  : LifeCoachNesi  : www.AuthorNesiEwing.com

Making a Difference

Rene’ Brooks

Founder of Black Girl, Lost Keys Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and has failed." Lucille Clifton At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with ADHD for the first time. At the age of 11, I was diagnosed with ADHD again. By the age of 25, I was diagnosed a third time. It was then I finally decided to get treatment after a lifetime of struggling with ADHD. After my diagnosis in 2010, I took some time to learn about the disorder before beginning my advocacy work in late 2014. There was no information anywhere that could tell me what it was like to be a black woman living with ADHD. Since there was a lack of information about ADHD, I decided to create a forum, so that other people like me could have a point of reference to find answers and discuss the disorder. Through this forum people can share and gain knowledge from others who understand how it feels to have ADHD. People that they can trust. A community of support. This is how “Black Girl, Lost Keys” was born. Living my life without treatment for ADHD was hard. I was a very intelligent child. I passed tests without having to study and was able to learn the information I was given without difficulty. On the other hand, I was always disorganized, always struggling to be on time, and always frustrating my teachers who couldn't understand my struggle. I was so smart, yet I could not turn my homework in on time. For any parents who are concerned about the effect that an ADHD diagnosis will have on their child, I can understand. We as parents want the best for our children, and we fear what labeling can do to them. The truth is, they are most likely going to label your child, even if they are not diagnosed with ADHD. With labels such as: laziness, unmotivated, disruptive, and many other things. Those messages and labels become part of their inner dialogue forever. It becomes a lasting effect on a person's self-esteem, and unnecessary grief, for the time lost due to undiagnosed ADHD that is left untreated.

As a parent, the last question you ever want to have to answer from your child is "why did you let me struggle?" Medication is not the only option, but it is a great choice. The best thing to do, is to keep an open mind about treatment options. If you are unsuccessful with one option, then try another. ADHD that is left untreated, can complicate someone's life. If you suspect that you or your child has ADHD, I encourage you to follow up with your doctor, and keep following up until you can get some answers.

Contact:  : rene@blackgirllostkeys.com  : @Black Girl, Lost Keys  : www.blackgirllostkeys.com Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 39

By: Talona Smith aving a child diagnosed with a mental health disorder was an eye-opening experience. For years, my now ex-husband and I could not figure out how to communicate with one of our daughters. Being a military family, we often had to relocate. Each move required having to adapt to a different environment. In our children’s case…starting all over again…new schools, new friends. It was tough and they would be unhappy for a while but often adapted soon after, except one child. She would act out on the very first day of school each and every time we had to move. Regardless of how much we knew what was going to happen, it got to the point of us being tired of the same behavior. We tried different methods of discipline to get her to behave but she just did not want to cooperate. We even had her arrested on her 15th birthday as part of a local sheriff’s department youth detention intervention program where she was booked, in-processed and spent the night in jail. Parents had to attend an educational briefing on how to work with their troubled teens and measures to prevent inadvertently contributing to any adverse behavior. It didn’t help. She used that experience to brag to her friends on how tough she was. She is very intelligent…honor roll student. So, it was not like she was struggling with a learning behavior. We weren’t rich but lived well. So, it was not like she was being exposed to bad living conditions. We attended church, Sunday School, Bible Study, had quality family time playing cards games and indoor/outdoor activities, she had friends, we took trips, visited relatives…you name it…we did it. So, it was not like she was in isolation. There are times she was placed in detention for being disrespectful to teachers and staff members. Suspended from school for fighting. Put off the school bus for punching a kid who was picking on her brother. Honestly, that punishment was a bit lenient, we just showed her an alternate reaction for that kind of situation. Her misconduct increased to the point of being expelled from school due to excessive suspensions. I was defeated at that point…clueless as to how to keep going without neglecting the needs of my other three children. On the verge of being divorced. Now part of a society of parents who are stigmatized for having a child in alternative school. What was I supposed to do? Who could I lean on that would not put her business out on blast? Counseling and medication were the only option left. I kept her sessions and medication quiet except from the principal, guidance counselor, and teachers at the alternative school she was sent to. Her disruptive behavior had decreased but was still there. God really shined His light on our family. After she completed her term at alternative school and no longer taking medication, her principal requested a meeting regarding her time at the alternative school. He watched her progression and saw her potential and asked if we would allow her to stay for the next school year so he and his staff could make sure she was socially

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ready to return to high school. He would make sure she took courses that were part of her high school requirements for graduation. He did not want the bad choice she made to get there, to be the reason she was not able to succeed in life. That is what she did…she succeeded. I’m not saying everyday was roses and rainbows when she returned to high school, but it was better than when she began. It was three years later before she was diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder. Now things made sense to us. To add more to her battle, she was recently diagnosed with remitting and recurring multiple sclerosis. I wanted to take every part of my being and love it all away from her. She often tells me to stop being so melodramatic and let her go through this. Labor pains do not stop at childbirth…they occur every time your child is faced with any kind of struggle. I attend appointments with her to learn about her condition, treatments, and how to be supportive of her. I subscribe to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to receive newsletters about research, training, educational videos, programs, and events, etc. I attend grief counseling for myself to make sure I am emotionally stable to be a support for all my children. I am no good to them if I don’t take care of myself first. My daughter and I still have our moments of disagreements from time to time. I get in my feelings when she won’t let me coddle her, but I know she is a fighter. I learn strength from watching her handle her disabilities…let me change that…her different way of living like a boss. Mental health is a different way of living, thinking, showing emotions, and coping with situations. Every disruptive behavior has a story. We all must become educated on how to find out what that story is and become advocates for those who are in this fight with mental health issues. Most act out when they don’t know how to let it out. Others act out to get attention. Either way, they deserve our help without judgment.

Take Suicidal thoughts seriously and Get Help!

I did and I feel Much Better! We Fight Foundation, Inc. : 240-34-FIGHT (240-343-4448) Photo by Cash Captures Vice Chair - Kenai Hollingsworth

: www.wefightfoundation.org

Photo Credit: Dan Meyers on Unsplash

By: Lex Morgan Photo Credit: Amer Mughawish on Unsplash

As a mother of sons, it’s important to express that emotional trauma caused by bullying is more common than we may realize. Society conditions us to believe that boys and men always need to be tough, if not, they’re somehow “less than a man.” False. That conditioning and warped sense of belief sometimes drives many young men to extreme measures when the pressure, pain and trauma are too much to bear. My oldest son, Kionne, had always been very photo-genic, and he loved to smile as a young child. He was so free-spirited and had a HUGE sense of humor! He’d make the silliest faces and his laugh was infectious. Slowly, his personality began to change, though I wasn’t sure why. It took some time, but the answer was revealed. I noticed a change when he was in first grade. It was the first time he didn’t smile in a school picture. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it. I thought he was growing up and maybe he wanted to be cool. When the same was true in second, third and fourth grade, I became concerned. I worried that he’d become self-conscious about his teeth and hoped that my promise to have his teeth corrected would somehow hold him over until he could receive orthodontic treatment. I was wrong. You see, my concern was rooted in the fact that I, too, had experienced bullying as a child, and I wanted to protect him from it. Among common bullying attacks, I was teased about having a large forehead. I often wished I could change it or that I could be someone else entirely. From that place, I wanted to connect with Kionne, to re-assure him that he was enough, that he was so much more than his teeth. One day, while driving him to school, I asked, “Why do you hide your teeth?” He said, “People tease me.” I said, “I know what you mean, I was teased about my forehead all the time.” His response shocked me and broke my heart because…well…he was right. He said, “Mom, at least you have hair to cover your forehead; I don’t have anything to cover my teeth.” You see, Kionne had a severe overbite and bucked teeth. The conditions weren’t visible until his permanent teeth began to grow in, which explained the shift in self-confidence; he’d also

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become withdrawn. He stopped wanting to smile completely. It was as if his inner light had been snuffed out. In that moment, it was clear that he’d stopped smiling because of other people’s cruel questions, comments, and treatment. What was more surprising was that educators joined in on the bullying! My child was incorrectly labeled as having “special needs” and “needing a smaller class size” because he needed orthodontic treatment. When I learned of this, I promptly met with administrative staff to address my concerns and to ensure that all responsible parties were held accountable. Although the bullying slowed down, irreversible damage was done. If you or your child(ren) have experienced bullying and/or poor self-confidence, then you know that restoration, and in some cases, building self-confidence for the first time is a one experience at a time journey. I would love to share that Kionne’s orthodontic treatment repaired the bruises to his self-confidence, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. Though it brings me great joy to share that he did receive treatment and his confidence has improved, he strives to know and love himself every day. He is committed to seeing himself through his own eyes and not the opinions of others. Taking time to tap back into his relationship with God and himself are powerful tools for him. Exploring what he really wants for himself, what and who he values most are other tools. One human-being to another, I want you to know that you matter. We matter. You belong here.



Delton Jicolbi Myers was born on January 23, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina. His parents are Anthony and Deidre Myers Jeffcoat. Delton is the middle child of three. He has a supportive older sister named Demauri, and an energetic younger brother named Dicen. As a little kid Delton was very witty and charming. He enjoyed bike riding, cooking, visiting museums, and reading. Delton is currently a 5th grade student at Meadowfield Elementary School in Richland County School District One. While at Meadowfield Delton adopted a love for learning. His favorite subjects are ELA, Math, and Science. Delton attends all honor classes and he is currently on the A-B honor roll. During his 4th grade year Delton set a goal to maintain all “A” average and with hard work and dedication he met his goal. Delton also sat on the Student Council Board at his school where he allowed his voice to be used for his peers. Delton has a special love for culinary arts. He enjoys Photography  by Ariel Enid baking and preparing meals for guests. During the summer of 2014 Delton successfully completed The University of South Carolina's first Kid's Cooking  |  : Delton Myers and The Invisible Injury Camp where he learned how to prepare several dishes along with proper table etiquette. During the Spring of 2018 Delton took swimming classes at The Drew Wellness Center in Columbia, South Carolina. With the help of his Swim Instructor Mr. Lee, Delton learned proper swim techniques along with swim safety skills. Delton plans to one day become a Junior Lifeguard to help teach underprivileged children the techniques of being great swimmers and for a reduced cost.


In the Summer of 2018 Delton used his love for reading and writing short stories to self-publish his first children's book titled: "The Invisible Injury ". In Delton's book he addresses the impact of Childhood Depression and finding a healthy way to cope through therapy. Through this book Delton is using his voice to bring awareness to children's mental health. He has been recognized for his hard work and dedication by the Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina Mr. Steve Benjamin. He was invited to the South Carolina State House by Chairlady Rita Allison to address the House Education and Public Works Committee about Children’s Mental Health. Delton's work has also been recognized nationally by 60 Seconds Documentary to bring awareness to the importance of Children's Mental Health. Currently, Delton is working on his second book which is due to be released in mid-April.

Delton's book is available on Amazon and Ebook In English and Spanish Version

Fall 2019| rallyupmagazine.com | 43

 by Git Stephen Gitau

people who have the same or similar interests as you. This is a good way to connect with others without jumping into a commitment that you might regret later. You can use this time to connect/reconnect with friends or make new ones. Either way you’re not putting yourself in a “situationship” that you might not want to be in simply due to the pressure of not wanting to be alone.

 by Ralph Rabago

 by Pixabay

DESPERATELY SINGLE By TJ Woodard As we are entering the fall and winter season, this is the time some call “cuffing” season. Cuffing season begins at the start of the fall months and runs through the winter months. It is called cuffing season because it is when people who are normally single get involved in “temporary” relationships for the sake of having someone to cuddle with or be with to ease the pain of being alone during the holidays. I titled this article “Desperately Single” because it is important that we do not fall into a state of being desperately single and end up in relationships or as some call it “situationships” that can be detrimental to our mental and emotional health. Becoming involved with someone whose intentions are not genuine can leave a person in a state of depression, sadness and feeling used. It may fill a temporary void but in the long run cause more damage especially if the relationship ends suddenly as the weather begins to break. Like anything else you should have goals. Educational goals, career goals, and relationship goals. Identifying what you want can prevent falling for the wrong person and minimize unnecessary stress or damage to our emotional and mental health. Here are some ways to ensure you are not a victim of “cuffing” season: 1. Remain focused on person goals – If you are single at the start of cuffing season, avoid jumping into something new for the sake of not wanting to be alone. Whatever personal goals you have been working to achieve such as finishing school, starting a business, travel, writing a book, then continue to do so. 2. Embrace your singleness – Being single during “cuffing” season or otherwise is not a terrible thing. Take advantage of this time and date yourself. It may be cold outside and going out might not be as attractive as it is during the spring and summer months but there is a lot to do during the winter months that can be just as exciting. Remember, there are advantages to being single especially during “cuffing” season and the holidays like not having to choose between how you’re going to spend the holidays. You choose to spend it with family and friends, or you can choose to celebrate with a good movie or book and your favorite blanket. 3. Join a Meetup, singles, or social group – Meetups and social groups are groups based on interests. You can meet

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4. Find a way to give back – Go to your nearest shelter, food pantry, or soup kitchen and offer to help serve food during the holidays. This will give you a boost knowing you are doing something to help someone else. Have a holiday party and ask your guest to bring unwrapped gifts, then donate the gifts to a family in need. At the end of the day, being single isn’t a bad thing. Take this time during your single season to ensure that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for a relationship while also taking this time to focus on you and things you can accomplish during this period of your life. Try not to focus so much on the fact that you are single but what you can achieve. It’s all about perspective. If you see being single as a bad thing then that’s how you will feel but if you see it as a good thing (for now) then you can accomplish so much more.

Let's Start the Conversation!!!... Let's Start the Conversation About Mental Health!

All Mental Health Matters! Specially designed by the Founder's daughter, Kena'i Hollingsworth, our fashion director who is a suicide survivor and battles with Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and BPD. She knows firshand what it means to FIGHT and the importance of taking care of your mental health! We are using RallyUp Clothing Line to start the conversation about mental health. Many people become so uncomfortable when the conversation about mental health or mental illness comes up. We Must Normalize the Conversation. What better way to start the conversation than Our Conversational Merchandise that make people want to ask ..."What is RallyUp?"..."What Fight Isn't Over?" ... "Mental Health, you work in the

field?" Just in case they ask you...

What's RallyUp? RallyUp is rallying up all our mental health/wellness warriors to FIGHT together! Not only saying #yournotalone but to be actively apart of the change by participating in the mental health community through advocacy, volunteering, providing resources, education and support. Fighting together to remove all stigmas surrounding mental health. To be a voice for all regardless of their diagnosis or mental struggles, we make sure they know it does not define who they are.


“Baking is My Superpower.” As a baker, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker and youth STEM/STREAM advocate, I knew at the tender age of three that I had a strong passion for baking. I come from a family of bakers and cooks, so I saw how cooking meals with family and eating together brought everyone together in laughter. I wanted so badly to be a part of creating the same unforgettable experiences that I witnessed. I knew that I had to get into the kitchen and start baking. THE SEED WAS PLANTED. I will always hold dear to my heart the day that my grandmother, Phyllis Williams welcomed me to help her in the kitchen while she baked cakes. I would gaze at her for what seemed like hours while she added ingredients and mixed batter. I studied every move she made. Sometimes she gave me the spoon when she finished whipping up her cake batter. Of course, I believed that I had received a grand prize. The batter was so yummy. I licked it clean off the spoon. My grandmother is an old-school cook who is also a caterer; needless to say she can cook anything. One day, I was finally brave enough to ask her if I could help. She looked at me and responded, “Girl, you’re not going to burn down my house.” I didn’t give up and inquired again. This time, without hesitation she pulled a chair from the dining room table and positioned it so that I could stand on it to see what she was doing. She proceeded to hand me a cup of milk and told me to pour it in slowly while she stirred the batter. I smiled at her and followed every instruction given. Yes, this was the beginning of living my dream out loud. From that point on, I never missed an opportunity to help her bake. Baking soon became my niche. I distinctly recall one fond memory when I was five years old. My sister Jasmine Bridges was approaching nine. It was Mother’s Day and she was preparing a meal for our mom. I pleaded for her to let me assist with the preparation. Her response was for me to go cook something on my Easy Bake oven, versus the conventional oven that she was using. Prior to that single moment in time, my Easy Bake oven had been nothing short of a slice of heaven since I was three years old. Every Christmas, I just had to have the newest version. However, in that very moment, it was no longer my prize possession. Now, the shining spotlight was on the conventional oven. I wanted that “feeling” of baking like my grandma. I craved more. I always desired to cook on the “big” oven. More importantly, I admire my mom, so I definitely wanted to be a part of making something for her special day. By the time I was seven, I was so focused on baking daily and improving my craft. I would daydream at school about what I desired to bake when I arrived home. Anything and everything surrounding me appeared as inspiration. From commercials to foods in the grocery store, and basically anything that displayed food, had my wheels turning on original dishes that I could create. I absolutely love making anything with strawberries. They are one of my favorite fruits to use when baking. Strawberries have such a refine flavor that can be manipulated in a million ways using various techniques. My most popular strawberry origination is called, “Strawberry Delight.” The key ingredients are strawberries, organic coconut sugar, cream cheese, egg yolk, and pastry dough. I gave myself praise for inventing that dessert. LOL My family and friends can’t get enough of my mouthwatering invention. Everyone complimented me on how delicious and unique it tasted. My mom, Arica Bridges is the household “taste tester.” Once she approved it, I knew that I was on to something huge. I achieved my goal.


Strawberry Delight INGREDIENTS:

• 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese (room temperature) • 2 tablespoons of cream fraiche • 1 (8 ounce) ball of sweet pastry dough • 2 tablespoons of organic cocnut sugar • 1 egg yolk • 1/4 teaspoon of salt • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest • 1 lb of strawberries cut in halves • 1/4 cup of apricot jam • 2 teaspoons of water


1. Place a baking sheet onto a baking pan. Lightly grease one sheet of parchment paper, and place that onto the baking sheet. 2. Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. 3. Place sweet pastry dough onto a floured surface, and roll out dough until it forms a circle. 4. Brush the outside of the dough with water, and curl up the edges so that the perimeter of the circle flares upward. 5. Take a fork to push down the middle of the circle, where the filling will be placed to prevent the dough from not cooking through completely. (*this process is called docking*) 6. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, and let cool for 10-15 minutes. 7. Let it cool. Then, place cream fraiche, cream cheese, egg yolk, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest into a bowl. Mix ingredients together. 8. Place this mixture into the cooked pastry dough, and let cook for 20 minutes. 9. After done baking, place the strawberry halves on top of the pastry, in whichever design you desire. 10. Take the apricot jam and 2 teaspoons of water, and heat up in saucepan on high temperature for 30 seconds. 11. Pour the saucepan mixture all over the pastry dough. 12. After cooling, top with sugar-free whip cream or lightly sprinkle powdered sugar. 13. Enjoy the treat with family and friends.


RallyUp Mental Health Magazine is a product of We Fight Foundation Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization

whose mission is to provide support and services to those who struggle with mental illnesses as well as educate and support the people who care for them and to bridge the gap between them & their love ones/caregivers. For more information or to donate to this cause, please visit us online

at www.wefightfoundation.org

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