By Jazz Paz

It is no coincidence that the month of new year’s resolutions is the month of mental health awareness, especially for Black and brown people. Sixty-seven percent of Texans declared themselves to be African American or brown in the 2020 national census. In these communities self-care is often seen as self-indulgence rather than urgently necessary. When expressions of emotional distress are taboo, they become difficult to recognize and admit to. Too many individuals experience a mental health diagnosis as a label that implies a weakness. Being a “strong person” encourages victory in athletics and other physical successes, but not in activities that promote emotional or mental growth, especially for men.


According to the National Institute of Health, Black and brown people are twice as prone to depression. anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder than whites, and that racism, discrimination, and poverty all contribute to psychological disorders.  These burdens foster the temptation to unwisely hide our mental struggles to defend against further bigotry, especially since the media (like, Silence of  the Lambs or  the Joker),  flaunt mental impairment through characters that are dangerous, crazy, murderers.


An exacerbating contributor to mental stress is that helpful resources can be difficult to obtain when people lack health insurance, work irregular schedules, or are without reliable transportation, but relief exists for those who su er.  The Hope Line (832-831-7337) at the Hope and Healing Center offers free 30-minute peer counseling over the phone as well as free support for adults (  e Harris Center for Mental Health (24/7 crisis line 713- 970-7000; toll-free 866-970-4770) serves those with or without legal status, in English and in Spanish, and can provide transportation (https:// www.theharriscenter. org/). If you need immediate suicide or mental health support or are worried about someone else, call or text 988.


If you are called upon to assist a friend or family member besieged by distress, recommend that they get or continue seeing a professional advocate as well as: • Listen to them. Empathize. Avoid judgment, just be a safe understanding hearer Remind the person of their inherent worth and of their specific value to you. • Ask how you can help. Depressed people might need reminders to take their medication, eat healthfully, or to keep their appointments. • Suggest that they embrace their faith if that is part of their life. For many people, faith is important to recovery whether taking part in a religious community or personal spiritual beliefs and practices.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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