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Mental Health


Warrior Zone X:




WORKS By: Madison Radike WHAT IS



By: Marisa Jones


By: Vanity Dawson


JASON PHILLIPS, LCSW Founder of Peace & Prosperity Professional Coaching ALEXIS ALTON, LCSW Founder of C.R.E.M.E. Industries

Fall 2020


TYSHEIRA MADDOX Founder of Leave Inspired, Inc. ROYCE JONES Founder of RLJ Consulting Group, LLC Photo Credit: Joey Clay Studio

FALL 2020

OUR FIGHT Dynamic Duo continues to fight the Stigma of Mental illnesses

TOGETHER They Are Still



RALLYUP & See What's INSIDE 06 Founder’s Letter 07 Meet the Contributers 09 Behind the Scenes 10 Fashion Section Do You Know You Are Beautiful? 14 Poetry Corner Kena'i 16 YOUTH ZONE Special Tribute to Traeh The Cure | Lorelai Symmes RUM Mental Health Comics |Illustrated By: RJ Sterling Scripted By: Nina Hollingsworth You're Not Alone! | Overseer: Lex Morgan Madison Radike Nina Hollingsworth YOUTH ZONE FASHIONS 23 Cover Story Dr. Nekeshia Hammond | An Authority in Child Psychology 27 Faith & Mental Health Mental Peace | By: Andrae Hayden Prayer, Strength & Love| By: Talona Smith The Gift of Bipolar| By: Vanity Dawson Fath & Mental Health| By: KeErica Parker -Brown 30 Therapy Is Dope:

Psychotherapy is not for Everyone | Aldin Gordon, LCPC 4 Reasons Now is the A Time for Therapy | Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R

32 Dear Amanda 33 WARRIOR ZONE IX Tyeisha Brewer-Fields 36 Everything is Not As it Appears By: Rhoneka Morgan

23 37 BEAUTY 41 Social Media & Mental Health By: Kendra Hathaway, MA, LLMT, FLE 43 LOVE AND MENTAL HEALTH The "Lone-Lies" | By: TJ Woodard 45 MHCA Mental Health Change Agents Jason Phillips, LCSW Alexis Alton, LCSW 47 MAKING A DIFFERENCE Tysheira Maddox Royce L. Jones 50 CASE OF MONDAYS My Journey of Healing While Coping with Grief By: Tyi Flood 51 HEALTH & WELLNESS SPECIAL FEATURE | Eleasa DuBois What is Meditation? By: Marisa Jones



Black & Mental Wellness... 1 YEAR FOR $12.

Vol. 3 Num. 4 Fall 2020 Founder & Editorial Director Nikita Powell-Cottman Managing Editor: TJ Woodard Asst. Managing Editor: Vanity Dawson Associate Editor: Paul Cottman Fashion Director: Kena'I Hollingworth Fashion Assistant: Tyshia Douglas Beauty Editor: Nekesa Smith Beauty Assistant: TJ Woodard Comic Illustrator: RJ Sterling Therapy is Dope Editor: Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R Contributer Writers: Jada Carrington Vanity Dawson Andrae Hayden Denise A. Kelley Marisa Jones Kendra Hathaway Youth Contributing Writers: Lorelai Symmes Nina Hollingsworth Jada Sherffield Madison Radike

Lex Morgan Talona Smith Tynesha "Tyi" Flood Kena'i Hollingsworth Torre "Tor" White KeErica Parker-Brown


During this trying time, many people are leading with this thought, "What's next?" It just rolls off their tongue, not due to the expectations of something good happening but something bad. The weight of the world. Living day by day, bracing yourself for bad news. People's faith is being tested, questioning God; although they know heaven is their eternal home. I am here to remind you that you are human, created with feelings. Naturally you're going to experience some anxiety, an emotional roller coaster ride while you're trying to make the best of everything. It may be helpful to make a list of the things you can and cannot control right now. This way you can reform your acceptance of things and focus on controlling the things you can. Weirdly if manage well, anxiety can be good. As uncomfortable as it feels, it's somewhat of a good thing right now. Anxiety may be just the warning sign you need to bring awareness to what's going on around you or your current situation so you can make the necessary changes in your life to be safe and/or your overall wellness. At times it may be overwhelming, but it pushes you to isolate yourself out of fear so you're getting creative with bonding from a distance; in turn, it helps slow down this virus! Look at it as a built in warning system.

Now listen up! ‌even though there can be

some potential benefits to experiencing anxiety, it can also become a real hindrance to many aspects of your life because you are struggling with anxiety. If anxiety is preventing you from living the life you desire, the normal day to day, then it may be time to get some professional help. Let your doctor or therapist determine if your symptoms meet the criteria of an anxiety disorder. In our Therapy is Dope section, our editor Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R provides 4 other reasons why now is the time to get therapy, make sure you check it out. As always, this issue is filled with some good reads:)

Take Care of Your Mental Health! Know that Better Days Are Coming! Hold On & Keep the Faith!

Blessings & Love,


Meet The New CONTRIBUTORS KeErica Parker-Brown Contributing Writer

A word people often use to describe me is: Joyful. One thing I'll never change about myself is: Being kind. When I look into the mirror I see A loving, open, courageous woman. I’m most my authentic self when: When I am with my cousins I maintain my mental strength by By checking in and having quiet time with God.


HOPE! (Psalm 46)

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Coupon Code: rallytee ($5 o)


TAKES PLACE IN CHAOS In the midst of chaos, we still need to find time to celebrate life...our loved ones, survivors... overcomers! I know it's tuff for many because you find yourself thinking about the loved ones you may have lost during this pandemic:( Continue to take one day at a time! Continue to

#rallyup2savelives First Pic: 4th Annual Rally Middle pic: Our founder daughter's 24th birthday (Kena'i, Dir. of Fashion) Highlight pic: Our founder & daughter


You Are Entering....

THE BODY POSITIVITY ZONE Today, I choose me. I am worthy of infinite compassion. I feel profound empathy and love for others and their own unique paths. I choose to stop apologizing for being me. I am at peace with all that has happened in my life. My life is filled with joy and abundance. Happiness flows from ME

NO Negative Self Talk Allowed NO Negative Body Image Talk or Excuses Allowed


1. I Am Beautiful 2. I Am Enough 3. I Matter 4. Happiness is Found Within Me. 5. Life Does Not Have To Be Perfect To Be Great.

6. I Am Worthy of Love & Joy! 7. I Approve of Myself 8. My Life is A Gift 9. I choose to stop apologizing for being me. 10. TODAY, I Choose Me!

Do You Know You Are Beautiful? Photo by  Cash Captures


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POETRY CORNER Look at me By: Kena'i

Please don’t litter me with Unprovoked bullets aimed at my chest I am someone's child Covered in flesh Who made you God ? Why do you decide ? What makes my Brown skin means Bullseye We are human All formed and molded in god image We are not just another statistic You can play target practice with The melanin in my skin does not make me a threat I CAN’T BREATHE ! Please take your foot off my neck They call it a 'Civil war ‘ “A War of Liberation" Camouflaging genocide as “Police enforcement” RALLYUPMAGAZINE.COM | 14 | FALL 2020

Take Suicidal thoughts seriously and Get Help!

I did and I feel Much Better! Photography : Tinisha Curl

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Hi, my name is Tiva, and I am 8 years old. udI have four siblings. Their names are Trinitee, Chloe, Dooda , and Traeh. Traeh died by suicide. This is something that I would write to him... Dear Traeh, I really wish you were here. We all have missed you a lot. You are the brother that helped me through tough times. You helped all of us understand the earth. You are the true hero of the earth. Love, Tiva

My dear Traeh, If I could have taken your pain, I would have. It's so unbelievable that mean things happened to you. To YOU! You were one of the sweetest, most compassionate, most forgiving, friendliest, and most loving 13 year-olds I knew. If I could have shown you more love, then I would have. But, I were 13. The love of family is great, but teenagers want to be loved and accepted by their peers. I was a teen once. If I could have protected you, I would have. I wonder every single day..."What more could I have done? Could I have done more?" If I could take my last breath so that you could have a million more, I would. But, I know I'm not the author of time, nor the giver of life. If I could have taken your pain... Wait...I have. And it hurts so bad. But, just as I wanted you to know, I have to know and believe that tomorrow gets better. I love you forever, my baby boy.


The Cure


By: Lorelai Symmes there is no cure to eating disorders no magic potion no magical therapy that will take your struggles from existence no matter how hard you fight for however long you will always have a piece of it with you as hard as you try you certainly may recover

BIPOC - Black, Indonesians and People of Color. BIPOC replaced the term "minorities."

but your struggles will never just disappear you cannot numb the pain it will stay until you take the step to finally live because any day in your life that contains your disorder is not a day where you lived it is only a day where you survived


YOU'RE NOT ALONE! Overseer By: Lex Morgan

This is a place for young people to connect with one another using authenticity and courage. In a world where its easy to feel like you must figure things out alone and no one understands, we’re here to remind you that you matter, and You Are Not Alone! #BeScaredDoItAnyway


WE WELCOME         

All Races and Ethnicities All Religions All Countries of Origin All Gender Indentities All Sexual Orientations All Abilities and Disabilities All spoken languages All Ages Everyone.


Therapy Works By: Madison Radike Growing up with severe depression can be an uphill battle. You don’t always want to cave and believe the voices in your head, but sometimes you do. Sometimes it can feel as if your family would be better off without you, but that isn’t the case. Being a teen with depression is a scary fight, but it is up to us to advocate and do what we can to reach out for help. Asking for help can feel like you are giving up, but you’re not. It’s one of the first steps in learning to cope with your illness and it’s one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. Therapy has become a huge part of helping me learn to come to terms with my illness and learn more about it and how it impacts me. Therapy is one of the most important tools when battling mental illness, and even though it can be rough, it really is worth it in the end.

How I got through Bullying By: Nina Hollingsworth Going 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 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.



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Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. ~Brene Brown

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Dr.Nekeshia HAMMOND An Authority in Child Psychology

Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi Photo Credit: Joey Clay Studio RALLYUPMAGAZINE.COM | 23 | FALL 2020

RUM: Outside

of being “America’s Favorite Psychologist”, who is Dr. Nekeshia Hammond? What defines you?

son, I appreciate working with children that much more, because I personally see how important positive mental health is for youth.

NH: Wow, that’s a really deep question. What defines me would


be trying to help people in as many ways as possible, whether it's in my practice, Hammond Psychology & Associates, with mental health care, working with non-profit organizations’ Board of Directors, consulting with the media, or speaking to different groups. I love having the opportunity to make a difference and to reach people, especially with a message about reducing the stigma of mental health treatment. Most people know that I juggle a lot! Being a wife, mother of a young son, private practice owner, “frequent flyer” for multiple projects, it can be overwhelming at times, but I have found what is most important is giving it my all. Most people see the current “Dr. Hammond”, but do not always know the trials and tribulations to get to this point. Not every moment has been easy, but I am grateful for all of the life lessons. Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

RUM: I have found that many mental health professionals have a story, something that led them to the mental health field, what led you to the mental health profession and specifically working with children?

NH: I wanted to help children ever since I was a child myself at 7

years old. I started getting even more interested in the field of psychology, specifically, back in high school after taking some psychology classes. When I went to college, it was really eye opening to see the immense mental health needs of people. I had a powerful and extraordinarily successful mentor, Dr. Carolyn Tucker at the University of Florida, who had me in awe of her ability to make a difference in her work. Seeing the potential impact on children in my undergraduate and graduate school experiences solidified by desire to work with youth and make a difference in their lives. Now that I am a mother of an 8-year-old

Any regrets? On your journey of becoming a child psychologist.

NH: No, not really. Like anybody, I wish I knew the things I know

now. It’s been almost 12 years that I have owned my practice and I wish I knew then what I know today. In the beginning of my career, I thought I would primarily see patients in the office for the next 30 to 40 years of my life, but the reality is I learned there is so much more to mental health interventions “outside” of the office. I ended up falling in love with the media, hosting a television show for a few seasons, and currently hosting a digital show, Mental Health Moment with Dr. Hammond. I am humbled and honored to consult with various media outlets, speak all over the country, and advocate for the field of mental health. I know now that outside of the private practice doors, there are so many other people who need information and resources.

RUM: Being recognized as such big statues in the mental health field, we are overlooked as being humans, so I want to ask what is your greatest fear?

NH: I know I'm only one person, but at the same time, it's hard to have the information I have, information that could be life changing for people, and not being able to share it with as many people as I would like to. I would say this is a fear and it just feels wrong on some level. Knowing the information that could prevent children from getting suspended, repeating a grade, having depression or anxiety, experiencing family distress..I want to shout this information from the rooftops! Not being able to reach as many people with this information that could greatly improve their quality of life, I would say that is my personal fear, which is why I spend a lot of time working with the media and social media, to increase how many people can have access to the information they need to know about mental health. Everyone deserves to have positive mental health. RUM: So, are there any challenges in that

perspective of just trying? What do you find are your challenges in being a child psychologist?

Photo Credit: Joey Clay Studio

NH: There are a lot of challenges, I'll start with


the system itself, because there’s such a stigma. When advocating for mental health education, there is a lot of misinformation to address. Then you have other obstacles, whether it's the education system, the health care system, the racism, the discrimination, the barriers for health care; there's this long list of things to overcome. For advocates, we have to understand that we have to educate the community, but also try to help people push through the barriers. It is extremely challenging because there are systems that have been in place for very long periods, but it is important we do not lose hope. I remember back when I was President of the Florida Psychological Association (FPA), and we were meeting with different legislators in Florida’s state capitol about state issues, as well as doing advocacy work in Washington D.C. on the national issues, there were so

many people committed to advocating for policy and legislation change. It was invigorating to stand with others who advocate to reduce these challenges.

RUM: So, how do you balance your work, home and self-care to prevent from getting burnt out? Especially during these times? NH: Many years ago there was a point where I had to give myself

a little pep talk (laughs). I knew I must make a commitment to self-care because my schedule is so hectic. So, for me it may look like me doing yoga, working out, reading, or just taking some downtime. I like to have a cup of tea and take some deep breaths to get into a more peaceful mindset. When I am traveling often with speaking and other projects, I try to appreciate the sunset or sunrise on planes. When I was speaking to a group about Costa Rica about self-care, I made sure to practice mindfulness a lot when I was there (it is a gorgeous place!). Watching the hummingbirds, paying attention to the beautiful scenery, and taking in the entire experience. The truth is that taking care of yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

where no one ever completed a psychological evaluation with them during the time that they struggled through school, and nobody took the time to tell them they had anxiety or a learning disability or trauma that contributed to their mental health distress. It is awful and unacceptable! We have to do better for the sake of our kids.

RUM: You are an Author! You wrote, ADHD Explained, What

Every Parent Needs to Know. Tell us a little about your book?

NH: Yes, I am an author, thank you!

I would say ADHD Explained: What Every Parent Needs to Know is my favorite book that I have written to date. In speaking with hundreds of parents over the years about their journey with a child with ADHD, I was really inspired to write this book. I specifically went into detail about what a psychological evaluation is in the book, because many people are not aware of what a psychological evaluation entails. Parents deserve to know if a child cannot concentrate, it is not always because of ADHD. My book talks about the myths and truths of ADHD, as well as what parents can do to empower their child at home and what can be done at school to help children and teens.

RUM: Dr. Hammond, I read that you not only specialized in working with ADHD children, but restoring families back to a state of wellness and balance is important to you. Tell us why? NH: Now that I specialize in psychological evaluations, like examining ADHD and learning disabilities, what happens a lot is that parents who I work with can be overwhelmed with what is happening with their child, understandably. I love conducting psychological evaluations and providing the results, as well as a roadmap for families. Families need resources, so they can get back on track and stabilize their family unit. While I do not provide therapy at this point in my career, I am grateful to have a strong resource network, where I provide referrals to families frequently. It is so important for families to restore their state of wellness so they can thrive! Even when I am not in the office, I always remind people in my outreach efforts they can connect with me on social media and ask questions at any time, and I am happy to provide resources. RUM: The other thing that I want to talk about while we are here, a topic that I'm sure has come your way; many children are either misdiagnosed or not diagnosed until they are adults. What is your opinion on that? NH: It's horrific! With ADHD, for example, there are so many children I have met throughout the years who are misdiagnosed because a provider does not know “the whole story” of what is happening with the child. This child might get a quick five-minute visit somewhere, and parents are being told their child has ADHD. I cringe every time because when you are misdiagnosed, this misdiagnosis can have negative implications for this child and family. If the child really had anxiety, trauma, or a learning disability, for instance, you totally missed all of that by not looking at the entire child. I've heard heartbreaking cases of children and teens


you want to give some advice and support young people or how can others support young people that's experiencing mental health challenges?

NH: There are a lot of great ways to support people who are having mental health challenges. Mental health varies a lot from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, other people have more severe symptoms. Other people are very resilient and some people have difficulties with coping. No matter where you are on the spectrum of mental health, every single person has “mental health”. To answer your question about how people can support others, one tip I would emphasize is to check in with people.


You do not have to be a counselor to check in with someone. Checking in means a quick text message “How are you?â€?, an email “I’m thinking about you,â€?, a phone call “Hey, just want to know how you're doing and checking in on youâ€?. There are a lot of people who need someone to simply check in on them. Now if someone is thinking about going to a mental health professional, which can be very intimidating for a lot of people because of the stigma, be encouraging for that person. Therapy is not for every single person, but there many people who can beneďŹ t from therapy. Another easy thing people can do is share reputable information. It’s completely free to share information! When you see something reputable online about mental health, retweet it, reshare it, post it, and share that information because it can potentially be life saving for someone.

RUM: It's so powerful, because potentially saving someone's life is deďŹ nitely important. And I'm glad we were able to touch on that. So just closing out, there may be readers, or even listeners who have thoughts of giving up or having thoughts of harming themselves. What encouraging words do you have for them? NH: Understand that you are here for a purpose! Everyone truly needs to be here on this planet. There are people who care about you. It may not feel that way because sometimes with depression or anxiety, your brain plays tricks on you and it feels like nobody cares about you. You may think you are worthless, but that is not true. Everyone has good things about them. And I would highly encourage people to really start to look at some mental health resources in the way that works for them to really try to get the help that they need. RUM: We Pray this interview blesses you the way it blessed us! It

is always good to hear about mental health from a professional perspective. Our Mental Health Warriors, Keep Fighting! Hold on! Don't Lose Hope! Don't Ever Give Up! We Need You in this World! and thank you, Dr. Nekeshia Hammond. We need you in this world and many more of you to continue to do great work in the mental health field because it is definitely a need. Dr. Nekeshia Hammond, a Psychologist, Author, Speaker, and ADHD Specialist. She is known as an authority in child psychology, with a specific mission to support parents of children dealing with ADHD. Dr. Hammond is the Founder & CEO of Hammond Psychology & Associates, P.A. Dr. Nekeshia Hammond’s career has spanned over 15 years, and has been in private practice through Hammond Psychology & Associates, PA since 2009. Throughout this time, she has helped many children cope with and even improve their conditions. She is regularly booked nationwide as a speaker on the topics of children’s mental health and parental wellness. Dr. Hammond has also appeared on renowned media outlets to discuss her topics of expertise. CONTACT INFO:

Photo Credit: Joey Clay Studio


 : 813-654-0503  :  :  : 710 Oakfield Dr. Ste 153, Brandon, FL 33511



It was our Lord Jesus Christ who said you cannot add another hour on your life by simply worrying. Worry causes self-inflicted torment, so we should not be anxious for anything. Our minds are our defense mechanisms from destruction. It is no surprise that our minds are constantly under attack. We must guard our minds by resting in God’s word daily. Make our needs known to God and always be thankful. The peace of God will guide our minds toward his will.

Daily Affirmation

Father God remove any trace of anxiety from my mind. I lay before you all my worries, fears, and sorrows. I thank you for the grace, favor, and peace that you give me daily. Guard my heart and my mind so that I may have peace, and do not become distracted by the tricks of the enemy.

Taken from “Devotionals for the Mind” by Andrae Hayden Available on

Devotionals for a Queen is a devotional book that travels with you through many different stages in life. Life can bring about many changes as well as challenges. During their own journeys through young adulthood, authors Andrae Hayden and TJ Woodard experienced their share of hardships, as well as good times. Through the strength of Jesus Christ, the lessons they learned along the way led them on a path to spiritual maturity. They teamed up to create this powerful devotional unlike any other. Specifically crafting each devotional to encourage, and motivate its readers through various stages of Life. Devotionals for a Queen comes straight from their hearts to yours. It is transparent, heartfelt, and highlights some of the greatest scriptures and motivational quotes. Designed to empower you to be the royal Queen that God designed you to be. Andrae and Tamika pray that readers are inspired to go deeper into the person their savior desires them to be as believers. His love, strength, and peace will guide, and transform you into the Queen that he created you to be.

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)


Faith & Mental Health

There are challenges we face in life that can cause a sense of anxiety, stress, and hopelessness. Holding on to those toxic emotions could weigh us down, or even worse…destroy us. We must find our inner strength to make it to our destiny in life. A dear friend gifted me with a beautiful wooden keepsake box over fourteen years ago. “My God Box” is inscribed in gold lettering on the outer lid of the box, and the inside of the box is a beautiful message to remind me to write down thoughts that overwhelm me, then release it all to God. Years passed by and I forgot about the box, just like at times I forget that God is in control. I know in my mind, heart, and soul that He loves me and is in control. It is when certain circumstances consume my thoughts that allowing God to be in control, evades my judgment. I know it is unhealthy to carry around worry then expect to be effective, productive, or function properly. Holding on to fear causes me to experience anxiety, have sleepless nights, and second guess every decision I make. Simple everyday tasks become a struggle to complete. Instead of being happy when I am greeted by a person filled with joy and excitement, I sometimes get irritated. I every so often ignore phone calls and texts too. At times I do not feel like being bothered listening to someone vent about their problems or sort their thoughts through conversations with me. When I have had enough and feel drained to the point of not having the energy to cry, I just want to lay still and not think…but I do think. I think of how I am always supportive of whoever needs me, yet no one has time for me. I once got to the point of wanting to pack my belongings, sell my house, and move away. Move away from people who always need me for one reason or another. Move away from the problems that constantly plagued my thoughts. Move away from emotional and mental aggravation. Move towards a much-needed break, more like a breakthrough, so that I would not break down. While sorting through items to throw out or donate to charity, I came across My God Box. It was a little dusty but looked brand new. I read some of the messages placed there years ago. Those messages reminded me of how far I made it in God’s grace and mercy. The words reminded me of how damaged I once felt. There was a time I believed I was broken…damaged goods. I believed that no man would want me because of what I had endured. I felt like I was stained with troubles and had a stench of weakness exuding through the pores of my skin. The next morning, I woke up thinking of things I had no control over and decided to hit the pavement and walk it out at a track nearby to clear my mind. I did not want anyone to go with me and wore my headphones without music to discourage anyone from talking to me. I needed peace and clarity. A half-hour into my walk, I realized that I was tense and often holding my breath, so I shifted my thoughts to relax and breathe. I breathed in positivity and breathed out negativity. I saw birds mindlessly flying around. I saw the trees standing tall. I saw a grasshopper standing in the very same spot each time I walked around the track. Despite other people and I walking around the track, the


grasshopper did not move. No one frightened it away. It stood still. Unphased. Unbothered. Life is hard and sometimes confusing. I cannot say that I know everything there is to know about life but can share what I do know. I know God’s Word tells me to stand firm and be strong in my faith in Him. I know Bible scriptures explain that God’s love for me is so pure that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I once heard a preacher say that the hardest of times often happens at midnight and that midnight only lasts for sixty seconds. That is when joy begins. We must step over obstacles to satisfy our own needs. Practicing self-love empowers us to express our feelings in a loving, compassionate way, and is a step towards a healthy mindset. Opening my mouth to say what bothers me verbally is refreshing. Saying “no” or “I can’t” without explaining is empowering. No longer being always available is exhilarating. Finding peace is a priority. Early morning coffee on my front porch alone with God is serenity. Watching the sun announce itself each morning leaves me in awe. Watching squirrels and birds wake up singing and praising God with joy and excitement became my goal. Faith is an action we must apply to our lives daily. Someone once told me that praise is faith turned inside out. That grasshopper did what I strive to do every day in my faith. Walk with God. Stand still. Stand firm. Unphased. Unbothered. We should all do just that.



Faith & Mental Health


By: Vanity Dawson

ipolar. What is it? According to the DSM-5, Bipolar Disorder is a bridge between depressive and psychotic disorders because of symptomology, family history, and genetics with characteristics of abnormal periods of manic and depressive episodes lasting for a certain time period. There is one characteristic of the disorder specifically that is interesting. When goal-activity is increased at work, school, sexual life, or in our social life and flight of ideas (racing mind), it is common for many people to view these characteristics from a perspective that is not good because of its association with a mental health disorder. It’s bad enough there are many stigmas associated with mental health disorders. Society hears “Bipolar” and automatically assumes “they must have crazy mood swings” or “they’re going to go off on you, so be careful.” There are many stigmas, but I’m here to shed some light on how increased goal activity and flight of ideas can be seen from a positive perspective! OK. So, check this out… I’m laying down watching a show and then all a sudden this light bulb goes off in my head. Idea!! I’m driving to the store later and then all a sudden another light bulb goes off in my head. Next, I go through this phase where I have many ideas and this burning desire to reach a specific goal. Sounds pretty dope to me! I mean, we have these wonderful and creative thoughts that should be executed. God gave us these great ideas and desire to want to reach goals. How do we steward those ideas, so we don’t drive ourselves insane? How can we take our God given ideas and use them to bring glory to Him? Write them down as they come. Pray about them. We don’t have to act on that goal right away. Talk about those ideas and goal-directed activities with someone you trust. You never know, that one idea may be the billion-dollar idea that will help and inspire many people. If you decide you don’t want to do anything with the idea, maybe you can donate that idea to someone else to use, someone who is not as innovative as you are. I like that, innovative! Yes, it is important to understand that it is hard to try and act on all ideas and activities at once, because burn out can take place when you do. It’s ok to want to engage in activities but find balance. It’s ok to think about many things but write and talk it out. Bipolar Disorder doesn’t have to cause you shame, instead use it to thrive!


HEALTH By: KeErica Parker- Brown


ow can faith and mental health go hand in hand? Doesn’t it seem like it would be a double negative or a catch 22 situation? It seems like if you have one, you cannot have the other, but this is not true. You can have both and God provides you the grace to carry them simultaneously. The word tells us that we only need the faith of a mustard seed. (“Because you have so little faith truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, nothing will be impossible for you.” - Matthew 17:20 NIV) Most people derive a negative connotation when they hear “mental health.” While it can be associated with an illness, or something that is wrong, it can also be seen as a check in mentally. When you hear “physical health” do you automatically jump off the deep end into a bad diagnosis? Not always does this happen, sometimes the image could be someone in their optimum and prime physical health of their life. The same thing could be said for our mental health. We could be in the best state of our lives all because mentally we are strong, and this could be attributed to our faith. Therefore, if you have faith that a situation will change, that you will overcome depression, the thoughts will slow down, and you will find the help that you need, that your anxiety would subside, even having faith that you will simply get through the day….better days WILL be ahead. God is there waiting on us judgement free, flaws and all. He has been there the entire time. He was there with us when we took the tumbles and bruises that life applied to our spirits. Sometimes it could take just thinking differently about a situation to shift our feelings and thoughts. What if I told you that what you may be going through is a thorn in your side like Peter? (“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” - 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV) When we feel weak, we are actually strong because that is when God is closest to us. When we are open about how we are feeling and others can see the shift that God does in our lives, we are living proof of His power. We are continuing to pray that God removes “it” and that He makes the pain go away. We all have an “it” that impacts our mental health. What if I told you that possibly this could be a “conversation starter” for you and God? What if God wanted to get your attention to have you rely on Him and talk to Him about what is going on? What if He wants to move in a supernatural way, show His power to you, or connect with you on a deeper level? The same thing that you are worried, anxious, sad, or obsessive about could be what He is using. Would that change your mind about everything? Could you go to Him in prayer? Could you take time out of your day to talk to Him? It starts in our minds regarding what we are telling ourselves and what we are continuing to feed it. While I am not promoting her book, Joyce Meyer’s said it best when she titled her work, “The Battlefield of the Mind.” We are truly at war with our thoughts and we need to weigh the ideas, concepts, and reasonings in our mind to compare them to a victory for God or a loss for His kingdom. We have to fight our “battles” with God and know that He is an ally. We are not alone. Having the faith that God is for us and not against us, He is renewing our minds constantly, and provides the Holy Spirit to walk with us as comfort to hold on.


PSYCHOTHERAPY IS NOT FOR EVERYONE By: Aldin Gordon, LCPC PSYCHOTHERAPY DEFINED There is a school of thought that has emerged giving light that everyone can benefit from attending therapy. Psychotherapy can be defined as an interpersonal process designed to bring about modifications of feelings, cognitions, attitudes, and behavior that have proven to be troublesome. Everyone can benefit from this process. The American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, and other organizations emphasize that in order for a person to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, they have to meet medical criteria. Medical criteria means that the person in question must exhibit some of the symptoms within at least ninety days and identify the symptoms as negatively affecting at least two major areas of their lives, like work or at home. Just like you would have a reason to see a doctor, you have to have a reason to see a therapist. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is the leading guide for psychotherapists to determine medical necessity and provide information on diagnoses and treatment, its like the bible of mental health. In order for a person to meet medical necessity the therapist has to identify specific symptoms in specific areas (like family, substances, education, social, etc) that are problematic. An emerging concern with psychotherapy is that it appears to be profit driving, which can increase the possibility of abuse and over diagnosing or misdiagnosing certain populations. For example, the mental health diagnosis of young American black males has increased for doing things that comes natural like running, jumping, climbing and playing. These behaviors are sometimes characterized as symptoms and diagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Bi-polar disorder. For children who are diagnosed at an early age, the question remains - is psychotherapy beneficial for ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty years or even for the rest of their lives? Most developmental experts agree, children need space to be independent and exploration is vital to the development of the young mind. Psychotherapy can become problematic if we haven’t separated every day play and living from a true problem. With inappropriate treatment, or ignoring a problem and letting it go untreated, it can result in anger, rage, frustration, or a youth who rebels against authority or society, and engage in other self-destructive behaviors. When it rises to that level, it’s no longer typical child development, but a symptom of something that may need more support. The time frame of support may depend on things like the skill of the provider, the child’s ability to engage in treatment, the availability of wrap around supports like case management, mentors, or the family’s willingness to accept help


and try new interventions. This makes it essential for mental health providers to fully assess the problem and determine if its child’s play, or an issue that needs an intervention like therapy.

AN INSIDE EDUCATION ON PSYCHOTHERAPY Psychotherapy is an art form that takes years to develop. A therapist must undergo intense training in terms of education, practice and supervision before feeling comfortable in performing psychotherapy. The education process may include: • The completion of a minimum of two years in a related graduate studies program • Passing a rigorous state approved board exam • Two years of training under a state approved supervisor before becoming an independent provider (with some professional licenses even longer). It takes several years of practice, development, training and continuing education before a therapist can be recognized as competent enough to provide treatment. During that time the therapist makes attempts to satisfy license requirements and the expectations of their clients, supervisors, jobs and most importantly their own idea and images of what a psychotherapist should look and act like. In this writer’s mind it takes about 10 years after a therapist is initially licensed to resolve all these expectations and become a therapist who can practice as an independent psychotherapist with comfort and competence, reducing the rate of misdiagnosis or contributing to negative experiences with therapy because of our own inexperience. The psychotherapist’s role is to help the client connect to past and future problems that may be currently problematic in their present lives. The goal is to assist with developing effective coping skills for these problems. If issues are resolved and the client has developed effective coping skills on their own, psychotherapy intervention is no longer needed. **Piece edited to fit the requirements of this magazine. For further details on your own diagnosis or experience feel free to discuss with your therapist or follow up on sites like (American Psychological Association), (American Counseling Association) , or (National Association of Black Social Workers).


1- The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed deep-seated inequities in health care for communities of color and amplifies all the reasons we need to talk- social and economic stress, poor access to support and services, devastating losses from the loss of loved ones to jobs or just space away from abusers. 2- Its uncomfortable to be in the skin you are in. We are currently witnessing racial trauma within our communities forcing our deepest fears about this country to bubble up to the surface. You need a different kind of ally to help you understand, cope with and fight through this experience. 3- The reality is one in five American adults experiences a mental health issue in a given year. African-Americans are 10% more likely to experience serious psychological distress (Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health). Only about 30% actually receive mental health support, compared to the US average of 43%. Even further, the CDC reports suicide rates have risen 56% for teens across all ethnic and racial groups from 2001 to 2017; and for African-American adolescents, the rates have risen 60% for males and nearly double for females. Let’s get help. 4- We’ve been busy taking care of others and know deep down we are tired, overwhelmed, can’t sleep, find ourselves withdrawing more from others, and struggling behind closed doors. A therapist can help take the load off, work with you to find other sources of support, and teach you coping skills to feel more in control of your life. We can’t help others, if we can’t help ourselves. Without good mental health it will be hard to continue to deal with the impact of our complex pasts and present traumas. We need to position ourselves to thrive and the best way to do that is to invest in our mental health and encourage each other in our communities to do the same. HOW TO FIND A THERAPIST Once you decide your thoughts, behaviors or actions need some attention in your life, it can be hard to find a psychotherapist. To better help you navigate the language of finding a therapist, we have compiled a super easy list below. Several professionals across the U.S. have joined in collaboration of this project, including Amanda Fludd, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R), to give you all the tools you need to navigate the challenging task of finding a therapist. START WITH A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL. A licensed professional means the person in front of you has had to meet a standard of supervised training and education and took an exam designated by their State governing body to earn their license. If someone is unlicensed, you will want to ask if they are supervised by a licensed professional (get their name and research them). THE FIT. Knowing yourself and the type of person you best respond to is essential in this process. For example, if you've experienced a traumatic experience with a male, you may not be ready to talk openly and honestly with a male therapist. In general, you want to feel comfortable with your therapist. As you do your research, something about their description should begin to speak to your need. Once you start therapy we recommend staying with your therapist for at least two months to see if you are able to open up and to give progress a chance.

Therapy is a beautiful working process, and sometimes it's just not the right fit for the client and therapist. You as the client, may also come to realize you may not be ready to commit to the time therapy requires, or face deep emotional work, and on the other hand, the therapist may recognize your needs are out their scope of practice, and in that case it’s ok to end that relationship, and try again. If you just want general support and direction, and less intensive work, you may benefit more from a counselor, that unlicensed intern, or a life coach. BE PATIENT. As more people are looking for therapy, it means there may be waitlists and trouble getting through to someone on the other line. It helps to reach out to multiple providers that may be a fit and leave a message with your concern, type of insurance, and the best number that you can be reached. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t reach the first person you call. Other places to look include, Therapy for Black Girls, or try the customer support line on the back of your insurance card. Sometimes they’ll even do the leg work for you to help you find a therapist with openings. I’VE FOUND SOMEONE, NOW WHAT? It is important to know that everyone is nervous for the first appointment and your therapist will be asking you lots of questions to figure out what’s going on, and if they can help. You can also ask questions too because you need to know if this is a potential match for you as well. Just go right with this list and ask: Have you treated other clients with my particular issue? What will sessions look like? What happens if I’m not comfortable, and this isn’t working out, how would we end services? How long have you been practicing and are you a licensed professional? If unlicensed, what has your training looked like and are you under supervision? Can I have your supervisors name. Is it easy to reach you, how can I reach you in an emergency, or non-emergency? Therapy isn't always pretty; it's work. With these tips, you are well on your way to finding a good connection on your journey to a healthier and more balanced you. Amanda Fludd, is a Psychotherapist of over 14 years and founder of Therapy is Dope. Also a Corporate Trainer and Women in Business Mindset Coach, she is here for your Mental Health needs. Follow her on IG@Therapyisdope and reach out at:



Photo by Stanley Morales from Pexels

Everything you need to know about

Mental Health

Lately I've been having frequent panic attacks and feeling anxious. I don't want to go on medication. What are some other things I can do to cope? Journaling and therapy is not working. ~Andre, Richmond, VA I’m curious to know why therapy isn’t working and whatever your reason is, you should discuss that with your therapist. Therapy is your experience and if you’ve tried it for at least 4-5 sessions and you have been actively going to therapy and doing the work, but still don’t see changes, share that with your therapist. It’s a collaboration between the two of you to figure out what may be stalling your progress. In some cases, it could be your commitment to the work (are you invested in homework, open while in session, practicing skills between sessions, etc.), or maybe you need a new treatment approach like Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT for anxiety. When your quality of life still isn’t where you want it to be, explore medication. Exploring doesn’t mean you are going to start it; it’s having a conversation about your options to make an educated decision about what you need. Sometimes, because of the makeup of our brain, medication is the missing key. It’s like telling an asthmatic to breathe in the middle of an asthma attack - all the strategies in the world won’t work if they just need their medications to open up their airways so they can then do the work to breathe.

Some similar things you can also incorporate - a regular yoga practice and daily mindfulness practices to naturally teach your body to slow down and relax. As you incorporate that into your life, make sure to also start that conversation with your current therapist or another mental health professional. Amanda Fludd, Licensed Clinical Therapist in NY, Mental Health Consultant and international women in business Empowerment Coach. She helps professional women master limiting mindsets, achieve work life balance and live their lives in confidence. Her passion is working with people affected by trauma, particularly people of color (POC), and she is excited by the opportunities to reduce the stigma around mental health and improve healing amongst Black and Caribbean communities. Her coaching programs focus on work-life balance during crisis situations, understanding trauma in the workplace, tackling negative thinking and productivity and self-care through mindfulness. Find her at: and follow her on Instagram @therapyisdope Thank you for your courage with this question. You’ve helped so many people and I wish you the best on your journey to great mental health. Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R RallyUp Magazine


"Building the Beauty from within"  : @kenedi_beauty

Natural Products made with Love by hand CEO "Teenprenuer " Nina Hollingsworth ***Proceeds goes towards building business & college funds.

Nikita Powell-Cottman Anxiety & Seasonal Depression

Vanity Dawson Bipolar Disorder & Depression

Kenai Hollingsworth Suicide Survivor, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, PTSD, depression

Neta Vaught Suicide Survivor, Depression, Anixety, PTSD

Lorelai Symmes Anorexia, depression, anxiety, PTSD

Mental Health Warrior Zone IX

Cymone Jones Suicide Survivor, Bipolar Disorder & Depression

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

Fighting Back Against the

Tai Campbell Depression & Anxiety

Tamika Woodard Anxiety & Depression

the Battlefields of Our Mind

Kayla Sampson Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar

Real People, Real Stories...Overcomers!

Jada Carrington Anxiety & Depression Tyeisha Brewer-Fields schizoaffective disorder, depressive type

Jessica “Kelly Jé” Kelly Bipolar Type 1 & 2 Severe Depression, Psychosis, and Schizophrenia

Lawrence Durden Depression

Tanzania Fair Depression & Suicidal Ideation

Craig Cooper Depression & Suicidal Ideation

Tyshia Douglas Depression

Elyse Lancaster Suicide Survivor


Brewer-Fields My Story: “Ty, what’s wrong?”

You shouldn’t be so medically educated that you forget that without God, NOTHING is possible- not even effective mental health treatment. And, you shouldn’t be so spiritual that you miss the fact that mental health treatment is still important and greatly needed. God AND treatment is dope. ~Tyeisha Brewer-Fields

When I think about dealing with my mental health, I first think about the day I was lying on the couch during childhood crying uncontrollably, and my confused and concerned mom asking me what was wrong.

Honestly, I was confused also. I knew I was sad, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t stop crying, or why I couldn’t just be happy. This was one of many episodes that I had throughout my life. During elementary school I had my first encounter with a psychologist and psychiatrist after visiting the school counselor. I received my first diagnosis of clinical depression. I was also prescribed medication to help with the symptoms. However, I was in denial and refusing the treatment. I grew up wanting to be what society views as “normal.” This had me trying to hide the mental health issues by trying to act “normal” and fit into society. However, I’m not their “normal,” and I had to realize that that’s okay. All those times that mental illness would have me wishing that I was “normal,” praying to God, and asking why I’m not “normal” and why me; I had to keep reminding myself that God loves me anyway. Although at times we may experience difficulty, it may be what separates us from everyone else that God will use to help us reach our growth, next level, and help others get set free. Being in denial, trying to hide the issues, and wishing I wasn’t dealing with it continued and then I had my first suicide attempt when I was in high school. It involved me taking pills until my mom walked in after being told by a friend’s grandmother what I was doing. My friend found out after calling me and hearing how suicidal I was. It was after this attempt that I received a second diagnosis of major depressive disorder. YAnother diagnosis of major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder came in my early 20s after being referred to a community mental health facility after a crisis episode and a mobile crisis unit coming out. Depression, anxiety, community facilities, doctors, ERs, suicidal ideations, and more had become a part of my life. However, I was still in denial and refusing treatment. And then, something changed my outlook of my situation:When I looked up and saw my daughter with tears rolling down her face with this scared and confused look, I knew it was time- time to surrender, get help, and accept that something was wrong with me. It was when I looked up to grab the water to wash down the pills I had intended to take that I noticed my baby standing there silently crying as she watched her mother try and take her own life. “As if my siblings and I aren’t enough to live for,” she must’ve been thinking. I asked God for strength, and he sent my children- literally. After looking at my strength (my daughter) right in the face, I knew I couldn’t do it. It was that episode that made me aware of the fact that I needed help. The haunting and disturbing image of my poor baby having to witness me in crisis kept popping up in my mind. I kept telling myself, “this is for my babies.” I knew I had to do it for them if for no one else.


After seeking help, I decided that I wanted to take a psychological test to get an accurate diagnosis so I could receive the proper treatment. I then received a correct diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, depressive type. I was prescribed an antidepressant and an antipsychotic. The antidepressant is to control the symptoms of major depression, while the antipsychotic is to control the symptoms of psychosis. For me, these symptoms in the past have been delusions, obsessive thinking, paranoia, mood swings, and more while I was going untreated. I also started taking DBT therapy, in which I did successfully complete. Today, I THRIVE with the diagnosis of by continuing my treatment of medications, therapy, exercise, working to maintain a healthy diet, writing, reading, spending time with loved ones, and most importantly-following the path God has for me. Despite the obstacles, I’m flourishing at being a wife, mother of five, mental health advocate, published author, and behavioral health student at an online university. Schizoaffective disorder doesn’t have me; I have it!

“ALL things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)  : glowingthruconcrete  : Glowing Thru Concrete  :

OUR READER’S CORNER Born Overcomers By: Nikita Powell 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 A Queen Guide Queens that you are. God has to Dating the someone He designed especially Christian Way for you, and if we stay on course He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Feel Good Movement!

By: Kendra Hathaway

The Feel Good Movement is a story about unbelievable strength, grace and determination. The author shares how to go from being broken to brave, beautiful and then blesses. The reader will get a dynamic story along with some tips and hardcore advice for the readers. This book is powerful! it will motivate anyone who wants to feel good by showing them exactly how to make that happen.

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 Dear Fear she shares having to grow up Volume 3 with the secret of being molested and hiding it for years. by: Tiana Patrice 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!”

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! #overcomersguide

Tyeisha Brewer-Fields grew up wanting so badly to be normal. It took her time to accept that she is not normal-and even longer to embrace that that's OK. When she finally did, she began thinking about why society makes anyone who does not fit into a neat little box feel so bad.


By Whose

Standards? By: Tyeisha Brewer-Fields

In the book “Respect the Shoulder Tap” a young woman who was tormented by her experiences as a child, later finds that she does not have enough self-confidence to do the things necessary to move forward in her life.

Respect the Shoulder Tap By: Kendra Hathaway of her own mind.

She learnt through struggle how to use her negative life experiences to push and encourage herself. In doing this, she was able to move past her negative thoughts of self, and into a woman of enormous strength. Later, she turnes that strength into motivation and was able to accomplish her goals, as well as understand how strong, smart and beautiful she was, but first she had to soothe the musing

This book will inspire any person looking to learn how to motivate themselves and move forward in their lives. If you need some encouragement to press forward, this book is for you.

In her memoir, the Lotus Tattoo: One Woman’s Grit from Bully to Redemption, Marisa takes us on her unconventional journey of perseverance when all odds seem to be against her. Her memoir highlights the impact of mental health and the healing that can come when you reach out for help.

the Lotus Tattoo

For Survivors of trauma or those impacted by mental health, this is an inspirational story that can help you through your healing process.

By: Marisa Jones For therapists, counselors and mental

health professionals, the Lotus Tattoo is a great case study on the impacts toward mental and physical health after abuse and trauma. You can purchase the Lotus Tattoo here on Amazon

In this book, she shares her struggles as well as her belief that God loves us all and made us in His image. She also points out that He gave us His son, Jesus Christ, so that we all may have eternal life. God made this sacrifice for all of us, including those that don't fit the definition of "normal." No matter what the author has had to go through, reminding herself that God loves her has allowed her to overcome challenges-and they can help you, too.

Too many people continue to suffer from a mental disorder in silence because society has turned a blind eye to their problems. Join the author as she shares her personal story of overcoming the obstacles and debunking the myths that surround mental illness.

You may have to go walk down the halls of a psychiatric unit to see a person bound by a physical straitjacket, but you don't have to go too far to see others mentally bound. Walk outside and look around your neighborhood, walk into one of your local stores, walk into a family member's house; Or, Perhaps, look in the mirror. Many people are mentally bound by things and don't know how they got there or how to get freed from it. All that is known by the person is that being bound from the mental bondage come sometimes feel just as tight and like you're stuck in By: Tyeisha Brewer-Fields a straitjacket, or any physical restraints. However, walk through this book to remove your "jacket" (to your freedom) with Tyeisha. Find out who you can be and what you can accomplish outside the "jacket."

Outside The Jacket

Does it feel like life has you going through the painful, uncomfortable, heated, and dark times of a fire? How can I get out of the fire? What good can come from me going through the fire? Take this journey with Author Tyeisha as she shares how going through her very own house fire and other fires of life refined her. Learn how your fire(s) can refine you too. And, learn to turn what may seem like losses from your "fire" into gains. By: Tyeisha Brewer-Fields "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2, New International Version).

Refined By the Fire



Stillness is necessary. Life’s experiences can cause us to believe that we must always keep moving. We have been conditioned to believe that “to keep it moving” means that we are successful in one way or another. If we want to be accepted, we must conform to society’s standard of “normal”. You know, dress like others, behave like others, accept the same things as others, even if that acceptance causes us to sacrifice our well-being. All the while we are expected to remain “unbothered” by these damaging experiences that life may present. These experiences slowly erode our sense of self-worth as we chase validation and oftentimes fall short; this vicious cycle seems to be never ending. People who have the power to validate us also have the power to strip that validation from us. How might understanding this truth influence your beliefs and actions going forward? “Normal” has a cost. How does society define “normal”? ‘It is saying yes when you want to say no…taking one for the team’, ‘doing what you are told regardless of the character of the person making the demand’, you know the saying…‘doing as I say and not as I do.’ We are not meant to be “normal, or at least not by society’s definition”. Perhaps, therefore, anxiety is a common response to the pressures of being “normal.” We are works of art. We are intricate and unique. We are not meant to fit in boxes, we are here to color the world with the beautiful and powerful presence that is US! Examine the world below the surface. Many of us have at least one person we admire. When you think of the characteristics that make this person worthy of your admiration, what comes to mind? Is it that they fit in... or that they stand out? In what ways are they different from the millions of other “normal” people in the world? Here is an example of what I mean by the pressures of being “normal”; society sends a message that to be wealthy brings happiness. How true is that? How many people do you know or know of that have or have had the wealth that society glorifies and have lost themselves through various acts of self-harm and self-sabotage? Everything is not as it appears. For me, two people that regularly come to mind are Robin Williams and Kate Spade. Many of us know Robin Williams as a brilliant actor and comedian. His gifts brought laughter to millions of people throughout his career. He was an award-winning actor. It is likely that he could buy anything he wanted at any time. He was incredibly wealthy, and his name and legacy will live on forever. Kate Spade was known worldwide for her incredible contributions to fashion. She was brilliant, amazingly talented, and enormously wealthy. According to society’s measurements, Robin and Kate “had arrived”. With the sincerest respect to each of their memories, we remember them as they were because wealth could not buy mental and emotional wellness; they both ended their lives by suicide. Who we are is so much more than what society says we are. Now, answer this question. Who are you? If you do not know, that is ok. I encourage you to spend some time with yourself, by yourself asking this critical question. Let us do better. Pay more attention to ourselves and those around us. Go deeper. Ask meaningful questions. Listen for the answers. The real answers. The world is full of people who attempt to place a price tag on your value. Many times, they undervalue us...and we allow it! When we do not take the time to get clear about who we are and how invaluable our presence in this world is, we get lost. We get lost in trying to prove ourselves to people whose opinions of us change constantly. I encourage you to anchor yourself to the truth of who you are so that you do not go adrift. The anchor will keep you through the many storms of life. Please get anchored. It matters. You matter. Curiosity makes us extraordinary beings! Be still. Look closely at what matters most because Everything Is Not as It Appears.


BEAUTY Styled by: Nekesa Natural Radiance Atlanta, Ga.

Royalty Worn Like a Cro n




LIKE A CROWN Do you admire those that choose to wear their hair in locs? Have you ever thought about locing your own hair, but don’t know what to do, or where to start? Learn the process of locs through the story journey of one young lady. I want to Loc my hair, but where do I start? Helpppp! THE CONSULTATION I have looked on youtube, followed others' Loc journeys via FB or Instagram but I still feel like I am at square one. I am going to take my mom's advice and find a professional stylist/ loctician to help me along this journey. I want it done correctly. After a few calls, I found a salon to my liking. The stylist not only took the time to listen to me thoroughly over the phone, but she also invited me to come in for a consultation! She said she wanted to see my hair and discuss what my goals were with starting my locs and maybe set up a plan of action to move forward. When I got there she had me sign in and we sat down and talked about everything from starting locs, styling locs, coloring them and so much more. Here are some things I learned about locs. It takes 6 to 18 months for your hair to actually loc. Within that process, your parts loc, then your hair locs from your tips going up towards your roots. Would you know that your roots never actually never loc, because your hair is always growing? Some stylists call it loc grooming or retwist which is the process of maintaining the new growth of the hair. Loc grooming can happen every 3-6 weeks depending on the preference of the client. Some like it very fresh, and others like a bit of new growth because it gives it a fuller look. Now sidebar, I like to wash my hair every 2 weeks so I could not possibly go a month without a shampoo. The stylist explained that I could definitely shampoo my locs in between salon visits, or I could refresh them with this product called scalp and hair refresher. I was really feeling like I was ready to start this journey of locing my hair. I was ready to move forward and not look back. that only issue was...what style and technique would choose to start my journey? LOC START CHOICES Of all the protective and natural styles that I have worn, I mostly enjoy my hair individually stranded. I love the serenity twist and Marley twist. I love how the older it gets, the better it looks. I like full hair so that will

have a lot to do with the decision of the loc technique I choose to go with. The stylist explained to me that we could start the locs with the following techniques.


1.Coils which are done with the end of a comb. The size can range from very tiny to very thick. The ends of coil locs usually result in a blunt and thick end. 2. Two Strand twist are also a way to start locs. The size can vary as well. The difference is that the ends are open. That means that the ends will loc with a curl that allows great movement and style for the locs. It provides a great look for rods, twist setting, updo, and even protective staples over locs from time to time. 3. Serenity Twist Locs ™ and Diamond Cut Locs are a technique when hair is lightly infused to provide the desired length and even color. As the hair grows out and locs the hair is cut out eventually leaving the loc free of added hair, free of the patient, in my opinion, the not so cute looking process. These are also an option for very small, not micro looking locs. 4. Sisterlocks™ and Micro Locs are techniques that provide a very tiny strand for strand looking head of locs. They are interlocked and can be done if a client has heat damage and straight ends. THE DECISION I choose Serenity Twist Locs™ now what products So yes I chose to start my loc journey with the Serenity Locs. I needed a little help with the length. They are super lightweight and I don't have to worry about my hair. That is one thing that I can scratch off the list of constantly evolving and becoming the best version of me! I have my appointments booked and have taken advantage of learning a few style options that my stylist taught me. We are all driven by what hair products work best to provide the best results for our hair. The first thing that my stylist mentioned to me was that less is always best when it comes to locs and natural hair period. She said to treat my hair and scalp like I treat my skincare. She was right because I do not put anything on my skin. I don't change products just because I read a great review. I use exactly what works for me, and when it runs out I go purchase the same thing because what I can't afford it for my face to break out! I use a moisture-based trio hairapy bundle to provide my locs with natural moisture, not a residue heavy product that will weigh my locs down causing an eventual immense buildup. In between salon visits I use NNR Scalp Refresher. It is organic, smells so fresh, and makes my scalp tingle. I love to use it after working out, bike riding, or dancing. I use the organic oil that comes in the bundle to moisturize my scalp and locs. I then use the aloe leave-in cream. All the products are natural, handmade, and smell divine. They provide the moisture nature offers as well as lift my spirits and senses with the aromatic fragrances. In closing, I rock my locs because I can! I feel radiant, classy, fun, and ready to take on the world. For more info contact Nekesa Natural Radiance @


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or that they are not doing enough. If not careful, being on social media can have adverse effects. It can bring increased pressure.


lobally, 1 out of 7 people experience a Mental Illness. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the #1 cause of ill health worldwide. Anxiety is the most prevalent Mental Health disorder in the world. Therefore, due to all that we know about the prevalence of Mental Health in today’s society, it is important that we take care of our Mental Health in any and all elements of our lives. One of the things we all can improve on is how our Mental Health is affected while on social media. Navigating social media can be fun when first learning how to use it. It can be exciting to play around with and get used to the technological updates that it has. Connecting with others can be great and keeping up with how and what others are doing can be interesting however, there can be downsides to social media as well. These downsides can be more prevalent specifically when using social media for business and or goal minded activities. Seeing, reading and hearing certain things can make one ambivalent about posting. Many times, it can be hard to discern what to post and when to post it. There is also the reality that social media can become a me vs them game. Seeing others post their daily or weekly highlights can make one feel as though they are not good enough, and

Social media can cause depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body images issues, and then there is imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a pattern in which an individual doubt themselves and has a fear of being exposed as a fraud. Despite external evidence of their hard work, education, and years of experience individuals can still feel incompetent due to watching others on social networks. Many times, the individuals experiencing this are convinced that they are not good enough and that they do not measure up. Although social media can be a good tool, we have to learn ways to balance our time using it. At the end of the day, we should pay attention to how we feel while on social media. If we notice ourselves experiencing symptoms of sadness, low energy, nervousness, mood changes or a range of emotions then we should lessen our time on social media. It’s also important to learn healthier ways of fulfilling our social and emotional needs. We can all benefit from staying on top of our mental health needs while on social media. *Below are some tips to maintaining your mental health on social media. 1. Try to follow people who encourage and support your goals. Delete or lessen your time watching people who are negative and those who make you feel bad about who you are or where you are in your journey. 2. Don’t worry about people taking your ideas because they won’t present them like you! –You are your Power! 3. Practice not needing to be validated by others. This means you’ll need to keep posting what you feel is valuable in your field. Figure out how to make your presence known, but don’t over think it.

Kendra Hathaway, MA, LLMT, FLE

Family Life Educator, a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Self-help Author from Michigan. Kendra contracts with several different agencies and different facilities to meet her clients needs. Kendra specializes in working with African American women and young adults who are looking to improve their lives. Kendra also works with individuals with depression, anxiety, bi- polar disorders, adjustment disorder, etc. Kendra can be reached directly at: (586) 551-2757, or

By Kendra Hathaway

4. If you’re not sure what to do, find things you are passionate about, chances are you’ll be more successful doing things that are important to you. Try to do what God puts on your mind and heart, not what you see others do. 5. People won’t be quick to give you props but keep moving forward and do your best to do what you feel might help others. You could be uplifting individuals you don’t even know, so stop worrying about who likes and comments on your posts. 6. Keep your focus on your why? You know why this is important, so act like it. Don’t get sidetracked! 7. Don’t stop doing what you love when times get hard. Instead, keep finding things that help you to stay motivated. 8. Share what you learn, regardless if people like, repost, etc. Be assured that there are people who need and want what you have to offer. Know that your ideas and visions matter! 9. Believe in your ability to provoke change, educate, make sales, or whatever your passions are, then be courageous in your pursuits! 10. Every now and then, take some time away from social media. You deserve to relax, recuperate, and reconnect with the things in your life that truly matter. ARTICLE IS FROM Kendra Hathaway is a Family Life Educator, a Limited Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Self-Help Author from Michigan. Kendra contracts with several different agencies and different facilities to meet her client’s needs. Kendra specializes in working with African American women and young adults who are looking to improve their lives. Kendra also works with individuals with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorders, adjustment disorder, etc. Kendra can be reached directly at (586) 551-2757, or at

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“LONE-LIES” By TJ Woodard

call this article the “Lone-Lies” because we’re getting to that season where for some, it can be a very lonely time. Especially, if you are single. The time has changed, we’re losing daylight every day and the weather is getting to be quite brisk outside (for some). The holidays are approaching at what seems like at warp speed and when we look around, we are single for yet another season. I didn’t forget to mention COVID-19 and the impact it has had on social, personal, and interpersonal relationships with having to be quarantined for months now. People have lost so much. Loved ones. Businesses. Jobs. The losses have been great. Others have been managing the new normal and the unexpected changes to life as it once was. But wherever you fall, all of our lives have been impacted in a great way.

What has this done for dating relationships? Family relationships? What has it done for your relationships? Your mental health? I call this article the Lone-Lies because the thing about the mind is that if we allow, it can be filled with “lies” about how we should think or feel. The mind can make you think that you’re all alone and that being single or not seeing your family is the end of the world. You may have had the thought that you might even die alone. LIES! This is all a LIE. Being alone or single for that matter is not a bad thing. There’s so much that can be done while in your single season. This is the perfect time to work and operate in your God-given purpose. Finish some tasks or tackle some goals. Learn more about yourself and of course spend more time with God. Try to study something, read something you have always wanted to or meditate. These are all good things to do during this season. Redecorate or reorganize. This is a good time to get things done without distractions or being pulled in multiple directions. This is a good time to focus on YOU! WAYS TO MANAGE THE LONE-LIES: • Spend Quality Time with God by setting aside quiet time for reading and meditating on His word. You will realize that He is with you and you are not alone. You will begin to understand why you are where you are and what His plans are for your life. • Positive Affirmations are always my go-to. I have them all around me to encourage me when I’m feeling low. • Dust off that Business Idea or Project and get to work.


you aren’t alone and that maybe you can do more to show others around you how great YOU really are! Your feeling of loneliness may truly be a case of the “LONE-LIES” and it isn’t at all what you think. • Talk About It with someone you trust. DO NOT sit in loneliness feeling that no one cares, or no one is there. You are NEVER alone. Have a list of contacts readily available to call when you’re feeling lonely or alone. Let them be your reminder that you are not fighting this fight or in this season by yourself.

Whatever dream, goal, or vision you’ve had that you have pushed to the side, dust it off and pick it back up and BE A BOSS! • Write/Journal your feelings and experiences during this season of your life. Who knows, it might make for a good read or a story of inspiration for someone who will be where you are and need to hear your testimony. • Get Virtual and connect with others via web-based applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Rooms. Join virtual meetups and groups. GET CONNECTED! • Have an Attitude of Gratitude and thank God for where you are right now. There are people wishing they had the time you have to focus on their goals and would switch places in a heartbeat. • Read Uplifting and Motivational books to encourage you. Reading books that arepositive and informational may provide additional strategies to help you to keep pushing through the season of “Lone-lies.” • Accept and Acknowledge that your feelings are real, and you are human but don’t allow them to overtake you. Get Up and Get Moving because people are waiting on your success! We need you! • Know That This Is Only TEMPORARY, and this season will pass. Nothing lasts long and seasons change. What you do in this season prepares you for your next. • Evaluate Your Circle and the people you do have around you. You may realize that


I hope this has helped you in some way understand how perception is everything. If you’re feeling a case of the “lone-lies” look at your situation from a different lens and see how this time, this season, can benefit you. If you still feel that this feeling is trying to overtake you, DO NOT hesitate to contact a friend, a counselor, a spiritual leader, local resources, or someone you trust for support and let them know how you feel. Remember, you are NEVER alone. God is with you and most importantly there are resources available and people ready to help you. Tamika “TJ” Woodard is the Founder of the Queen Series Mentorship Program. She is an author, publisher, speaker, mentor, coach, entrepreneur, and business strategist. As a person who has overcome sexual abuse, trauma, and learning how to manage her own mental health, God uses her as a vessel to inspire others to bring out the leader in themselves and live their best life on purpose. For more information, you can visit her website at

JASON PHILLIPS, LCSW Jason Phillips is a licensed therapist, life coach, and college professor who advocates relentlessly for prosperity and wellness to strengthen individuals, couples, families, and communities across the globe. He has over 10 years of experience in the mental health and coaching profession and is considered an expert in evidence-based treatment and strategic goal setting to foster success. Jason Phillips is the founder and CEO of Peace & Prosperity Coaching LLC. Jason’s approach to health and wellness is direct, yet transparent, focusing on building a strong therapeutic relationship to allow you to feel comfortable addressing the core issues causing distress. Jason has worked in many settings throughout his career to include community mental health, college counseling, grief and loss, psychiatric inpatient units, and Department of Defense/VA healthcare organizations. Jason is a frequent speaker at local and national conferences, podcasts, and mental health forums including nationally recognized Therapy For Black Girls Podcast. What does mental health & wellness mean to you? At its core, mental health and wellness means you are taking care of yourself, mentally and emotionally. This looks like being self-aware of what you feel and the thoughts you have on a day-to-day basis. This means that we are assessing not just “what we are doing” but “how we are doing.” Mental health and wellness check-ins are a bit more complex than checking in physically. Our bodies can often really alert us when things are wrong or out of place. However, when it comes to our mental health, we can easily ignore the signs and push through when we need to pause. Hence, why 50% of mental health issues in America go untreated. Personally, I have learned that taking the time to be honest with how I am doing pays dividends. I encourage others to listen to yourself and block your schedule for YOU. This includes taking time off for self-care, planning activities for yourself that feed your spirit, and working with a mental health professional to avoid any oversight in how you are doing. You specialize in self-esteem, anxiety and trauma, what are some ways you are promoting mental health and wellness through your area(s) of expertise? I promote mental health and wellness through encouraging others to express themselves and not put up a façade about how they are doing. In today’s world with social media, we often feel compelled to be who others think we are and not truly be ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others creates unrest, shame, and inappropriate amounts of sadness, leading to an increase in anxiety and depression because of what I call the “comparison syndrome”. I strongly encourage individuals to love themselves for who they are, journal to express their feelings, while also tracking your progress towards your goals. I created Peace & Prosperity Coaching to provide a safe space for men and women to discuss challenges they are having in their personal and professional lives. We offer individual sessions and group coaching, where we

help with clarity, confidence, and consistency around self-esteem and anxiety issues. I provide a safe space for individuals and couples to be vulnerable and held accountable while working on areas of our lives that we tend to avoid. In addition to my work as a therapist and life coach, I frequently speak at local and national conferences, colleges, and mental health forums where I discuss the impacts and solutions for trauma and anxiety disorders. How do you promote change and mental wellness in the Black community? I promote change and mental wellness in the Black community by using my social media platform (Instagram and Facebook) to discuss various topics related to mental health weekly, Tuesdays @9pm EST. I recently hosted a webinar titled From Boys To Men, where I was joined by Dr. Eddie Connor and Joseph Barksdale, LCSW, where we discussed what our Black youth need to be successful in today’s society. Due to an overwhelming positive response, we are currently preparing for Part II of this series, which will take place Nov. 17th. I’ve had the honor of speaking on over twenty podcasts to discuss Black mental health and wellness, specifically diving into the barriers that we face when seeking help. Most recently I have accepted the role as the Director of Player Professional Development for the North Carolina Capitals. In essence, I utilize my skillset and platform to provide hope and uplift others in the Black community. I mentor and love being able to give back and hopefully inspire others who may not see a way out of their situation.

Life is 90% preparation, 10% execution CONTACT INFORMATION:  : @jphillipsmsw  : @jphillipsmsw  :



Mental Health Change Agent

Alexis ALTON, LCSW Alexis Alton has worked within the social work ďŹ eld over 15 years assisting to improve behaviors and relationships, while educating and providing therapeutic support to children, young adults and families. Her journey began at West Chester University; where she received a bachelor’s degree in social work and then went on to further hone her skills at Howard University, where she earned a master’s degree in social work. Alexis’ areas of expertise include, in-home behavior support, crisis intervention, individual/family/group therapy, and substance abuse. Her passion is to reach and help as many people as possible learn to control their lives and focus on their life’s purpose. Tell us about therapeutic products, how are you promoting health and wellness by products. Alexis is the CEO and founder of C.R.E.M.E. Industries established in 2018 (Creating Resolution then Educate, Motivate and Elevate) We specialize in therapeutic products for children, adults and families. This company was started out of necessity due to the lack of resources and representation for black children within the mental health space. Our products focus on self-control, discipline, family relationships, communication, self-empowerment, and racial injustices. Our focus is to promote emotional intelligence and well-being in a fun and engaging way while promoting long lasting change. Follow our journey as we are projected to be the ďŹ rst company to specialize in therapeutic products for the black community. What other things you would like for us to know about your area of expertise in MH ďŹ eld? Since starting my career, I have been fortunate to gain experience in various ďŹ elds of social work within Washington, DC. It has allowed me to prosper in the ďŹ eld and guide me towards my current path. My experiences have allowed me to become a versatile social worker and understand the needs of the black community. What are some ways we can encourage more ppl to seek MH treatment? I think we need to ďŹ rst, normalize mental health treatment. It is okay to want something better for yourself, to have a safe space, and to invest in your mental well-being as you would any other aspect of your life. Secondly, you need to understand your rights as a client. Mental health treatment is guided by YOU. It is a voluntary service and focuses on meeting YOUR goals. I tell my clients all the time, I work for you! If people can understand the power they have within their treatment process, hopefully they would be more willing to participate. Thirdly, I think most people do not seek help because their pain is too great. Knowing that there will be diďŹƒcult times within therapy can be discouraging and intimidating. It is important to understand, through pain brings adversity, strength, courage, and


empowerment‌it WILL get better! And lastly, ďŹ nd a professional that is a good ďŹ t for your needs. It is your right as a client to have a professional who has experience within the type of treatment you seek, who understands you as an individual, as well as someone who you can vibe with and help you meet your goals.

Trust the process CONTACT INFO:

 :  : @iamalexisalton  : @iamalexisalton  : Alexis Alton  :


Maddox CEO of Leave Inspired Inc. Scripture:

God is within her, she will not fall ~Psalm 46:5 Tysheira Maddox is a Philadelphia native who has received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Eastern University and Master’s in Social Work at Temple University. While having to navigate adulthood with few tools and guidance but managing to survive, she created Leave Inspired, Inc to provide Coaching and Consulting services to service Black individuals and communities. Her vision is to provide schools, colleges, and communities with psycho-education workshops and programs to educate them on mental health awareness and utilize the eight dimensions of wellness to cope with the stressors of life in a healthy way. Tysheira is dedicated to helping Black women, emerging into adulthood, over-come self-limiting beliefs and execute their life and career goals. Knowing that the 20s are diďŹƒcult to navigate because there are life skills needed and guidance while transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, she provides Coaching to assist with the heavy burdens of navigating adulthood. Her passion for mental health developed from her lived experiences of seeing it ďŹ rsthand in her family and deciding that she wanted to help Black individuals with mental illnesses to get the education and treatment needed to still live a fulďŹ lling life. With her own struggles of depression, anxiety, and PTSD she advocates endlessly on her platforms and business to ensure that Black individuals and families overcome the barriers of mental illness in their lives. That there is still hope and a greater meaning to being alive. Having a mental illness does not make one less of a person or have less potential. It may present as a speedbump or speedbumps on their journey but it is not the end to what can be a meaningful life.

Contact:  :  :  :


Making a Difference

ROYCE L. JONES CEO of RLJ Consulting Group | Creator of Mental Wealth 101 slogan, “Your mental health is your wealthâ€? is geared to educate the community in topics concerning mental health while removing the stigma. Royce communicates his message through a series of post titled Mental Wealth 101: where he educates his audience on topics on mental health. Royce is currently ďŹ nishing his Masters Program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.


oyce, a native of Lansing and father of two beautiful daughters (Gabrielle & Madison) served 14 years in the US Navy, has a BS in Business Management and an MBA. He frequently mentors students and faculty at local high schools and advocates for his community. He is a long standing board member with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It was in serving his country, and local community that Royce found his calling in helping individuals discover the importance of maintaining their mental wellness. His


He educates youth on social and emotional intelligence and is an advocate for promoting mental health within the community. He gives mental health and motivational talks on a monthly basis with students and sta at Michigan Works for the GED program. His message of hope for the world is “Our Futures Power Is In Our Present Youth,â€? and “You repeat what you don’t repair!â€? Royce understands that without God in his life nothing he does would be possible.

Your Mental Health Is Your Wealth

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CASE OF THE MONDAYS MY JOURNEY OF HEALING WHILE COPING WITH GRIEF By: Tyi Flood “Case of the Mondays” has coined a new slogan in my life lately. It’s been three weeks since the sudden death of one of my closest friends, and since then, every Monday has become a depressive-driven moment that plays out in my mind and body throughout the day. Today was no different, as I fought back tears while preparing for work. I’m gratefully employed and teleworking during this whole COVID-19 mess, but let me tell you, working from home each and every day provides unprecedented free time. This free time becomes a great time for depression to knock on the door to see if anyone’s home. I’ve definitely been trying to keep busy, but sometimes I just give in and let the episode play out. Lately, keeping busy has been a running list of house chores, projects, and shopping. From time to time I meet up with a friend, do an impromptu dine-out or happy hour, and then there’s the two-mile walk that I’ve gotten used to taking during the week. That my friend is the gist of my life at this very moment. Today was a rough day. I knew, on that Monday afternoon when I learned of her passing, that Monday’s would never be the same for me. So, on Sundays I’ve been trying to plan out my Monday moods; from doing something fun or out of the ordinary, to meditating and praying before bed, or to simply not do anything and rest. Trying to be proactive in coping with my grief has been my goal. Is it working? Sometimes. However, today was rough. Today was also the day I decided that it’s okay for my Monday’s to be rough. I’m going to go through these episodes of feeling sad, feeling regretful, feeling heartbroken, feeling triggered, feeling anger, feeling the hurt and pain of losing my closest friend. Grief is one of those emotions that we think we can choose to have. We think, “Oh, I should be at peace,” or “they’re in a happy place” or “they wouldn’t want me to be sad.” Fact of the matter is that grief is one of the most painful emotions, and get this, it’s not just an emotion derived by death. We feel grief during any loss in our lives. The most important thing we have to remember to do is FEEL. FEEL EVERY EMOTION! If you don’t then you will allow this grief to poison your soul like a cancer. No one looks forward to losing anyone in their life. I’m definitely one of those people who intentionally keep my distance from getting too attached to things or people, because I know that they can be taken at any moment. Yes, I’m working on this, and coincidently the death of my friend is making me work even harder. There are many setbacks to your healing process, but how you manage those setbacks takes courage that only you will know. Be intentional in your journey. Be intentional with your love. Be intentional with your mental wellness. Most importantly, be intentional in loving and caring for all who mean the most to you.

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This beautiful collection is a collection with a message presenting the first RallyUp Eyeshadow palette. The colors in this collection speaks life to those who use it with names like Happy, Strength, RallyUp and Fighter. Purchasing this product you will be supporting

Nikita Powell-Cottman, founder of We Fight Foundation and RallyUp Magazine as a portion of the proceeds made from the sale of the RallyUp Collection will support the continuous work in providing mental health and suicide awareness.


“Your will to win must be bigger than your will to whine!" ~Eleasa Du Bois RALLYUPMAGAZINE.COM | 51 | FALL 2020


ELEASA DU BOIS ELEASA DU BOIS maintains the will to win! After trying several weight loss programs with minimal results, she was determined to continue not to give up her quest to lose weight and get healthier.

RUM: You mentioned you've been overweight o and on during your childhood and adult life. How did being overweight aect your mental health?

10 years ago, during her most successful weight loss transformation, Eleasa was inspired to share with other women her keys to release unhealthy weight along with limiting beliefs and debilitating mindsets that often keep us in overweight prison.

ELEASA: It stole my conďŹ dence. I felt less than, like I was not enough. Lack of conďŹ dence aected my relationships. I often chose friends that I shouldn’t have chosen. Dating was challenging and I chose not to date a lot because I was unhappy and uncomfortable with the way I looked. I was often in toxic relationships and didn’t have the conďŹ dence to stand up for myself and leave the relationship. I felt that because of how I looked, I didn’t deserve more. Lack of conďŹ dence made me doubt myself. It also caused me to underperform at work. As I lost the weight, I began to slowly peel back the layers of my fears and build my conďŹ dence.

Her mission is to enlighten, educate and empower women to get healthier, reclaim their authentic conďŹ dence and get their true sexy back! RUM: How old were you when you experienced your ďŹ rst darkest moment? ELEASA: My Dad transitioned when I was 13 years old. We were very close. It took me a very long time to grieve. As a child who lost a parent, there were so many things to process. Back then, you didn't automatically go see a therapist when you were dealing with such a life changing episode. I didn't really grieve until 2 years later, but I learned a lot about myself during that time. RUM: When did your healing journey begin? ELEASA: I had been overweight o and on during my childhood and adult life. On January 23, 2010, I made a deliberate and intentional decision to begin a weight loss journey that changed my life mentally, physically, spiritually and ďŹ nancially.

RUM: We admire your perseverance to lose weight. What advice would you give our readers to begin a healthy weight loss journey? ELEASA: Be honest with yourself about your weight and your health. Losing weight isn’t just about how you look, it’s about having healthy stats to work toward your best health. (Blood pressure, Glucose levels, Cholesterol level, waist and hip circumference (for women). The Ardysslife 2 Step System gave me a snapshot of what I would look like once I actually lost the weight. The system provided a catalyst for me to jumpstart my weight loss journey while simultaneously putting my numbers in a normal/safe zone. The catalyst makes all the dierence! RUM: There may be a reader who has thoughts of giving up or having thoughts of harming themselves; what encouraging words do you have for them? ELEASA: You have value! The world is waiting on your gifts to be shared. Remember, "your will to win must be bigger than your will to whine"! Focus on doing the work and making the changes necessary to catapult yourself to looking and feeling your absolute best.

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Tried meditating but just can’t find peace? When I first tried meditating years ago my focus was all over the place. My thoughts continued to beat me up: You’re a bad person, you’re mean, you’re selfish, you’re a terrible mom. My dad kept coming up, along with my angry feelings for him. These thoughts raced through my mind, and I kept trying to push them aside. “Focus, you can do this. Don’t listen to those words!” But the words kept coming back, forcing their hatred of me into my mind until finally I gave up and thought: “Let me just listen.”

Accept it. Feel it. Dissolve it. Solve it. It was that simple. I listened to the thoughts that came through. I accepted my thoughts without judgment, as if watching a parade. My thoughts would wander. Memories of my past would appear, and I would acknowledge that they happened and accept them for what they were.

anger at my dad for beating me—I was sad and hurt that he didn’t love me. And breaking it apart even more, I realized I felt unloved. Once I uncovered what the issue really was, I could solve it and move forward with actions. With my dad, I had to ask myself “how could I build a more loving relationship with him in the present instead of focusing on our past? What actions could I take to feel loved on my terms without allowing someone else to be responsible for my feelings of being loved? How could I love myself?” Sorting through these questions was key in taking steps toward my growth. Solving my attachments to the negative thoughts and emotions brought me peace. And once I solved my thought, the chatter in my mind would disappear, leaving only calm. Meditation is a quieting of the mind. You can practice meditation in many forms.

Once I accepted each thought, I tried to put a feeling to it. “Did this thought make me angry, sad, or depressed? Did it make me happy?” Usually my first emotion toward a thought was what I called a surface emotion. I knew it was a fake, and I had to break it apart to find out what the true emotion was.

• Seated meditation • Walking meditation • Silent meditation • Guided meditation • Sitting by a window looking outside

That’s when I would dissolve it and solve it. Dissolving it meant I tried to determine why I was feeling the emotion that was attached to the thought. “Was I really feeling angry?” I dug deeper and asked myself more questions. My feelings were not

You can try this technique of Accept it. Feel it. Dissolve it. Solve it. while sitting in meditation, or even riding in a car. Just find a place where it’s quiet so you can focus on your thoughts. Why don’t you give it a try?


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 NAMI Helpline M-F, 10 am - 6pm ET 1800-950-NAMI We Fight Foundation, Inc. 240-34-FIGHT (240-343-4448) available crisis chat line. TEEN LINE 1800-852-8336 Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1800-273-TALK (1800-273-8255 PRESS 1) LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Hotline: 1866-4-U-TREVOR NAMI National Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1800-273- TALK (1800-273-8255 PRESS 2) Family Crisis Center, Inc. Phone:(301)731-1203(Hotline) Family Crisis Center for Domestic Violence Phone (410)828-6390(410)285-7496(Emergency Safe Shelter) Korean Suicide Hotline Phone:(855) 775-6732 National Hopeline Network Phone:(800)442-4673 National Sexual Assault Hotline,RAINN Phone:(800)656-4673

The Green Pages Residential Crisis Services, Mosiac Community Service Phone:(410)938-5030 Hours of Operation:24/7 Spanish Suicide Hotline Phone:(800)784-2432 or (888)628-9454 Hours of Operation:24/7 The Trevor Suicide HelpLine Phone:(866)488-7386 Hours of Operation:24/7 Veterans Crisis Hotline Phone:(877)838-2838 Hours of Operation:24/7 Mental Health America American Psychiatric Association American Psychological Association Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) National Institute of Mental Health Obsessive Compulsive Foundation Mental Apps The Safe Place notOK App


RallyUp Mental Health Magazine is a product of We Fight Foundation Inc. is a community and school based nonprofit organization founded in 2016 that provides support and services to youth, young adults (12-24 yrs), suffering with mental health challenges to reduce the risky behaviors, self-harm, self-medicating or suicide. Proceeds will assist families of underserved communities with therapy sessions, mental health workshops, resources and soon housing.

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RallyUp Mental Health Magazine Fall 2020  

This issue provides a lot of tips in various areas as it pertains to mental health. It's time to find that healthy balance as we close out t...

RallyUp Mental Health Magazine Fall 2020  

This issue provides a lot of tips in various areas as it pertains to mental health. It's time to find that healthy balance as we close out t...

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