Empire: A New Model for Bipolar Disorder on TV

Empire is a new hit TV show on the Fox Network that not only breaks ground as a black family drama based in hip-hop culture, but it shows a rare character with bipolar disorder who is not falling apart at the seams. Andre, the eldest son of a family music dynasty, has a degree from an elite school and (so far) successfully runs the family's multi-faceted business empire.

The Challenge of Finding Mental Health Care

Fighting against stigma and disparities in mental health for racial and ethnic minorities requires a systematic multi-pronged approach. The role of poverty as a risk factor for mental illness, and the intersectionality of poverty and minority status, compounds the barriers faced by people at the margins who are seeking mental health services.

Preventing Mental Illness: A Primary Care Approach

The marginalization of mental health from physical health reinforces the stigma of mental illness. Mental health systems focus on intervention instead of prevention and thus increases the direct and indirect costs of mental illness. A holistic, whole-body approach would integrate mental health and physical health assessments and referrals and save money and suffering

Building Bridges to Peace in a Place of War

This is a repost from my policy blog ProvokingPolicy.blogspot.com that describes one community-based, collaborative peace effort being led by social workers in Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Canada. It is intended to be a story of hope during a time of despair.

11 Ways to Get the Most Out of the College Experience

Millions of students head off to undergraduate and graduate school each year and there are many ways for students to maximize their experience so that they get the most bang for their buck while enjoying the learning experience.

'A Class Divided': How we learn to discriminate

In celebration of 60 yrs of Brown v Board of Education... In 1968 teacher Jane Elliott divided her all-white 3rd grade class into 2 groups based on eye color and implemented one of the most famous experiments on how we learn to discriminate. Watch the original Frontline documentary and Jane's very entertaining 1992 Oprah interview about learning racism, power and privilege

Black IS Beautiful: The Psychology of Lupita's People Cover

Beginning with the Clark doll studies (1930s and '40s) and continuing through a 2010 AC360 episode on CNN, there has been overwhelming evidence that the pervasive white standard of beauty damages the self-esteem and self-image of young black children. By naming Lupita Nyong'o as The Most Beautiful in the World, People gives young black children another shade of beauty.

Why Are We Racist?

The sociological, psychological and genetic 'sources' of race and racism are explored in this 15 minute weekly show presented by BBC World Service.

Sex and the Stigma of Money

The question of whether or not prostitution should be legalized is a conundrum for many feminists and non-feminists alike who believe that women should be free to do with their bodies what they wish and yet there is an acknowledgement that gender power disparity muddies the waters of who is in control of the basic forces of supply and demand.

The Problem of Medication Non-Adherence

A quick summary of some of the reasons why people often do not take their medications and what can be done about it.

In Defense of (Straight) Marriage

The Supreme Court will make several decisions this week. Two of them, DOMA and Prop 8, will decide the status of marriage between same-sex couples within California. This post explores some of the ideas under consideration.

Long-Distance Mothering

Parenting expectations for women are much different than they are for men. Women are encouraged to break through the glass ceiling and also expected to be the primary caregivers of children. Some women's careers and job prospects require they live in a different city/state than their children. Strategies are given for successful management of this special arrangement.

The Power of Perception and the Perception of Power

Feminism tends to employ a deficit model of power which says that men have it and women do not. However, that definition of power reflects a patriarchal model that defines power through male lens. Flipping the script to make power a woman's domain requires different strategies for changing women's lives.

Alternative Gifting on Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day you can do the usual card, candy, cut blooms and culinary delights or impress with the gift of health or life to someone who needs it. #Alternativegifting is your way into your Valentine's heart. Show your love, make an impact, make a difference.

4 Simple Steps to Mental Well-Being

In stressful times we need strategies to cope: a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. The SNAP program (Sleep, Nutrition, Activity, and Personal relationships) encourages good sleep habits, healthy nutrition, exercise and social support as 4 key strategies for keeping our minds healthy, sharp, alert and calm.

Coming Out of the Crazy Closet

Having a mental illness is a stigmatized identity. Stigma reduces the person "from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one." Goffman wrote this quote in his classic 1963 treatise on stigma. Being open about brain disorders reduces the negative impact of stigma on the health and well-being of individuals and supports people in maintaining mental well-being.

The Race Card

The "race card" is something no one wants in play. It's not a fun game. But what is the race card and why does it get played? And can anyone win with it?

Letting Go For College: A Guide for Parents and Students

Leaving for college changes forever the relationship between parent and child. Some families make this transition smoothly and others find it much more challenging. These five tips help families manage the home-to-college and child-to-adult transitions and minimizes the emotional effects on both parents and children.

Mood Food

Food makes us feel good and some foods make us feel happier than others. Food is not just about nutrition but it is also about how we feel. Here is a guide to some foods that put us in a good mood and a little about some that might not.

Violence, Mental Illness and Stigma

On May 30 in Seattle, Lee Stawicki shot five people then himself. The reports of his possible mental illness (specifically bipolar disorder) reinforced the stereotypes of people with bipolar disorder as being dangerous to society.

The Mental Health Costs of Academic Success

Learning is stressful and the modern-day education stakes are high because not only does a future ride on performance but so do the bank accounts of parents and adult students. The need for anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications has trickled down from corporate executives to children in pressure-cooker elementary schools.

The Fat Taboo

According to the most recent CDC data released in early 2012, more than one-third of Americans are obese. Among adult African American women, almost 80 percent are overweight or obese.

The Whore, the Slut and the 'Good Girl'

Why are 'whore' and 'slut' offensive? Can women take them back and make them their own? Are we forever destined to be either a Madonna or a whore? Why is it bad for women to exercise their sexual power as they see fit? This post challenges some common notions about female sexuality and men's power to define it.

The Culture of Race

W.E.B. DuBois once said that the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line. As the twenty-first century enters its second decade the color line is sitll a problem. But now there are fancier names than racism; names like racial disproportionality and racial disparities.

Lessons My Daughter Taught Me

Having children is a big experiment. A bigger experiment than anything science can conjure. The experiment is not just about how the child will turn out but also what kind of lessons we will learn about ourselves and about life in the process.

Is Work Driving You Crazy? It's Time to Stop the Madness!

Work can be very stressful but it is not the stress that matters as much as how you deal with the stress you do have. Taking steps to destress and to cushion yourself against the forces of stress pay off in your physical and mental health, and improve your effectiveness and efficiency at work. Includes 7 stress-busting strategies.

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