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Podcast: How Culture Shapes You

This weeks podcast is with Adrianna , Cindy, Emma, and Nahjeera . We had a special guest Woodeline, who is Adrianna’s aunt. Woodline is a 23 year old student at  CUNY Medgar Evers College. She came into talk about her experiences in life and gave her views on the topic of how does your culture shapes you as a person.

Everyone had different ethnicity and different views on current topic questions.

Emma is half Brazilian and Colombian. Adrianna, Woodeline , and Cindy are Haitian American . Nahjeera is African American.

Everyone gave their input about how if you act differently because you need to change your identity or show less of your culture to the world, everyone gave their honest opinion about how they show  themselves to the world.

We hope you enjoy this podcast click here to watch

What is your culture? How do you define your culture? How has it shaped you as a person?

To check out our Summer Interns other podcasts, click here

Summer Check In Video

Hey guys! We are here with the TurningPointCT interns: Adrianna and Nahjeera along with Eliza and Adrianna’s aunt Woodeline!

We left the office for a little while to go across the street to The Norwalk Green and enjoy the sunlight and Summer air.

At the start of every SMART Recovery meeting we all check in with highs and lows- now we are at the Norwalk Green to hang out and check in about our Summer!

How is your Summer going? What is your low and your high of the season and break? Check in with us on this post!

 

To see more of our interns check out our YouTube page here

and listen to their other videos and podcasts in our media room here

New Story: Nahjeera’s Journey with Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Harm

Hey guys! We have a really great new story about depression, anxiety and self-harm.

Nahjeera is a senior in high school and this Summer she is interning with us at TurningPointCT.org

Her journey will mean something to anyone who has ever felt alone- she talks about her struggles with depression and anxiety, and how she used self-harm to cope with things.

Nahjeera also talks about her hope and recovery– how she no longer self-harms and instead helps other people at her school who might be struggling, too.

If you have ever felt alone, know that you are not. Check out our stories page to read about other young people just like you.

Click here to read Nahjeera’s story

And, click here to talk to Nahjeera and welcome her to TurningPointCT.org

Vaping Podcast

In this podcast we spoke about vaping and smoking. All of us are in high school, some of us just finished our freshman year and Nahjeera is is graduating this year.

Emma, Adrianna and Nahjeera all vape, but Cindy doesn’t and really does not like smoking.

We all talked about why we vape, and when we started. Some of us were in middle school when we started, and others tried it and then stopped for a while.

We spent a lot of time talking about why people vape, including our friends. Vapes come in a ton of flavors, and a lot of us only do it for the taste, or because friends suggested it for stress. Eliza lead us in a conversation about why our friends like to vape, and if we want to stop.

our views on vaping and smoking,why we smoked and why don’t.

Some people smoke because of popularity or  as a coping mechanism. We also talked about how advertising makes people smoke more, and why some of us wouldn’t try certain flavors, like tobacco.

A lot of our friends in high school vape, and we talked about how addictive it is and if we think we are addicted.

We all talked about how we would quit if we ever decided to, and how we could help our friends quit if they asked us for help.

If you have ever vaped and want help, or just want to hear about it from the perspective of a high school, then check out our first summer podcast!

 

 

A few months ago, Eliza and Diamond (our SMART group facilitators!) were at one of our high schools, talking about vaping during lunch. To check out what that was like, click here.

Growing Up: The Coming of Age Podcast

In this podcast we talk about coming of age as teenagers and growing up. Also we explain our experiences and stories of coming of age.

Check out TurningPointCT’s newest podcast- our Summer Interns are here! And they are introducing themselves and taking about Coming of Age. What does that mean? What defined coming of age for you? How do you navigate growing up and becoming a teenager or a young adult? Click this link to watch their podcast, or if you would prefer to watch it as a video, check out this link!
Please welcome Adrianna, Cindy, and Nahjeera to the TurningPointCT team and check out their very first podcast and video!

 

If you want to say hi to us go to our forum here

We need your help! Donate today to TurningPointCT.org

We are asking for your help! 

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on Giving Day (Thursday, February 28)!

 

TurningPointCT.org is Connecticut’s peer support community by and for teens and young adults. We’ve got your back!

 

Our website offers a safe space online to share your story, talk about your problems, get information, and connect with resources. Our staff runs SMART Recovery support groups for teens in Norwalk and Fairfield… with more to come! We connect with other young people at schools and colleges across the state through speaking events, workshops, and resource fairs.  Whatever you’re struggling with–mental illness, addiction, homelessness, bullying, family problems–we’ve been there too.

Help us raise $10,000 to support our small part-time staff of young adults in recovery to be able to keep reaching out to schools, making connections with young people, improving our online support, and running support groups! We want every young person to know that they are not alone.

Donate to TurningPointCT.org today or on February 28th–Fairfield County’s Giving Day.

 

Click this link to Donate today, and share this page with your friends and family so we can reach our goal.

 

Giving Day runs from 12:00am to 11:59pm on Thursday, February 28th. Help us to reach our goal of raising $10,000. 

Your donation may even help us get a bonus grant if you’re one of our first or one of our last donors on Giving Day! If we get at least 25 donations of $25 right after midnight when Giving Day starts, we can win an extra $1000. So think of us Wednesday night before you go to bed and just stay up a few minutes past midnight! If you miss that chance, then please donate Thursday night between 9pm and 11:59pm. If we get enough donations during that time period, we may even win a $2,500 bonus!

Whether you can give as much as possible, or you know people who care about mental health who can donate, we need your help. Click the link to give what you can, share this page, and ask your friends to give what they can.

Together we will raise $10,000 to support young people struggling with their mental wellness! 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Click the picture to donate!

 

(If you want to learn more about Fairfield County’s Giving Day overall, click here.)

 

A Love Letter.

This is a love letter to the abused,
For my friends who’ve dug fault lines so deep into their soul
They don’t understand when a compliment bounces off their armored skin with a hollow t h u n k
And stare blankly ahead with confusion when even the closest of people try to lift them higher
They think to themselves, ‘What’s wrong with me?’
When there’s nothing wrong at all

This is a love letter to the abused,
For the wise and the meek to realize that they can take off their armor
That they can shed their tears without hesitation or fear
Allow yourself to rise from your soot and ash,
You are worthy of more than limitations you’ve set
Unburden your soul and unclench your fists for you deserve to smile for yourself

… This is a love letter to the abused,
From one kindred spirit to you.

 

Submitted by: Faljak

Talk with the creator of this expression and join the conversation here

Bravery.

There comes a point in time when you have to step back. When you have to remember that the disease, the traits it comes with, is not you. It does not and never will be capable of defining you. And admittedly, it took me years to realize this, to make this breakthrough without breaking a few other things in the process.

Your presence will never lie; you do not lie. No matter how hard you try, you can’t escape who you’ve become, but you can rewrite who you once were.

I used to tell myself:
“She was right about me all this time. They were right about me.”
“For fucks’ sake what have I done to myself? To everyone?”
“What do I have to show for all these years?”

And worse still,
“This world would never miss some piece of shit like me.”

And you know, I made the attempts, I came up with my plans as unorthodox as they were and they failed. One right after the next they were thwarted. There was a reason, they told me. It took me a very long time to understand what they meant. And I spent my days to weeks to a near month imprisoned in the walls of some hive-mind Institutional facility of nothing but smiles and medical snares —

You’d maybe think that was the epiphany for me. It wasn’t.

People often tell you, “You can’t help someone who doesn’t want the help,” Or even, “You can’t get the help if you don’t want it for yourself.” And they’re right. I’ve hurt people. I hurt myself. And to this very day I still hear things that try to convince me to do those very same things.

… Cleaved wounds tilled into my skin in hopes I had staved away some essence of those demons who constantly haunted me, numerous sleepless and unending days spent as some insomniac… Paranoid that I would fall into the void if I closed my eyes once. And when I did I was plagued with terrors beyond rebuke, flashes of unending things I dare not repeat lest they tease my waking hours.

I had no help. No despondent course of action until finally… I made one more plea. And that was all it took.

Should I be some brave form of myself, I would perhaps be able to look myself in the mirror for more than a split second. I would be able to smile at the reflection rather than cringe or nearly cry. I would not have to judge the bastard falsely beaming back at me, pointing a finger, scowling… In some deeper part of my being I know that smile is turning into something less masqueraded and truer to course.

If I knew how to be brave I would cast aside the fear of pulling down this baseless construct of a wall surrounding myself from others, of letting someone close enough to me… To love me. To hear me. To hold me. Hopeless as it may seem now, it is a goal, which I strive for with every pitiless strum of my heart, one that is chased by baseless threads of terror and trauma —

When I learn how to be braver, I will no longer fear to antagonize the ultimate enemy: Myself. I will have every skill to combat my own war, my own corruptibility, to brace back my storms and know when I need anything more and anyone else to pull me from my tombs. I am the greatest thing standing in the way of my goals, and I always have been, I always was the scariest and most traitorous thing to date. But maybe… Just maybe… There is hope yet shining through.

Bravery, I believe, should not be misconstrued with the term conquest; to have the ability stand in the face of your demons is enough, but to blatantly dismantle them is another. You cannot do everything. Not all at once. And certainly not on your own. That’s another thing I’ve learned the hard way.

But to know bravery perhaps, to know and understand where you stand while facing your more destitute selves… That is, placing yourself toe-to-toe with them, flipping them the bird and righteously yelling of your freedom… Perhaps you should be mindful that they had a hand in sculpting who we are now, who you will become. If only just a bit.

 

Submitted by: Faljak

Cursed.

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You do not know how to SEE,
You only see through a veil your mind creates, those eyes no one else knows about
You only see the good in those around you
Even if they tread you underfoot
You only gaze at others through the eyes of an old soul,
Expecting them to look back at you the same way

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You do not know how to love
You choose only to love your hate, your rage, your terror
And worst of all, have found comfort in it all
You have found love not in yourself,
But in your abusers
Yet your heart is greedy and so full of the ability to GIVE

“You are c u r s e d,”
They told me.

You know so much and explain so little,
Tell me do you know how your intuition works?
Can you explain your own emotions if asked?
Can you give yourself the time of day without thinking of someone else first?
You have grown complaisant to your pain,
You have come to anticipate it and thank those who give it

“But you are B L E S S E D,”
They told me.

As you fill your wounds with lacquered gold,
A scarred statue who feels so profoundly it connects to the souls around them
You cover yourself in the finest of cloth to hide from the snares in your mind
You have turned your demons, your monsters, into your familiars – who now service your needs
Your veins beat to a drum singing of L O V E,
And W O R T H

“My dear, you are blessed.”

2018 Awareness Calendar

Hi everybody! To celebrate the new year, Turningpointct.org has made a calendar showcasing mental wellness awareness days to share with you!

Below is the entire calendar

Share with your friends, or enjoy it yourself! Some of the days may be familiar and some may be new!
We hope you all enjoy it!

Happy New Year!

Social Media

This is my getaway

My safe space

In lonely times

An array of options

Opinions

Thoughts

On everything that has to do with me

Or belongs to someone else

But is it safe?

Am I really lonely

Am I bombarded with wild thoughts

…Sharing sensitive secrets

Or Am I being too quiet

Too inquisitive?

 

This is social media!

 

-Kevin

Life

Life- This poem celebrates life. Life without doctrines, or man’s perception of what a worldly life is. It talks about the blank slate as life starts. it is what the great philosopher, John Locke calls the Tabula Rasa.

 

–Kevin

Fairfield County Walks for Mental Health

Join the region’s coalition of mental health advocates for the first annual Fairfield County Walks for Mental Health event on Saturday, May 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the Norwalk Green (parking available on Park Street).

Warm up with some laughter exercise on the Green just before Senator Bob Duff opens Mental Health Awareness Month with an official proclamation from Governor Malloy. We will be joined by state and local officials including Senator Toni Boucher and Representatives Cristin McCarthy-Vahey, Chris Perone, Jonathan Steinberg, Fred Wilms, and Terrie Wood.

Walk with us down East Avenue (1 mile round trip), check out the Labyrinth, Healing Garden and Hope-Pray-Dream Board at St. Paul’s Church, or just come to show your support for the cause of mental health especially now when state funding is so much at risk. Free admission and complimentary purple bandannas for all.

RSVP to info@swrmhb.org or (203) 840-1187 to let us know how many people will be walking with you.

The Walk kicks off a calendar of almost 50 events across the region in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month including movies, talks, trainings, and more. Find the full calendar of regional events at http://www.HealthyMindsCT.org.

Minority Mental Health Month

The Votes

“This poem was written many years before our current political situation. But it resonates very well with our times. Still the intention was to generate humor but I guess its about politics too.” – Kevin

There goes an old woman in a long nylon frock

Following the trail down the highway hill
Praising the name of David Phil
He is a good man they say, he is the man to run the main
And so the party people followed making their victory begging raid.
Well, they judged the candidates wife
“I believe she is pretty,” one man says
“She will make a fine first lady and I like her fashionable ways.”
“I heard she is from India
A humble lady,” someone says.
The wife prays for the party’s win
And the farmer prays for good
The lawyer prays for lower excises
And the janitor prays for higher wages
While the party president finds a perfect place, in that perfect day, to hibernate.
 The people of the nation; their thinking’s are ill
They vote a man in power with low credit and a high bill
The government full of doctors, but not accordingly they behave
And while the people wrestle to strive
The sovereign minds comes to a ‘still’

 

 

National Minority Mental Health Month

Join us in celebration of National Minority Mental Health Month throughout the Month of July to bring awareness to mental illness and to improve access to mental health treatment among minority groups.

Minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.

Immigrant groups, LGBT youth, and American Americans are often a part of the most marginalized groups. Some of our forum contributers such as Salmon, Kevin, Sufie and Frankie each shared their stories, which looks into some of the issues that minorities face.

Kevin’s blog also looks at mental illness and other issues from the perspective of a gay, Afro-Caribbean immigrant.

Read Our Stories and learn about the myth and facts about mental illness by clicking this link: https://turningpointct.org/thefactsdisorder/myths-and-facts/

The National Alliance on Mental Illness hopes to bring more people from multicultural or marginalized groups into the conversation on mental illness, create more safe spaces and ensure that everyone gets the right treatment that they need.

Minority Mental Health Month

Minority Mental Health Month

If you would like to find out more about helpful resources, please click on this link or you may click here to find locations in your area that offers services for mental health.

CALL OR TEXT A TRAINED CRISIS COUNSELOR TO TALK:

 

 

Red Panda

Tai, a young man from Alabama, came to visit his fiance for winter break and agreed to check out the Young Adult Connection Group in Middletown. Tai decided to join us on the night of “personality tests” and when he found out his spirit animal, he saw it was a bear.
Tai returned the following week with this masterpiece – his interpretation of his spirit animal. He instantly wanted to represent his spirit animal as a panda, but was convinced to draw specifically a red panda.
We hope Tai will join us next year at the connection group too – he’s full of life and is a great addition to our Young Adult Connection Community.

Artist: Tai

You Be You By Johnathan

John designed a bright colored baseball T-Shirt that says “You be you” and on the back it says, “Only you can control you.” He’s absolutely right, only we can control our actions and thoughts. So why not be you? Let’s break this stigma!

Artist: Johnathan

J.G.’s Procrastination Monster

Jessica shares her monster’s story with the group: the fence represents being prevented in getting anywhere and getting things done with a scary monster hiding in the darkness. She includes fire in her representation of her monster too. Perhaps this monster’s name is “Procrastination?”
Artist: Jessica

G.M.’s Mad Scientist Monster

G.M.’s Monster – Gavin, a new member to our Young Adult Connection group created his monster, inspired by Toby Allen’s illustrations of mental illnesses. Although Gavin did not explain what his monster represents to him, we can all say his monster looks a bit like a mad scientist. Gavin will be returning to college this fall…so it is very fitting!

Art by Gavin

The Calm Before the Shake

The Calm Before the Shake – Steph unveils different expressions through her art.

This collage is truly a collection of herself – everything from the braille background representing being blind to the phrase “Positively Uplifting Energy”.

-Steph

Celebrity Wellness 2

Celebrity Wellness 2!

Whitney Houston: I chose Whitney because her talent, star presence and big person (and her famous Diane Sawyer interview) were a great inspiration. Whitney had her own struggles, and later in her career was publicly known for this.

Donald Trump: I can’t even explain this hot mess..

-Michael

Vision

Vision – I tried to capture an expression of wonder, fear, and mystery in this portrait. I really connected with this piece, and it remains one of my favorites.

-Michael

Painting: What the EyE tells us!

The eye says so much about us. Whatever we are going through is revealed through this magical organ… your story, a lost memory, a lonely night, a new day, a great achievement!… it is all revealed through the eyes.

Sunset

This piece signifies the beauty of the sunset at the end of the day. No matter what we go through, the end will be glorious as long as we stick through!

–Painting by Kevin

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

Jasmine

When I started working on my trauma therapy, my therapist asked me to come up with an animal as my protector. I thought he was joking at first, but then I realized how important it was to have that spirit animal as my protector. Doing trauma work is incredibly exhausting and in many cases, scary because the past experiences are brought up.

This is Jasmine. She’s a black panther with green eyes and she is special. I decided to draw her because I wanted to show my support group how I envisioned Jasmine as if she was truly sitting beside me.

-Valerie

Owl and Spider

Owl and Spider – Once upon a time there was an owl named Peter who decided to eat a spider because he was hungry…

In our Young Adult Connection Groups, we often create art. One week we drew our “spirit animals.” One very talented young woman took the spirit animal test and resulted in being the spider. She decided to be a little more creative by drawing an owl eating the spider.

-Nanichi

Helen

Helen represents the pinnacle of beauty in Greek Mythology. As the woman who started the Trojan War, Helen lived a life some would see as an “object.” That was Helen’s fate to the extent that we know of her, and her veil of sadness is intimately apparent.

-Michael

You’re Not Alone – Find Information and Support

We Are YASBIZ-Winner of the Young Adults in Recovery Contest!