General Order No. 3 or…what/who is holding us back???

I remember my first therapy session like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I was rushing over to the office after work, racing past people on Market Street like I was in the final lap at the Penn Relays. My mind was running its own race, perhaps swifter than my feet.  Jesse Owens on the ground, Usain Bolt between the ears. How would this person be? Would they relate to me? Would I allow myself to be vulnerable? For some reason, the warm smile of the security guard as I signed in to get onto the elevator – handing me a tissue to wipe my sweaty brow -- is a picture I can recall clearly, even so many years later. When I signed out about one hour later, I felt lighter, more than satisfied. And I pondering more questions. Why haven’t I looked into these issues before? Did I not think I was able to do so? What held me back? Those questions began a journey I hold very sacred.  A journey of family, of tradition, of values, and of culture. A culture I remember us discussing during one session – about holidays and what they’ve meant in the context of my family.  Juneteenth came up. Well, I raised it. They were familiar, but I had to [...]

2022-06-06T13:53:25-04:00June 13th, 2022|Community, Racial Equity|

Kids Will Play. Put It Away!

Kids will play, put it away! Children are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they accidentally find and ingest medicine or drugs. When drugs and other substances are in the home, they present a risk to children. This is true of over the counter, legally prescribed, and illegal substances. Opioids can be especially dangerous and should stay in their original packaging. When you have substances in your home, follow these tips to keep your young ones safe: Store drugs and medicine out of reach and out of sight of kids. If possible, keep them in cabinets that can be locked or child-proofed with latches. If locks are not easily available, make sure they are placed inside cabinets and drawers and not out in the open. Be sure to put medicines away after using them. Talk with your children. Engage your children in conversations about what medicine is and that they should only take medicine when it’s given to them by an adult. Ask others to help keep your home safe. When babysitters, extended family, and friends come over, ask that they keep medicine safely stored in their bags, or outside of the home. If an accident happens, get help IMMEDIATELY. Call Poison Control if you suspect a poisoning. You’ll get free, expert help. The number is 1-800-222-1222. Together, we can keep our kids safe! [...]

2022-04-12T10:42:46-04:00April 12th, 2022|Awareness, Community|

MLK Day: Personal Memories of the First Day of Service

By Iris Lozada In 1994, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was launched thanks largely to U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford Jr. of Pennsylvania and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Wofford was an attorney and civil rights activist. He was a Democratic politician who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1991 to 1995. He also was a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade of struggle from Montgomery to Memphis. His “passion for getting people involved helped create John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps, Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps and other service organizations and made him America’s volunteer in chief,” according to his 2019 obituary in The New York Times. It isn’t surprising that, given his strong interest in volunteerism and knowing what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, he launched the campaign to make MLK Day into a day of service, what Wofford called “a day on, not a day off.” Todd Bernstein – Chief of Staff of Wofford’s Philadelphia office when the campaign was launched – supported those efforts. Bernstein is the founder and director of the annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. Today, Philadelphia continues to host the largest King Day of Service in the country, according to Global Citizens. I [...]

2022-01-03T13:22:35-05:00January 10th, 2022|Awareness, Community|

We Breathe, We Live. Brothery Love Protest Stories

“We Breathe, We Live. Brotherly Love Protest Stories” is a made-for-television film presenting first person experiences of men who participated in the George Floyd protests in Philadelphia during the summer of 2020. Gabriel Bryant, Engaging Males of Color (EMOC) coordinator for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services in Philadelphia, wrote a guest post on Generocity.org that highlighted his experience and the approach to the film. Here is an excerpt: We identified seven men of various backgrounds, ages and experiences to share their story, as we prepare for the one-year anniversary of this infamous murder and subsequent summer of protests. Where were they? How did they feel? What was it like to be on the ground in the marches? How has this trauma affected them and/or their loved ones? The director of the film, Glenn Holsten, brought a brave and innovative vision to catalyze and link the ideas presented in the film. These rich stories, plus the inclusion of spoken word poetry and conversations with our DBHIDS EMOC colleagues, give life to a moment that was a peak example of dehumanization. This film has further resonance since we find ourselves in Mental Health Awareness Month; additionally seen in the relief of millions now that Chauvin has been convicted of his charges. “We Breathe, We Live. Brotherly Love Protest [...]

2021-05-30T14:31:55-04:00May 24th, 2021|Community, Racial Equity|
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