UWI MUN Mental Health Week

The UWI Model United Nations hosted their Mental Health Week on March 21-24 with the theme Think Healthy. They believed “Mental health is in an integral part of our overall well-being but is not discussed enough in the public sphere. Recognising the importance of breaking the silence and increasing awareness, the UWI Model United Nations Club is playing its part through a Mental Health Week, March 21 – 24!! #ThinkHealthy” 

The week started with their video campaign that had persons such as Chevion Morgan express his views on living with a mental illness, how it has affected him and how he has been coping since. Having him, someone who is considered the life of the party share his journey, was a step closer to what UWI MUN aspired to achieve as it showed that Mental Health affects everyone.

On Day 2, the day of the Twitter chat, where persons could be apart of the conversation by using the hashtag #ThinkHealthy and give their input. Using 7 questions, the answers for each proved that the phenomenon considered to be taboo further justified the importance of mediums like the Mental Health Week, helping to remove the stigma for persons living with the illness and  their families faced.

When asked:

Persons replied with:

 

The activities continued on Day 3, with a Yoga session  where participants were given the opportunity to free their mind and body from all the tension they had before the exercise. The last which was the Symposium in Day 4, was informative as it was also emotional as persons shared their stories. Participants learnt on how they can deal with living with a mental illness, assist persons who they know who are living with these illnesses and how they can live on a day-to-day basis.

As a former Psychology student who has interacted with family, friends and strangers who are living with a mental illness, and trying to be healthy mentally. I believe that the UWI MUN achieved their goal of recognizing the importance of breaking the silence and increasing awareness in Mental Health. My eyes welled with tears when persons shared their views about their mental health, lines had been opened for persons to seek help if they were not sure where to go or too afraid to speak about their mental health.

Unless you’re in the situation you’ll never understand. Having this mindset can help us to respect the circumstances of others. I can only imagine what persons living with mental illnesses go through; it’s not only about the illnesses, it’s about your mental well being. What you think about when you wake up in the mornings, when someone tells you that you look nice but another person says you don’t. When your superior disregards your efforts when you know and there’s proof that you are working.

From my own experience; going through self esteem issues, the separation of my parents,  being violated by my step-grandfather and the repercussions that followed. Life will always give you lemons, sometimes you get cerasse but when you are able to rise above the issues, accept what is happening and make life better gradually. You then begin receive that peace of mind.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

These promises are what I use as a term of reference and fellow Optimists can tell you that though we may face trails looking that this creed helps to make the day better. Being an Optimist goes a long way. Ever noticed how people’s behaviour change when you kill them with kindness?

Be patient, accepting of the changes that may occur in your life, have a strong support system, avoid negativity and smile.

 

Sources:  https://www.smore.com/7a9fy-uwi-mun-mental-health-week

http://www.optimist.org/e/creed.cfm

 

 

 

 

Christ Has Risen….Now What?

As we wrap up from the long Easter weekend, I sat here wondering if we really appreciated what happened. We reflected on the days leading up to the crucifixion of Christ, his death and resurrection, which according  Christians is important as it was done to save us from sin. Do we really care? Over the years Easter has lost it true purpose and has become commercialized as other events not related to the religion are pushed for recreation.

I’m not trying to be negative, consider this is an energy boost as the Rev’d George Mulrain of the Providence Methodist Church rightly said in his sermon on Easter Sunday. Many times we go through the holidays in the Christian religion and I doubt that we really pay attention to the message of each event and its importance. I now that I’m guilty of this, as I did stuff my gut with all the bun and cheese I could get. However at church, while listening to the sermon it had me thinking; if we all want to go heaven, are we all doing what is pleasing  in his sight? 

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. -Romans 5:1-11

Would you do the things that Jesus did? Doing what your Father instructed and not showing an ounce of doubt? While on Earth he advocated the work of his father for us to understand what God wanted for his people.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. – Ephesians 2: 8-10

Being a Christian does not occur overnight; it is a journey and even when you feel some level of understanding, temptation still presents itself. Even if it means dedicating an hour for him, meditate, sing, pray or listen to music that shows that you are honoring him.  It may not be in the morning, it may be whenever you’re on the road, you offer a prayer for getting to your destination safely, doing something for someone not expecting a reward or walking away from an argument as it is the better thing to do.

Let us manage our time  to incorporate the scriptures of the Bible and embrace our spirituality with God . So when there is another important event in Christianity we’ll be more appreciative of the event. Read the word for yourself and develop your own understanding, but be aware of the secular views as well. Do not limit yourself to one way of thinking. It can help to provide a better understanding of what is required as God’s child. 

23 Years and Still Counting

Looking at the years I’ve gone through; the achievements, experiences and lessons I’ve learnt I’ll say that I’m doing a good job. I’m coming from days when you’d put me before a group of people at church to recite something and I’d just start crying.

I’ve always been shy and I doubt that will go away but I’ve learnt how to work around it.

What I love about myself is the ability to learn; I’ve always wanted to understand what was happening around me.  Though it may lead me down the wrong path, even if I messed up, I have learned from it.

I’ve learnt that I’m a perfectionist; so I get flustered when things don’t work as they should, I’m impatient and stubborn. Though they may be negatives they help me to be more expressive in things that I dislike and getting the results I need.

I believe in being fair, I spoil those I care about, LOVE music and dancing, love the concept of travelling and my sanity is VERY important to me.

Lord grant me the serenity 

 to accept the things I cannot change

the courage to change the things I can

and the wisdom to now the difference

These are the things I’ve learnt, though they are what we constantly hear. They do make a difference when you have actually achieved them. In this Twenty Third year of my life:

  1. Nothing in this life is yours; whatever you want you have to work to maintain and keep it in your life.
  2.   It’s OK if you don’t know everything.
  3.  It’s OK to make a mistake.
  4.  Fuck Boys will always exist and though they are assholes, you need to now whether you want to continue to face the treatment or move on.
  5. We all need someone to lean on *queues the dance* however for you to find that special person you need to know and understand yourself.
  6. There will be moments when you have to be the bigger persons because that other person REFUSES to be.
  7. At times you have to create opportunities, as nothing will happen if you wait for them.
  8. Keep the relationship going with your family.
  9. Be honest with yourself, it saves you so much time, when you can accept your flaws, inabilities and insecurities than learning the hard way.
  10. LOVE yourself.
  11. Not everyone is for you, though they smile with you they may be against you.

I’m happy that regardless of what I have been through, I’m happy of what I’ve become. I’m NOT perfect, but I’d wouldn’t want it any other way.

My name is Jermaine Roberta Hope Peart and I am a UWI graduate, Respect Jamaica Youth Ambassador, Vice President of the Royal Optimist of Kingston (ROCK), who is quirky, caring and a passionate young woman who just wants to make my society and the world on a whole a better place for my generation and generations to come.

 

 

 

 

Are you Prepared?

As young adults we often try to find ways to establish some level of independence making it meaningful, adventurous and sane at the same time. However in my time here on this earth I’ve noticed that many persons are ‘kicking the bucket’. It’s inevitable but it hurts when it’s those close to you.

My question is; how any of us have taken into consideration things like investments and savings and both life and health insurance?

Recently, schoolmates and family members have departed this life and it had me thinking; did they put things in place, making life easier for family members who would have to deal with their belongings and funeral arrangements?

We are at the age where we can apply for these things. Instead of thinking about when the next big party will be have you considered putting aside that money for a life insurance plan? For your own place? or even if you still life with family, your own monetary contribution?

Though it’s good to have fun and enjoy the life that we are living, it’s also good when we can have these things in place to safeguard your future. I know many persons will say that it would be hard to maintain and they don’t now what to do or where to go. Use the time to consult a family member, friend or even visit one of these institutions and search around for clarity. I believe that as we age, these are things that we should contemplate, making life easier not only for us, but if something should happen, our family can relax a bit.

I remember watching my family sort out funeral arrangements for my grandmother, though she was a stalwart in her community, if she did not make the necessary preparations, we would have issues laying her to rest. This is not only about death; say you’re on your way home and someone tries to rob you and you get hurt in the process. If you are not covered by an insurance plan or even have the money to cover the costs to see a doctor. How will you receive assistance?

Yes our family can help, however at the end of the day, they all have their own issues to deal with, and eventually the help will stop.

Nothing in this world is given to you.

As a young adult, I implore all persons my age, older and even close to it to consider these things. If you have already done so Big Up Yuhself, but there’s nothing more than being able to help yourself, making life easier for not only you but others who are also affected by your actions.

RE: The Negro

To Whom It May Concern,

I, a young black woman do understand that there are moments in which we Negroes have embarrassed our race and segregated ourselves. Please accept this as an apology for our actions as we do have moments in which me way slip up. 

However, there are concerns that have been expressed openly that we are trying to force the view of black consciousness and trying to claim for things that are not possible for us, simple minded people to claim for ourselves. 

These things I will not agree on as we only want to educate the masses on our achievements over the many years. One can recall the work of black groups such as the Black Panthers, Marcus Garvey and Nelson Mandela, who taught us that there is more to us based on our history and our work. Which I know that you have seen for yourself. 

I must say that though we have been scarred in more ways than one, as it relates to the treatment our ancestors and what we in this year 2016 continue to face due to the colour of our skin. We continue to show that we are indeed a mighty race. From the classroom to government, we have consistently shown that we are capable just as any race to produce and achieve greatness. 

It is with these experiences that I say, we will not apologize for:

  1. the colour of our skin; where we were told that you can’t expect anything from someone of our colour. The same skin that is less likely to get skin cancer and protect us from the sun’s rays. The skin that glistens in the sun while we toil through the hours to make life better for ourselves. Unfortunately based on the treatment we’ve received from you, it has caused some of us to bleach to be accepted in this society.
  2.  being disruptive as we question the rules of society and  the policies and changes that affect our race.
  3. celebrating our history by sharing the sources on the great things we’ve invented, the discoveries we’ve made, the initiatives we were apart of in history. Not to mention the work we continue to do in present time and for years to come. 

We understand that our actions may make you uncomfortable, but do not blame us and incite violence on our wish to simply live like you or even want to achieve more in this society; as it is in our nature. 

We pray that you continue to grow from strength to strength in your endeavors, that allows for us to work together to make this world a better place.

 

Yours sincerely,

A Proud Black Woman