BREAKING: NYC mayor launches major mental health initiative

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio launched a comprehensive mental health initiative today.

By Carmen Glover

On Monday, November 22, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by his wife, two children and staff, announced a major mental health initiative that is right on time since studies show that people who have mental illness often feel more lonely and hopeless during the holiday season.

“Maybe there’s a little hope that we can stare down these challenges and not be afraid to talk about them and seek the help that people deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said, in announcing that he will allocate $800 million over four years to fund his bold and much needed initiative named “Thrive NYC: A Road Map for Mental Health.”

Among the highlights of the initiative is the plan to train 2,250 mental health first aide workers, hire 100 school mental health consultants and hire 400 doctors for the NYC Mental Health Corps.

For a video of the Mental Health Road Map in action click here:

The mayor is no stranger to mental illness and substance abuse because he grew up in a household with a father who struggled with both. His father was an alcoholic who committed suicide when the mayor was 18. Also, de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, 20, has battled substance abuse, anxiety and depression. Asked how she was coping during the press conference convened to talk about the initiative, Chiara smiled and said: “I’m doing better. I would say there’s always challenges.”

New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has spearheaded her husband’s mental health agenda, was pleased with the massive financial commitment to the issue.

“The good news is that mental illness is treatable. We know what works. We have the tools.”

As the homeless population has exploded in New York City, data has shown a correlation between mental illness and homelessness. The new mental health initiative will go a long way towards curbing homelessness by reaching affected individuals before they descend into despair and provide vital services to those who already suffer in silence–OnPointPress.net–

 

 

 

Having health insurance before emergency strikes is crucial

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

By Charles Glover, Jr.

If there is one lesson to take away from the month of October, which emphasized  Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and Mental Health Awareness, it is that being proactive and prepared can save your life. Yet, how do you prepare for an accident, illness, violence, or natural disasters? While we pray for those harshly affected by Hurricane Patricia, it serves as a reminder that there is only so much we can plan for.

 

The job of a qualified insurance agent is to educate families and individuals about the potential pitfalls that exist in most insurance plans and help fill those gaps. Hospital indemnity plans and accident plans are the most common forms of protection that provide benefits directly to the insured in case of accident or illness, in many cases.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When a person is hurt or critically ill, the only thing they should have to worry about is healing. Unfortunately, healthcare costs can become an albatross resulting in substantial financial loss and, in many cases, bankruptcy.

As open enrollment continues, be sure to read the fine print on your health insurance plans and ask your insurance advisor as many questions as possible. There are plans to help those who have to go the hospital for a wide range of reasons including cancer, domestic violence, heart attack, stroke, slip and fall and mental health issues. Make sure you plan ahead so that when disaster strikes, the only concern is healing as soon as possible.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns

 

3 Tips to regain focus and achieve unmet 2015 goals

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

By Carmen Glover

For many individuals, life involves trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities–at work, at home and in the community. Too often, this forces us to put goals that are important to us on the back burner, as we try to navigate coping with more pressing matters.

But as we enter into the month of November, this is an opportune time to reflect on what we have achieved so far this year, and make plans to achieve the unmet goals we set for 2015. Have you found yourself in a rut, unable to move forward? Here are three quick tips to reclaim your balance, recapture your focus and tackle unmet goals:

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year long, and achieve them.

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year-long, and achieve them.

Celebrate your Achievements: We are usually our own worst critics. Sometimes we beat ourselves down mercilessly, making it difficult for us to feel inspired. Instead of focusing on the list of things that you failed to achieve so far this year, write down all the goals you have achieved. Reflect on your journey towards achieving those goals. Celebrate those achievements. Savor the sense of pride that you feel for accomplishing those goals despite the obstacles that your faced along the way.

Revisit your Action Plan: Now that you are able to accept the reality that you achieved some of your goals, ask yourself what other goals you would like to achieve before the end of the year and why that is important to your psyche. Explore strategies that you will use to get to the finish line. Write down different paths you can take, various supportive networks you will tap and the first step you are prepared to take, today, to move the plan forward.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

Break the Goals into Smaller Steps: Do not become consumed with the range of tasks you need to complete in order to fully achieve the goal. It is more practical to break the goals into a series of small steps, and celebrate each achievement as it is made. For instance, if the goal is to improve your credit score by 50 points but you refuse to look at your account statements or speak to your creditors, a great first step would be to gather all your statements into one pile.

A second step could entail calling all of the creditors to get an accurate sum of what is owed. A third step would be to write down the balance owed to each creditor. A final step could be making a decision to speak with a financial advisor to get some valuable guidance, speaking directly to the creditors to explain your situation and develop a payment plan, or hiring a credit repair company to consolidate your debts and establish a reasonable repayment schedule. None of these methods will improve your credit score immediately, but they will provide the foundation that will change your financial picture incrementally, which in turn will improve your credit profile, over time.

So stop procrastinating. Take the first step today towards achieving your goals. Stay focused. You can do it!–OnPointPress.net–

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, take a stand for safety

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Domestic violence, which is highlighted during the month of October, comes in many forms, some immediately recognizable, others very subtle. But regardless of the form that the abuse takes, it is important that victims take a stand for safety, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and throughout their lives.

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Domestic Violence includes emotional, physical, verbal, financial and sexual abuse. Many people mistakenly believe that unless their loved ones hit them in a way that causes visible injury then the abuse is minor and not worthy of attention. That is a mistake. Small acts of domestic violence often mushroom into significant forms of abuse that typically results in severe injury and often death.

domestic violence month

Still, many domestic violence sufferers do not regard themselves as victims and ever so often they staunchly defend the source of their hurt, pain, abuse and fear. Studies have shown that people are sometimes so attached to the idea of being in a relationship that they ignore all evidence that show that their lives, safety, well-being and that of their children, are in danger as long as they remain in an abusive relationship. But the strength that it takes to leave an abusive relationship is often absent from the psyches of the abused.

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Moreover, when a person tries to leave an abusive relationship that is the time when they are at the greatest risk of harm, studies show. The dance of the abuser and abused is so common that it has its own name: the honeymoon phase–which is the period when the abusive partner apologizes for the violence, shows some form of remorse and showers the victim with presents and a brief change in behavior to put the victim at ease. Once the victim’s guard is down, the abuse returns fiercer than before.

financial-abuse-2

As October comes to a close, look to the future by taking a powerful stand against domestic violence. Vow to yourself that you will not tolerate abusive conduct that a partner tries to disguise as love. Put your safety and that of your children first, recognize when a partner is trying to isolate you from your friends and loved ones, be fearful if that person keeps tabs on your every activity and excessively monitors all of your interactions that do not include him or her.

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Remember, when a partner demonstrates consistent over the top acts of paranoia, possessiveness, control, monitoring and interference in outside friendships that partner is not displaying love, rather, that person is gradually setting the stage for an explosion of abusive conduct, which is a textbook pattern of domestic violence. If you are in an abusive relationship and need help to leave while preserving your safety and the safety of your children, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE–OnPointPress.net–.

 

Baltimore wedding inspires hope that others will find love too

The happy couple, after exchanging vows, walk down the aisle, basking in the glow of love.

The radiant couple, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Johnson, walk down the aisle basking in the glow of love, after exchanging wedding vows in a lovely gazebo, a fitting setting for the memorable event.

By Kimberly Brown

I recently attended a wedding in Baltimore, Maryland, and I was overjoyed to witness the union of two beautiful spirits: Ms. Brittany Scott and Mr. Antonio Johnson.The event filled my heart with a range of emotions, inspiring me to share my thoughts about love, not only the type of love that is shared between a husband and wife, but also self-love, and love for mankind.

It truly saddens my heart that we are living in a world where society is increasingly losing souls and lives due to a lack of love. It’s extremely difficult to turn on the television without being overwhelmed with headlines that represent volatile acts, stemming from emotions of hurt, anger and hate. The acts come from negative energy instead of love, an emotion that is not acknowledged as much as it should be.

Groomsmen

Groom Mr. Antonio Johnson, center, poses with his groomsmen (L-R): Mr. Kristina Adams, Mr. Richard Holmes, Mr. Diamond Chism, Mr.Tristan Johnson, Mr. Best Man Mr. Shannon Butler, Mr. Antoine Diggs and Mr. Shawn Johnson.

What if those destructive emotions were outweighed by love? I believe that love can change people’s hearts, minds and behavior. Love is a feeling, not just a thought, and it flows from the heart and shows itself in actions.

Social media plays a huge role in creating a false sense of love and acceptance through “Likes” and the number of followers people have on sites such as Facebook and Instagram. I’ve overheard discussions where individuals have expressed how unimportant they feel, simply because they lack a strong social media following. Prior to the advent of social media, what was the foundation of our self-confidence and self- love?

Grammy-award winning singers including icons Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross is a favorite among confirmed romantics. The lyrics were written by Hal David and the music was composed by Burt Bacharach. It was first recorded by Jackie DeShannon, and released on April 15, 1965, climbing to No.7 on the US Hot 100 charts in July 1965.

Grammy Award-winning singers including icons Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross have sung versions of the ballad “What The World Needs Now, Is Love,” a favorite among confirmed romantics. The lyrics were written by Hal David and the music was composed by Burt Bacharach. It was first recorded by Jackie DeShannon and released on April 15, 1965, climbing to No.7 on the US Hot 100 charts in July 1965.

I was brought up in a household where I was told daily how much I was loved. I was blessed. I was valued. I was cherished. That cocoon of love and validation caused me to blossom into a confident adult, oozing with self-confidence and self-love.

Unfortunately, not everyone had that same experience growing up so as adults some of us tend to seek love and acceptance in the world, which causes us to become susceptible to people who have ulterior motives. Yet, the reality is that the most essential form of love comes from the home. Self-love comes from within and should be encouraged by loved ones. However, we should all take time to love ourselves and not always seek it from others. True love can best be described as a vibrant ripple effect: first loving oneself, then allowing the love we have in our hearts to pour out to others in the world. Here is the video of the wedding.

bridesmaids

Breathtaking bride Brittany Scott (center), poses with her bridesmaids (L-R): Ms. Angela Oauli, Ms. Jade Thomas, Matron of Honor Mrs. Lakeisha Scott-Skrine, sister of the bride; Maid of Honor Ms. Eboni Ross, Ms. Shantear Meredith, and Ms. Monique Madison.

There are millions of youth who flood social media every single day confusing love with followers who are trolling their profiles. But that is not love. Feeling sad because of the perception that you have an inadequate number of social media followers or a low re-post count is alarming. The damage that is caused to the self-esteem of the young, and adults alike, because they value social media numbers instead of quality relationships, is a shocking and potentially harmful trend.

the-world-needs

The world most definitely needs more love, however, self-love is essential for a healthy life. Self-love provides growth in areas of our lives that we rarely think it could affect. We should all give self-love a try in its more authentic form. Love has no color, boundaries or preferences. Love needs to be boldly expressed, carefully nurtured and forever cherished.

The happy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Johnson, tie the knot in the presence of loved ones.

The happy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Johnson, tie the knot in the presence of loved ones.

Based on all that I thought that I knew about love, attending the nuptials of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Johnson allowed me to see that love, when displayed in its purest form as theirs was, is an expression of self-acceptance and appreciation for another person.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Johnson on your union. The wedding was a testament to a love that warms the heart, soothes the soul and inspires hope that more people will dedicate their lives to valuing and honoring love–OnPointPress.net–

Kimberly Brown is a journalist, producer, public speaker and media relations executive whose work has appeared in XXL magazine, BET, NBC and National Geographic Channel. Follow her on twitter@kbbrown80.

Lamar Odom’s cry for help illustrates value of mental health care, coverage

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As people flock to social media to offer prayers for former NBA star Lamar Odom, who won two championships with the LA Lakers and is now fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, his struggles with drug addiction and untreated mental illness have surfaced.

 

Mental Health Awareness week was October 5 – 10, but the importance of receiving the necessary treatment for mental health issues cannot be understood in a week. There have been concerted efforts by many advocates and associations to preach the significance of addressing issues that impact mental health and encourage individuals to seek help, instead of suffering in silence.

Mental Health awareness week may have just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

Mental Health Awareness Week just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

One of the major impediments to receiving mental health treatment is the perception that the treatment is too expensive.

Many people are unaware that most health insurance plans now include mental health care as part of the basic plan. In fact, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, mental health can no longer be used to exclude individuals from coverage.

new adAccording to Healthcare.gov, “all Marketplace plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as essential health benefits.”
All healthcare plans must cover:
•Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling
•Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
•Substance use disorder (commonly known as substance abuse) treatment

These inclusions are designed to reduce the financial impact of receiving treatment for many issues that fall under the umbrella of mental health. Among those issues that qualify as mental health concerns are grief, anxiety, and depression as well as other more severe diagnoses.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

The other huge impediment to receiving mental health treatment is the stigma many feel is associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness.

This concern is recognized as being a considerable problem in the African-American community which is why education and awareness is so vital with this issue. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Acknowledging that there are personal problems that are beyond your understanding is a good step in the right direction. The next step is to contact your insurance advisor and make sure you have a plan in place to deal with mental health concerns.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

Bobbi Kristina’s death and funeral raise questions of lifestyle choices

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown modeled her troubled parents’ lives of excess, uncontrolled drug use, wild public conduct that created a less-than-stellar template for a stable, productive lifestyle.

As the body of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of late singer Whitney Houston and entertainer Bobby Brown, is prepared for her funeral in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived and died, reports indicate that she will be laid to rest next to her mother in New Jersey, completing the circle of life that was so beautifully portrayed in Disney’s iconic children’s film “The Lion King.”

Bobbi Kristina died on Sunday, July 26, six months after she was found face down in a bathtub in her Georgia home. She remained in a coma until her death at an area hospice. An autopsy has been inconclusive and it is reported that the inheritance that she was expected to get from her mother’s estate will revert to Houston’s family.

The Houston-Brown family unit on a trip to Disneyland.

The Houston-Brown family unit on a trip to Disneyland.

Yet, as the circumstances of Bobbi Kristina’s death are discussed and the similarities to her mother’s own demise compared, a central fact is inescapable: children often emulate the behavior and lifestyle habits that they see in their homes. It the case of Bobbi Kristina, she was born into a household that featured a tumultuous marriage, drug addiction and erratic conduct by both parents, who lacked the credibility and clout to discourage Bobbi Kristina’s own drug use and life of excess, which later consumed and eventually destroyed her.

Bobbi Kristina and her father, Bobby Brown

Bobbi Kristina and her father, Bobby Brown.

As Bobbi Kristina is mourned and her tragic life is examined, the connection between what she experienced through her parents’ questionable parenting and lifestyle choices, and how that reality ultimately shaped her poor choices, will surface and take root. That question has the potential to serve as a reminder that parents shape their children, and that parents do their children a gross disservice when the example they set is so destructive that it provides the children with an inferior and unhealthy template for life.

Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina

Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina mimicked each other’s behavior in life and will be buried next to each other.

At the same time, it sends the message that by coddling and protecting children who consistently make poor lifestyle choices, parents are guilty of supporting their children’s destructive path.

Bobbi Kristina’s death at a tender age is tragic. Her mother’s death was also tragic. Still, what might be the greatest tragedy of all is the unmistakable connection between the mother and daughter’s shared demons, the similarity of their questionable lifestyle choices and the uncanny similarities in how they died.–OnPointPress.net.

Are the burnings of Black churches meant to incite fear?

 

Charlotte church fire

Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, burns on June 24.

By Carmen Glover

When the Confederate flag was brought down with pomp and circumstance in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, July 10, after contentious debates in the Legislature, Dylann Roof, whose social media accounts featured him posing with the flag and guns, lost again.

Roof wanted to start a race war when he sat quietly through Bible study at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, on Wednesday, June 18, before casually standing to his feel and unleashing a barrage of bullets into the bodies of trusting, defenseless parishioners, who gave him refuge in the Lord’s house.

Mt Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina burns to the ground.

Mt Zion AME Church in Greeneville, South Carolina burns to the ground on June 30.

“You have to go. You rape our women and take over our country,” Roof allegedly said, as he sought strength through terrorizing church-goers with a hail of bullets. Where Roof failed, it appears, according to published reports, other terrorists have taken up the mantle.

During the week of Monday, June 22 to Friday, June 26, six Black churches have been set on fire, some burning to the ground, in Southern states including, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio.

College Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, TN, burns on June 22.

College Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, TN, burns on June 22.

Among the churches that were burned are Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, South Carolina, which burned to the ground on Friday, June 26; Briar Creek Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, which burned on Wednesday, June 24; Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee, which also burned on Wednesday, June 24; God’s Power Church of Christ, in Macon, Georgia which burned on June, College Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, which burned on Monday, June 22 and Mt. Zion AME Church in Greenville, SC, which burned on June 30.

While investigators take their time to unearth all the possible clues before labeling the spate of fires arson, one thing is clear: The aim of the perpetrators seem to be squarely focused on inciting fear in the hearts of African-Americans to soothe the minds of race-baiters who feel threatened by what they perceive as “Blacks taking over the country,” a sentiment that has become pervasive.

Baptist church in Elyria, Ohiio, June 17

Baptist church in Elyria, Ohio, burns on June 17

Speaking on WABC’s public affairs program “Here and Now,” with host Sandra Bookman on Sunday, July 12, Rev Marcellus Morris, pastor of St. Luke A.M.E. Church in New York was blunt in his assessment, stating:

“Not all people are racist but people’s true colors are coming out. We live in a time where people have been hiding but not they are coming out. Some people can’t get over the fact that we have a black president.”

The solution, said Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, who participated in the discussion, is activist ministry.

charleston victims

Nine victims who were murdered during Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, have all been laid to rest. SC Governor Nikki Haley used nine pens to sign the executive order authorizing the removal of the Confederate Flag, in honor of the victims.

“Black churches and Black people are being attacked so anti-racism work needs to be the cornerstone of our faith.” Lewis referenced another horrific act of church terrorism that still haunts her.

“I remember watching the news with my mother when the four little girls were killed in the church in Birmingham,” she said, explaining that not much has changed with regard to racist sentiment and action, which is why activist ministry in always important.

Four black girls were killed when white terrorists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

Four black girls were killed when white terrorists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

In the Black community, church interaction is seen as the bedrock of the community, the beacon of faith and hope. Church serves as the place where people go for comfort and solace. It is viewed as the institution that undergirds the principles by which children are raised, supervised and nurtured. And yes, church can be the source of pain and anguish when abuse is hidden and victims go voiceless. So when a decision is made by a person, or a group of persons, to venture into a church and set fire to a place of worship for one specific community then the message is being sent that “You are not safe anywhere,” and “We will destroy your symbol of hope.”

Terrorizing Blacks by burning down, bombing, or otherwise defacing their churches is hardly a new phenomenon in the history of the racial culture of Blacks across the globe and African-Americans in particular. Prior to  Roof desecrating  the Emanuel AME Church is Charleston on June 18, he stated in his online manifesto that he targeted the church because of its “history.”

Emmanuel AME Church

Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where 9 church members were massacred by racist terrorist Dylann Roof, who wanted to start a race war.

Yet while the church has been a refuge to members and non-members alike, it’s central role in the lives of Blacks should not be taken lightly, despite the utter depravity that would inspire the spate of burnings that have destroyed the buildings, but not the faith of those who view the Black church as a symbol of peace, hope, tranquility and solace.

As more attention is being focused on this disturbing pattern of intimidation and terrorism, more members of the media are paying attention to this situation to see what evidence the investigators uncover and whether anyone will ultimately be charged and brought to justice. One thing will remain constant, however, and that is the Black community’s unwavering faith and the solace that is drawn from interactions in church.–OnPointPress.net.

Helpful tips for celebrating Father’s Day in a special, thoughtful way

Father's Day is June 21, are you prepared?

Father’s Day is June 21, are you prepared?

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Father’s Day is right around the corner and people are still struggling with ideas for the right gift to show their love and appreciation to their fathers. Mother’s Day is simple: Start with a card and flowers, then work your way up from there. Father’s are a different breed. We at OnPointPress.net are going to do our part to make those ugly ties and cheap cologne sets distant gifts of the past for Father’s Day. So if you are still stumped for your Father’s Day gift, here are a few ideas that you can fit into your own budget.

When dad gets on the grill, make sure he has something new form you. Leave the flowers for mom.

When dad gets on the grill, make sure he has something new from you. Leave the flowers for mom.

Anything related to the grill:  Many dads need very little excuse to show off their skills on the grill. With the weather heating up there are more opportunities than ever to cook outdoors, so get dad something to enhance his grilling experience. Whether it’s something simple like a funny apron or a new grill altogether, dad will be appreciative. And if you have one of those dads who has it all when it comes to grilling, then pick up some meat for the grill. Again, he will not be disappointed.

You don't have to get dad every tool in the store, just get something to make his job easier around the house.

You don’t have to get dad every tool in the store, just get something to make his job easier around the house.

Power Tools: Fathers everywhere are called on to be a handyman around the house from time to time. Getting him something that will make that job easier only makes sense. Ironically, this may have been a gift for dad years ago. However, just like everything else, there have been advancements and it would be appreciated by dad if he had the most current set of tools. Even if you purchase only one new power tool, it can make a difference if it makes the work around the house easier.

Your father might have seen every movie, read every book, or heard every song in the set, but he will enjoy having them at his disposal.

Your father might have seen every movie, read every book, or heard every song in the set, but he will enjoy having them at his disposal.

Box Sets: Dads across the world have various passions and those passions are usually easily detected. Whether your dad loves movies, music, sports, or reading, there are box sets that will have a group of his favorites. The box sets will keep him entertained for hours on end. The best part of box sets is they will have at least one your dad’s favorite included, which would make the others in the set bonuses.

 

Speakers: Father’s tend to take delight in having the sound in their homes and cars at optimum levels. They may have addressed their speakers to some extent but there is always room for enhancement. And if your dad has addressed the speakers in the home and car, consider upgrading the sound for his phone or tablet.

Mom may not love the idea of deafening sound throughout the house but dad is all for it.

Mom may not love the idea of deafening sound throughout the house but dad is all for it.

Sunglasses: Your dad may be proud of his cheap shades because he has held on to them for a whole month without losing them, but that does not mean he would not appreciate an upgrade. In fact, your gift sunglasses should come in a pair, one set of his cheap ones and some stylish ones for him to wear on special occasions. That way, when he loses or breaks the cheap ones, he can still network in style.

Your dad can grab his old shades when he gets on the grill but when it comes to a night on the town, those new sunglasses will come in handy.

Your dad can grab his old shades when he gets on the grill but when it comes to a night on the town, those new sunglasses will come in handy.

Keep these tips in mind when you consider what is best for your father on Father’s Day. However, do not hand your father his gifts without completing the Father’s Day experience.

Make the Day a Special Experience: Mothers are pampered and allowed to rest on their day, fathers deserve the same. Make sure that if you take dad out for a meal he is not driving, that’s right not driving. He spends hours every week as the resident driver, taking members of household to various appointments and events. On Father’s Day, let him enjoy the opportunity to relax and be a passenger for a change.

As for me, I'll be getting my dad a Homey D. Clown sock, because my dad "don't play that" either.

As for me, I’ll be getting my dad a Homey D. Clown sock, because my dad “don’t play that” either.

Give Him Space: Last but not least, give dad some peace and space. Let him have an hour to do whatever he wants all by himself. He will probably end up around his family anyway, but give him the option. Even if he does not receive any of the gifts suggested, he will truly enjoy his Father’s Day if he can just relax for while, read his thoughtful cards and savor his reflections on his journey to fatherhood. For many fathers, the opportunity to spend time with their children is the ultimate Father’s Day gift but each father is different so give your father what your knowledge of him tells you he will enjoy most.

And don’t forget to pay the bill for the meal, fill up the car tank with gasoline, and get the car washed if you can while you’re at it. Remember, you want your father to enjoy the day and recognize that his daily sacrifices for you and the family are noticed and appreciated. Happy Father’s Day to my dad and to all the other fathers on this special day–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer and a licensed insurance agent at HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. Check out www.HealthMarkets.com/cglover for your insurance needs and concerns.

Good mental health is important to achieving optimum 2015 lifestyles

Publicist, Author and Mental Health Advocate Terrie Williams.

Publicist, Author and Mental Health Advocate Terrie Williams.

By Carmen Glover

There is nothing as euphoric as the first light of a new year to make plans for improving in the areas of life in which we all fell short during the previous year. For 2015, it is natural for resolutions to be made, plans to be developed and promises devised, all in the name of ensuring a successful year.

Yet, while exercise regimens are established, gym memberships soar and resumes are freshened up, scant attention is typically paid to promoting optimum mental health. This can be a huge mistake that can shatter dreams, derail well-laid plans and cost lives. After all, without optimum emotional and mental well-being, it is difficult to navigate life’s challenges and stressors successfully.

Fantasia

American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino attempted to commit suicide in August 2010. Appearing on ABC News two weeks after being hospitalized she said : “I just wanted to get away f rom the noise.”

In the African-American community especially, mental health is not dealt with as part of preventive medical wellness checks. It’s not considered to be a routine part of a yearly physical and that oversight can lead to devastating results, most often, untreated mental illness resulting in suicides. For instance in August 2010, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino tried to take her own life by overdosing on pills. After her hospitalization, she said of her suicide attempt:

“I just wanted to get away from the noise.” But Barrino is not alone, Don Cornelius, the genius who created Soul Train, shot himself to death with a firearm. Music executive with Violator Records Chris Lighty, Donny Hathaway and Phyllis Hyman were admired musical talents who committed suicide. Hathaway struggled with schizophrenia while Hyman was depressed and had bi-polar disorder. Hyman left a note stating “I’m tired. I’m tired.” Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie’s line of natural hair products took her own life in December 2014.

don cornelius shot himself to death.

Soul Train creator Don Cornelius shot himself to death.

The stigma that is associated with mental health challenges and the fear of being ostracized professionally and socially often causes African-Americans to justify longstanding failures to obtain routine mental health assessments and follow-up diligently with treatment if a diagnosis is made. One significant exception to that approach is media personality, mental health advocate and author Terrie Williams.

Williams received undergraduate and master’s degrees in social work from Columbia University in New York City. She worked in the social service field for years, where she ultimately met and treated musician Myles Davis, who encouraged her to purse a career in public relations. Williams launched her public relations agency, The Terrie Williams Agency and attracted an impressive client list that included Essence Communications and actors Eddie Murphy and Nia Long. Williams went on to write the public relations Bible: “The Personal Touch.” I met Williams in 1999 when I served as the editor for the business and professional magazine “The Network Journal,” based in lower Manhattan.

Phyllis Hyman commited suicide in 1995 leaving behind  note which said: "i'm tired. I'm tired."

Phyllis Hyman committed suicide in 1995 leaving behind note which said: “I’m tired. I’m tired.”

I’ve seen Williams over the years at different events but I was puzzled when she  retreated from the spotlight.  While attending a regional conference for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) at the Associated Press (AP) headquarters in New York in October 2013, it was eye-opening to listen as Williams spoke passionately about the issue of mental health in the African-American community and her experience with the disease.

“I had a nervous breakdown,” Williams said candidly before urging journalists at the conference to “take time to love and care for yourselves.” She explained the fear that often consume African-Americans when they are confronted with mental health issues but she explained the importance of seeking help.

symptoms

Symptoms of Depression, the main indicator that someone is in danger of committing suicide.

One of the myths of mental health awareness and treatment in the African-American society is the belief that seeking treatment means that the individual is “crazy.” There is nothing crazy about seeking help when it is needed. People from all walks of life experience a myriad of struggles, which sometimes include varying degrees of depression, which often leads to suicide.

It is prudent to seek preventive care before signs of discontent morph into symptoms of depression, which, if left untreated can deteriorate into severe or major depression that can lead to suicide.

suicide

The Suicide Prevention Hotline is an easily accessible resource if you feel overwhelmed and have suicidal ideation.

As the new year gets underway, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and loved ones is to be vigilant of mood swings and changes in routines so that issues that could lead to mental health illness are addressed before they are exacerbated. If necessary, make that important wellness call to 911 so that those who are experiencing crisis can get help before it is too late. It is unfortunate that as a community, African-Americans have lost many talented individuals whose battles with mental illness overwhelmed their lives.

Yet, the new year offers an opportunity for all of us to be more observant and aware so that preventive care is included in all resolutions and goal setting activities. That is the only way for 2015 to deliver optimum lifestyles for more people than was achieved in previous years.–OnPointPress.net.