Song of the Socially Anxious Mermaid

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Kofi Siriboe’s Documentary Short Explores Black Mental Health

Kofi Siriboe of OWN’s series “Sugar Queen” gets ball rolling in discussing mental health in African American communities

It’s been awhile since I’ve watch “Sugar Queen”. Heck it’s been awhile since I’ve had cable. However, if you have cable and you have the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), I suggest you watch “Sugar Queen”. It’s a pretty good show.

The story takes place in the South, where three estranged siblings, Charley, Nova and Ralph Angel Bordelon, come together after the passing of their father and inherit and work together to continue caring his 800 acre sugarcane farm. Kofi Siriboe, who plays the youngest of the Bordelon Siblings, Ralph Angel, created the documentary titled, “WTF is Mental Health?”

The film explores how mental health affects African Americans and why it’s imperative for the community to look after it. The film, taken place in the Bronx, covers 7 adults who discuss the adversities they went through as they discovered they had a mental illness and how,along with their recovery, they encourage African Americans to seek help, screening, and treatment for their own mental health.

What I like about Siriboe is how he is using his stardom to help bring light to this issue especially in African American communities. Mental illness tends to be a topic frowned down upon and is looked as a “white people’s” disease and/or a sign of weakness. But it’s not…as you listen to the stories of the people in his documentary, they’ve been through a lot.

A second thing I like about him as that being a Black man—and some of the Black men depicted in the film—he’s not afraid to disclose this issue. I mean look at the guy…he’s a very handsome man and you’d never think he bring about an issue like this, much less reveal that he too is combating mental illness. Having men see other men living with mental illness regardless of their background in life, I hope will let men (especially Black men) know that having mental illness does not make you less of a man.

For more information Kofi Siriboe and his short documentary film, “WTF is Mental Health click on the links below. The links will also have his short on the available the sites:

Kofi Siriboe’s Documentary Short Explores Black Mental Health
— Read on www.google.com/amp/www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/kofi-siriboe-documentary-short-black-mental-health?amp

Kofi Siriboe Makes An Urgent Case For Discussing Black Mental Health

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

While we use this day to remember our fallen heroes who have died in battle, we should also take the time remember the vets who have died by suicide. According to the Reuters online website, veterans die by suicide—22 deaths a day or one every 65 minutes on average. This is usually committed by those who are 50 years and older, with numbers of 69% or higher. That doesn’t include, for example, the data from 2012— where there were 349 on-duty suicides.

When our soldiers come home, it won’t always be visible scars…but at times emotional ones. These invisible scars can come in the form of warning signs. According to Maketheconnection.net, these signs can include:

  • Feeling hopeless, trapped or feeling there’s no way out
  • Having persisting or worsening troubling sleep
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Engaging in risky behavior without thinking of the consequences
  • Feeling like there’s no reason to live

In addition to those examples, there maybe more signs that require immediate attention. These may include:

  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Frequently talking, writing, or drawing about death or about items that can cause physical harm
  • Behaving violently such as punching holes in walls, getting into fights or engaging in self-harm acts
  • Putting their affairs in order, tying up loose ends, and/or making a will

In Riverside, CA today, members of the organization, Veteran Suicide Awareness Project, had their 3rd annual Memorial Day Ruck March. In this event, they can walk as nearly 40 miles, while carrying 22 pounds of rucksack to signify the 22 veterans who commit suicide everyday. One woman, the event organizer and an Air Force Veteran herself, Evita De La Cruz, carried 22 pounds of her husband’s belongings—such as his boots and helmet from Iraq—who died by suicide in 2013 after serving in the military. The proceeds will go to families who had a vet that die by suicide. I hope their event went well to shed light on suicide and our vets.

If you are a vet or you know a vet who may need help, contact the link below:

The Veterans Crisis Line is 800-273-8255, then press 1. Help via text is available at 838-255 and veterans can chat at www.veteranscrisisline.net.

Readings:Riverside Ruck March Shines Light On Veteran Suicide