FEELING MUSIC WITHDRAWALS?
Get your music fix for the week of October 10th
(This Mental Health edition will be shared in 3 parts on Oct 10th, 12th, and 17th)
Brought to you after watching iHeartRadio’s Charlamagne Tha God explain to Trevor Noah, “I feel sorry for Hillary Clinton because it’s like, whether you love her or hate her, she’s clearly more than qualified to be President of the United States of America. She has the most experience, but she’s trying to prove to America that she can run the country better than a reality show star can. It’s literally like LeBron James trying to prove himself playing basketball against Peter Griffin.” Reality show star OUT. Former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State IN. #RESPECTMYVOTE!
MUSIC HEADLINE OF THE WEEK – CONT’D
- Kid Cudi checks into rehab for anxiety, depression, and “suicidal urges”
- Despite being a victim to mental illness, his public admission on Facebook was mired in shame, apology, and guilt.
- People gave rise to the hashtags #YouGoodMan and #mentalhealth to support Kid Cudi in his journey to recovery and start a conversation about mental illnesses that are often misunderstood, unacknowledged, poorly diagnosed and untreated.
SO, WHAT ELSE IS THERE LEFT TO TALK ABOUT?
Well, unbeknownst to the Man on the Moon (Kid Cudi), he started a wildfire chat, not only about mental health, but also as it relates to race and gender.
People want to remind others how health disparities are not just a coincidence for certain racial groups in the healthcare system. Actually, race, income level, and gender are all key players when it comes to ‘normal’ health, and even more so, mental health.
Let’s break it down by taking one racial group that’s seen some of the greatest effects of this throughout history: the African-American community.
This community has faced oppression for centuries (see: slavery, segregation, civil rights issues, etc). Even after Lincoln did his thing with the Emancipation Proclamation, segregation practices lasted for another 100+ years and kept African-Americans from truly being seen as equals. As a result, African-Americans couldn’t get the same jobs, opportunities, housing, etc. as everyone else. This led to the creation of inner city ‘slums,’ which quickly became breeding grounds for drugs and violence, making them easy targets for police brutality or spending life in and out of jail. These environmental factors perpetuate for generations on end, making it impossible for the masses to seek out higher education or career advancement, and earning the title of ‘productive members of society.’ And a vicious cycle of discrimination, prejudice, and bias repeats itself: go back to the environmental factors plaguing the group, rinse and repeat.
Now, imagine living in this plight day in and day out. One can only imagine you’re more susceptible to developing socioeconomic stress and mental health issues. By not having the adequate help that is needed in the first place, you’re not able to achieve a better quality of life, access proper healthcare or afford health insurance. You just remain victims to this broken system and structure.
See Tupac’s “Changes” for a quick summary.
I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,
“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”
I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.
My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.
Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.
First ship ’em dope and let ’em deal to brothers.
Give ’em guns, step back, and watch ’em kill each other…
And, the American Psychological Association (APA) couldn’t agree more with Tupac on every level, except explained in more scientific terms: the role of chronic stressors in health disparities among racial/ethnic groups, perceived discrimination, environmental stress and neighborhood stressors.
NPR’s Health Shots also sheds some light on the strong correlation between income levels and depression. Mark Olfson, professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, found that “those in the lowest-income group were five times more likely to appear to have depression compared with those in the highest income group, with 18.2 percent of lowest-income adults screening positive compared to 3.7 percent of the highest-income group. But higher-income people were more likely to get treatment.”
Olfson also said that men are less likely to be treated. That’s because from a young age, boys in certain environments are conditioned to think you’re weak if you show or admit to emotion or sadness, creating a negative stigma towards mental health. If they grow up without a father figure or with a poor father figure, they are also more likely to suffer from not getting the appropriate and positive love, guidance, and care.
Add race to the gender mix, and we’ve got a bigger problem. According to APA’s 2016 Stress in America™ poll, “discrimination against race and gender contribute to higher stress and poorer health, with nearly two in five black men [who] say that police have unfairly stopped, searched, questioned, physically threatened or abused them.”
Given all of this, these men are bound to develop some macho, leaving an incredible stigma on allowing diagnosis, admitting to mental health and getting the treatment they need.
HOW YOU FEEL WHEN YOU’RE ASKED TO SOLVE 186,503+789,276=…
It’s definitely a complicated problem, but what are some answers and solutions?
We need to improve the quality of life for lower-income individuals overall. Change the sociopolitical environment – such as inner city slums – to help ethnic minorities climb themselves out of the hole that keeps them oppressed. Create an environment that enables economic empowerment and fosters health and well-being.
We need more health care reforms. Surprise, surprise. We’re on the right track with the idealism set by the Affordable Care Act (even if there are still kinks to iron out), but healthcare should be affordable for everyone as a basic human right, especially for lower-income levels. Imagine if we made it possible for everyone to have at least one primary care visit annually, which embedded mental health check ups to allow for early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
As David Satcher (former Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General of the United States) proposed in his Journal, “we need to advocate a greater allocation of additional resources—both the number of care providers and coverage for mental health services are inadequate.”
Lastly, we need to tackle the stigma associated with mental health by empowering individuals through education. Take the short film, Boys Don’t Cry, created by the APA to de-stigmatize the negative stereotype towards this type of emotion. Greater education has the potential to “change the landscape of emotions for boys [at a young age] and change how masculinity is interpreted.” For the men out there, especially if you identify as a man of color, it’s okay to admit you need help. It doesn’t make you any less of a man. In fact, it makes you a far greater one for wanting to take back control of your life.
We hear stories all the time about celebrities who struggle with mental illnesses, from Kid Cudi, Donald Glover, Jhene Aiko to Amy Winehouse and Robin Williams. But, there’s a different element of empathy and understanding needed with family and friends.
Tune in on October 17th for an intimate view into a childhood friend who lets Facebook know ‘what’s on her mind’ and her inspiring #YouGoodWoman story.
IS IT FRIDAY YET?
TRUMPTY DUMPTY SAT ON A WALL, TRUMPTY DUMPTY HAD A GREAT FALL, ALL THE CAMPAIGN MANAGERS AND ‘LOCKER ROOM’ MEN, COULDN’T PUT TRUMPTY TOGETHER AGAIN…
Brought to you by the same folks as “90 Days, 90 Reasons” that inspired voters to bring a presidential candidate (Obama) back for a second term.
This go around, it’s a little less positive, with a group of musicians who have banded together to “speak out against the ignorant, divisive, and hateful campaign of Donald Trump.”
Listeners can anticipate the release of one new anti-Trump song for the 30 days leading up to Election Day, and all proceeds from streaming will be donated to the Center for Popular Democracy. Follow the Spotify playlist here.
Even the gentle, acoustic sounds of Death Cab for Cutie boast some pretty derisive lyrics about how Trump claims he built an empire with a “small loan”…of a million, freaking dollars from his wealthy father (plus the massive trust fund he left behind and additional loans amounting to millions(!) of dollars). You know, just like every hardworking American who is told, ‘No excuses! As long as you work hard, you can go from rags to riches and live out the American Dream, too!’ GTFO.
Listen to “Million Dollar Loan” below:
Like what you hear? Tune in every week for the next recap.
REMINDER: Look out for the final post for this Mental Health edition on Oct 17th