Mental Health Monday

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September is Suicide Prevention Month. Each year, too many people commit suicide and one thing that would prevent some of those suicides is knowing where to go to get help. Visit the websites of these three organizations and find out how you can get help or how you can help someone in crisis.

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness.

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

The Trevor Project – for LGBTQ+ and Trans Youth.

The Trevor Project provides confidential support for LGBTQ youth in crisis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Election Connection – 20 Weeks – Media Sources

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As I did my morning news rituals – listening to What a Day and checking Twitter for headlines – I couldn’t help but see that the Vice President is lying about Oklahoma’s COVID-19 increases and downplaying the risks as the President plans on having his first rally since the pandemic in Tulsa.

Please pay attention to sources and double check things that sound incorrect, especially when coming from this Administration. Even when they’re not intentionally lying, they often get their facts wrong and need to walk back and correct their statements nearly on a daily basis and this inludes their surrogates.

Two excellent sources on Twitter are journalists, Soledad O’Brien, who calls out the media when they both sides and/or stammer their way through a headline and Yamiche Alcindor, who will add truthful context to anything she is quoting from her sources.

Use this helpful graphic to know which sources are reliable when researching or sharing information.

Media Bias Chart (c)2018

Election Connection – 21 Weeks – Anti-Racist Resources

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With the surge of justice Twitter, Black Lives Matter, Defund the Police, Vote, we are being bombarded with some messages that we may not have been exposed to before.

For those of us who are white, it is time to stop talking and listen to the voices of the black experience. What follows is several resources that I have found in the last week simply by listening to those voices.

Later this week, I will share some people to follow on social media (primarily Twitter). Please contact me through comments or email with any suggestions of black voices that you want amplified.

NAACP

ACLU

Racial Inequality and Injustice – A Panel facilitated by Misha Collins through GISH (his charity scavenger hunt)

NAMI’s Statement on Recent Racist Incidents and Mental Health Resources for African Americans (this link is a repost from yesterday)

The Anti-Racist Starter Kit by Brea Baker

5 Ways to Better Support the Movement

10 Documentaries to Watch About Race Instead of Asking a Person of Colour to Explain Things For You

Baratunde’s World-Saving Books

Unlearning and Relearning Through Literature (Victoria Alexander’s Twitter Link)

Anti-Racist Resource Guide created by Victoria Alexander, MEd

Anti-Racism Resources for White People

Domestic Violence and Abuse

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Nine years ago today, my friend was murdered by her ex. Up until that point, I was mostly unaware of the enormous domestic violence problem we have in this country.

I was unawware that 1 in 3 people are abused in their relationships.

I was unaware that women go to jail more for defending themselves against their partners than their partners do for abusing them.

I was unaware that I was part of the problem by not believing my friend when she did talk about her experiences in our mutual friend circles.

I was unaware.

We can no longer live in the darkness of ignorance; of platitudes; of living in our own bubbles.

If you know someone who is being abused, reach out. They may not accept your overtures, but they’ll know that you will be there when they are ready.

If you are being abused, there is help.

Contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-700-7233 or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

or online at The Hotline

In New York State, there are new options available related to an uptick (30% higher in this past April than in April 2019) in the domestic abuse incidents and reports since our pandemic related isolation began.

Coronavirus and Domestic Violence (NY Times)

New Yorkers in Need of Help or Assistance Can Text 844-997-2121 

or Can Go to the New Confidential Online Site to Reach a Professional on http://www.opdv.ny.gov

Office of Prevention of Domestic Violence in NY

Masks, Take 2 (Updated 4/29/20)

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ETA:  What’s it Like to Be Deaf when Everyone is Wearing Face Masks?

Wearing Eyeglasses with a Face Mask
I will also updating the two mask posts into one post next week so it’s all in one space. I will also include a photo of my newly made face mask.

I discovered that instead of folding my bandana into halves twice that folding it into halves and then thirds made the mask less bulky and it fit better. It also doesn’t sit as high up under my glasses and caused less fogging. The CDC has directions (the bandana directions are at the bottom of the link), but the gist of it is the same as the original that I posted, which can be found here.

Photo below cut:

Continue reading

COVID-19 Masks

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Now that most places across the country are asking people to wear masks when they go out, I thought that now would be a good time to share some information on making your own masks. The CDC does not want people wearing N95 or surgical masks; those are to be saved for medical and hospital staff. Out in the everyday world, we should be wearing cloth masks. I’ve been wearing one for a little more than a week. Last week, my husband went to Ocean State Job Lots where they were giving out free fabric/cloth in order to make your own masks. You can check their website to see if those are still available. At the time, there was a limit of 5 per person.

Me in my mask. It’s a little too bulky, but I’m not willing to cut my bandana smaller. I will make another one when I am able to get fabric, but in the mean time, this does the job. (c)2020

The instructions that I used to make my NO SEW mask can be found on YouTube.

FREE pattern for sewing a surgical face mask

The CDC Now Recommends Everyone Use Cloth Masks in Public (Vox)

DIY Homemade Face Mask Tutorials (Vox)

CDC – Cloth Face Covers

Writing in the Pandemic (Updated 4/13/20)

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As a writer, I’ve hit the proverbial road block. It is so hard to just sit down and write about anything that isn’t coronavirus related. I spend my entire day reading Twitter, watching Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing, finding interviews with Dr. Fauci, and listening to relevant podcasts. It’s exhausting.

But I feel that I need to stay informed.

However, my writing also needs to continue. Whether that means weekly election connection posts or finally sitting down to get serious about my two books or any number of writing projects that I want to work on. I need to re-balance my life to include my writing, and for better or worse, some of that writing will need to be about what I am going through now.

I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve discovered on my online sojourns and internal discernment.

The Writer Magazine Writing Contest Short Story Contest due June 2, 2020. (There might be a fee to enter.)

Historian Suggests Keeping Record of Life During Pandemic

Journal Assignment. Graphic posted below. Link is to other assignments and a place for students to upload their work. This was originally from Bryan Shaw of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in California

Podcast from Writing Coach, Ann Kroeker: One Thing Writers Can Do in a Pandemic: Document the Days

From Actor, Misha Collins:

Breathe in what?

Breathe out what?

“I was explaining one of the simplest meditation techniques to the kids: “Sitting, eyes closed, you breathe in good things you breathe out bad things.”

Maison [his daughter] said, “So you breathe in sparkly rainbow unicorns and you breathe out broken guitars?””

Remember to respect Authors

Haiku Writing with John Pavlovitz

30 Day Writing Challenge beginning tomorrow (April 1, 2020) from IngramSpark, a self-publishing company. They will send daily emails for the writing challenge from The Writer -30 Day Writing Challenge – these are daily emails from a self-publishing/pod (publish on demand) company.

Camp Nanowrimo for the month of April!

Camp Nanowrimo – nanowrimo.org

Journal Assignment by Bryan Shaw. (c)2020