Posts tagged with "mental health awareness"

Food illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders in COVID-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders, and these tendencies can be exacerbated due to the coronavirus. The difficulty of accessing specific foods and the discourse surrounding weight gain in quarantine can make those who struggle with eating disorders feel out of control and helpless. COVID-19 can be a nightmare for them because of the following triggers:

 

·      Empty grocery shelves

·      Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control

·      Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

 

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

 

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

 

·       9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime

·       Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa

·       Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa

·       Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder. Unlike more widely known eating disorders which disproportionately effect women, 40% of those with BED are men.

·       10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result

·       Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses

·       About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

 

However, if you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, talking to a licensed professional and receiving treatment can help.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

“Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” By Eric Power

Veterans face incredible challenges after leaving the military. From coping with mental health issues like depression and PTSD to finding employment, re-establishing relationships, and more – readjusting to civilian life is not easy. After putting their lives on the line in service of our country, veterans deserve more support than what they are getting.

The pandemic has only made this issue worse over the last year with the surge of loneliness, unemployment, and an increase in mental health cases among all Americans. A survey done by the Wounded Warriors Project found that more than half of veterans said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

Fortunately, a new book from recent military veteran, Eric Power can help. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story of self-discovery that shares the keys to overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and the wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

“This pandemic has set a shocking and much greater feat for veterans (and all Americans for that matter) to rise above thier mental health challenges. Yet, I am very optimistic about the future and hope to provide support, advice, and my personal experience to help save someone’s life…” said Power, whose mission is to provide a valuable resource and life-changing advice to veterans, their families, and all struggling Americans.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blurring the lines between fiction and nonfiction, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story that shines light on the unique challenges veterans face after leaving the military. As an active combat veteran, Eric Power knows the sacrifices and struggles of civilian veterans. As a mentor and a self-development student, he also knows the keys to overcoming some of the greatest challenges in business and in life.

Power shares his success principles as he takes you through the challenges of David Little, a veteran facing personal and career challenges. Follow along as David meets his mentor, Ralph Power, who helps him discover his self-worth and shows him how to build life-changing relationships.

The statistics on veteran mental health are horrific. According to a 2020 report, roughly 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the US. This means meaning more veterans die by suicide every two days than were killed in action last year! This staggering statistic is why “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” rings true to 24 million veterans around the world who have some type of personal struggle after returning home. As the Coronavirus surges forward, we have seen an increase in mental health conditions among all Americans. The wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

Of course, this personal development is a must-read for military veterans, but it also appeals to non-veterans because it offers timeless and universal business and success principles applicable to all people. This book is a valuable resource for military families or anyone with loved ones in the service. It offers a glimpse into the reality of the veteran experience and readers can learn more about what their loved one is going through and how they can help.

Whether you are a veteran or not, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is an unforgettable story about life, relationships, and the power we all have to create a lasting imprint on the people we meet and know.

The book was released December 28th, 2020 by Waterside productions and starts at $16.95 for the paperback edition. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is available for purchase on Amazon HERE. 

ABOUT ERIC POWER:

Eric Louis Power is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and social activist dedicated to helping military veterans and their families achieve a better quality of life. Power served honorably in the US Navy reaching the rank of Petty Officer First Class and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Southern Watch. Power has a total of seven deployments, with 3.5 years in Active Combat zones. He is the founder of For Veterans By Veterans, a nonprofit that provides assistance to homeless vets, and he is the founder and CEO of Veterans Disability Help, LLC, a firm that manages VA disability claims and helps disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve. Since 2012, Power has been responsible for redirecting over 2.1 Million dollars a month recurring from the VA, back to the veterans in regard to their VA disability claims.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT https://veterandisabilityhelp.com

Mina Tocalini illustration for mental health article inside 360 magazine

How To Combat Loneliness, Especially Now

During the COVID-19 crisis, all of our lives have been disrupted. We’re not connecting with family, friends and colleagues like we used to, and it’s easy to feel lonely. To help some of the people I was coaching, I wrote down eight ways to combat this feeling and tested them on our business clients, executives, and even some friends. What they found was they could, indeed, address their own sense of being alone and fill their days with well-being and even happiness.

 I thought I would share those eight ways. 

  1. You can manage your mind. If you visualize each day as one filled with purpose and meaning, you will find that the act of being alone or distant from those you care about becomes less important. With a little practice, you really can train your mind to believe that it is happy without others. Seriously, collaborate with your mind. It will do exactly what it thinks you want it to do.
  2. Exercise is especially important. It’s an essential part of a healthy mind, body, spirit. Find a ritual every day that gets you up, walking, working out, biking…anything that is not sitting in a chair.
  3. Plan weekends where you are at public spaces. Visit a park, a hiking trail or a playground, and talk to other people. Wear your mask and introduce yourself. You will find that you and they will feel less lonely. I did a podcast once with a woman who was always on the airplane working in all kinds of places—much as I had been. She used to walk in the parks just to create the feeling that she was not alone. Neither of us were ever really alone, but we were often lonely. The walks always quieted our minds and engaged our spirits in healthy feelings.
  4. If you like to Zoom, set up a time with friends on a regular basis for tea or a cocktail hour. You will find that the week flies by as you look forward to the gathering, and the time spent together is priceless. Even with family, family Zoom time becomes remarkably sacred. It has in our home. But, our friends are also happily zooming in and we are all talking longer and deeper than we might ever in a restaurant.
  5. If you are a Facebook person, join some new groups. In these groups you  can share insights, things you have learned or want to know about, or possibly new career paths you want to explore. Our Rethink with Andi Simon group has been growing beautifully with professional women from across the globe who want to help other women become the “best they can be.” Sharing has become a gift for each of them.
  6. Book groups are terrific on Zoom.  Book clubs, where you can join others and discuss hot books together, are booming for good reason. If you have not joined one, find a theme that might reflect your own interests and see what you can do to get involved. Here is alink to some that are open for you to join.
  7. Tutor someone. Find ways to identify young people who would like a tutor for math or science or geology or anything that is your area of expertise. Sharing is an immensely powerful antidote for loneliness. The gift of giving will make your loneliness go away as acts of gratitude will make you feel purposeful and positive.
  8. Cook! Make something (for others or maybe just yourself) and sit and eat it slowly. Savor each bite and enjoy all the different flavors and tastes.

COVID-19 may be keeping people apart, but with a little ingenuity and effort, we can find ways to connect – with ourselves and with others.

About Andi Simon

Andi Simon, Ph.D. (www.andisimon.com), author of the upcoming book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants (www.simonassociates.net). A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Ritchie Torres for 360 Magazine

TRAILBLAZER: CONGRESSMAN RITCHIE TORRES

By Elle Grant

January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.

“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.

He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”

Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.

“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”

“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”

Congressmen Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.

The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”

Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.

Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”

Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3rd, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”

360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”

Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”

“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad’ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.

Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.

On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”

Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.

Allison Christensen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

10 Times Teen Movies and TV Shows Portrayed Mental Illness in a Helpful Light

By Shay Siegel

The importance of learning about mental health and debunking the stigmas that come along with it has been expressed more and more in recent years. Mental illness is a valid struggle in the everyday lives of people from all different backgrounds and circumstances—it does not discriminate. Representation of mental health is especially important for teenagers who already deal with issues of identity and belonging simply as part of growing up and all the external pressures they are exposed to. Art and entertainment forms that explore mental health and real societal issues are contributing to these discussions. 

These ten shows and movies (some of which are based on wonderful books) have explored mental illness in one way or another and shed some much-needed light, helping teens realize they are not alone.

1. Degrassi 

This was my favorite show when I was in high school, and it has done a great job not only shifting to keep up with current times, but it has always confronted a variety of important issues that teens face. I usually think of Degrassi: The Next Generation, because that’s the segment of the show I grew up with, but the new version Degrassi: The Next Class with a different cast for a new generation is exactly what the show has always been about, while keeping up with the current atmosphere. Degrassi consists of a big cast, which is one of the things to love about it and shows a multitude of characters that struggle with different issues, both external and internal. Mental health has always been portrayed in Degrassi and manifested in many ways, from eating disorders, to self-harm and suicide, to anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, to identity issues, peer pressure, sexual assault, substance abuse, and so much more. The show is confronting, and it raises awareness and leads to deeper thinking and conversation-starting in a helpful and positive way. Degrassi is my number one pick for a series that shows all the raw and relatable issues teens face, especially mental illness.

2. 13 Reasons Why

I loved the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, so naturally I was excited when it was made into a series. I know it has received a ton of backlash and been accused of glorifying suicide, and yes, the show may definitely be triggering and problematic in areas. There are many positives to be gleaned as well, though. The story confronts the very ugly side of suicide and the lasting effects of trauma like sexual assault and bullying on the psyche. It’s not meant to be comfortable because these issues are uncomfortable, and the show can help in processing tough topics. The story provides encouragement to think about how our actions affect others and how we can’t know what others are going through. And regardless of whether the show is hated or loved, it has absolutely started important conversations and raised suicide awareness.

3. All the Bright Places

I actually have not yet read the book by Jennifer Niven, but I watched the movie recently and thought it was a really realistic, while also heart-wrenching, take on depression. It’s helpful for teens to see two characters with different past traumas coping in different ways, and the idea expressed that some are able to heal while others still struggle. There is no one set of symptoms when an individual has depression and that was clearly portrayed in this film. The message of hope to find the bright places everywhere even when we might not feel like one of those places within ourselves is beautiful.

4. Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska is an adapted series based on John Green’s popular novel from 2005, which I also loved, but the series expands upon the book and incorporates updated ideas and messages that fit our current times and conversations, especially those that address mental health. The story unfolds as a mystery, and at times it’s lighter and a fun coming-of-age tale, but it’s so much deeper as it progresses, especially as the later episodes take on a more ominous tone and Alaska’s inner struggles become clearer. This is another instance of not truly knowing what another person is going through, especially when they don’t reach out for help in a direct way. This is unfortunately a reality of mental illness and one of the reasons is that those struggling don’t fully understand it themselves. The open-endedness of the story is realistic because that’s exactly how life is—nothing gets wrapped up neatly, but we learn about others and ourselves along the way.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This is also one of my favorite books by Stephen Chbosky, and the movie is every bit as emotional. Charlie is an incredibly realistic character. His feelings of loneliness while continuing on day to day with hope are so accurate and relatable for any teen who has ever felt like an outcast. The deeper past issues that we find out he has repressed are heartbreaking, but I think the story does a great job in portraying that past trauma, while contributing to his current situation, might also not have necessarily created it because there are many layers to mental illness and there is no off button once a “reason” is realized.

6. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

This movie is based on the YA novel by Ned Vizzini. We get a look into many of the patients’ lives over the course of a few days in a psychiatric hospital, while Craig, the male lead, learns about himself and his circumstances, ultimately taking steps to heal. One of the most positive messages of the story is that Craig takes it upon himself to seek help, which many (or most) don’t feel acceptable doing. This is so important for teens to see. The idea that others can’t save us, and we have to build our own lives and not look to others to make it all better for us is also done well. The author of the book, Ned Vizzini, committed suicide, but he left a message of hope in allowing Craig to work through his struggles and show readers and viewers what goes on in the mind of someone struggling so deeply in hopes that those who need it may seek help.

7. Eighth Grade

This movie was cringe-worthy at times, which was effective because that’s exactly what this time of life is like. If you feel awkward watching someone, just imagine how elevated those feelings are for them on the inside. Kayla, the thirteen-year-old protagonist, is riddled with worry and anxiety about her every decision and encounter, and many of the times her fears are realized, which I think we all can agree escalates anxiety. It was an accurate and upsetting portrayal of what goes on both inside and outside during this impactful transition in life, maybe not for every single teen but certainly for the ones who feel that specific emotional turmoil.

8. To the Bone

This was an interesting take on how mental illness manifests in eating disorders. The idea of knowing how damaging your behavior is but also not knowing how to stop it or do anything different, or even just not wanting to, is relatable to anyone who struggles with mental illness whether it be an eating disorder or otherwise. This film has also been criticized for misrepresenting sensitive subject matter, but again, it has helped start conversations and it has definitely expressed an important message that recovery is not a straight line.

9. The Edge of Seventeen 

I loved this movie, and one of the best things about it is how “normal” Nadine’s mental health issues are treated. Her mental illness is not necessarily what the movie is about, but a driving force behind her as a character, and an accurate portrayal of depression for one unique person, since everyone experiences it differently. Although her struggles may be heightened by exterior circumstances and “being a teen” the way she views herself and the world are real and heartbreaking, and although she might not be in imminent danger she is suffering, nonetheless. The movie is also quite funny in parts! The balance of humor and despair work to provide light to all the darkness that exists.

10. Euphoria

This new series is extremely uncensored, raw, and even shocking, but it definitely captures the issues and pressures of being a teen in this current climate. A realistic and well-done takeaway from the series is how mental illness can completely take over and suffocate a person, even bringing on a terrible feeling of boredom and monotony. Rue, the main character, struggles with addiction, which first became an issue when she was looking for a way to combat her host of mental illnesses, and of course gives her yet another issue to struggle with when she is already in severe pain, if from nothing else then from being born into this world. The uncomfortable honesty in Euphoria is executed with precision and is a look at mental illness, while it has always existed, now in the new generation. 


Shay Siegel is a freelance writer, poet, and editor. Her debut YA novel, Fractured, is available now. For more information, visit shaysiegel.com, or connect with Siegel on Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.

Yunizon Eyewear

Yunizon Eyewear Combines Innovative Fit Technology, Gender Neutral Styles, and Mental Health Awareness

Yunizon Eyewear, the pioneers behind Global Fit, is proud to launch their core line of innovative, gender neutral sunglasses. Co-Founded by eyewear industry vet Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas and corporate finance expert Rebecca Lay, the brand is positioned to become a top global, all-inclusive brand. The first to market Global Fit extends beyond the traditional one size fits all approach to address the issue of fit for every shape, size,and gender. Each retailing for $159, the core collection introduces hand-crafted silhouettes in three sizes that unify style and function to create eyewear that is built to be lived in and lasting. Built on the idea “Under One Sun,” Yunizon will donate a portion of all proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Traditional eyewear brands produce glasses by using general fit guidelines focused on Asian, Universal, Standard, and European fit. Yunizon’s unique Global Fit creates an enhanced, accurate and comfortable design that appeals to a diverse society. Mastering a tailored fit by having three distinct head widths in each style, slide prevention nose pads, modified temple design, ultra-lightweight premium materials, and reduced pantoscopic angle for cheekbone comfort create a perfect fitting pair of frames. Yunizon utilizes light weight, shatter proof, and premium quality CR-39 lenses in all sunglasses.

Yunizonco-founder, Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas states, “Having worked in the eyewear industry as a senior product designer for over 15 years, I’ve seen sunglasses go from fashion accessory to daily wear. When sunglasses were purely an accessory, comfort and fit didn’t matter as much. However, given how consumer behavior has changed, particularly with millennials, it is critically important that today’s sunglasses are both trendy and comfortable. Yunizon is uncompromising on style with an unmatched focus on fit.” 

In addition to being highly considerate of fit, all Yunizon products are gender neutral, aligning with the brand’s values of free expression and inclusivity. Yunizon Looks to go beyond the traditional approach and disrupt the eyewear industry with their universal designs, innovative fit and high-quality products that appeal to today’s diverse society.

To learn more about the brand, shop the styles, and find your fit visit:

Website 

Instagram 

Twitter 

Facebook

About Yunizon Eyewear:

Yunizon Eyewear is a New York City based company producing handcrafted eyewear with a focus on fit. Available in three distinct sizes (narrow, medium, and wide), each all – inclusive, gender neutral style is designed to fit and look great. The founders, Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas and Rebecca Lay, contribute years of experience in the eyewear industry as well as their values of free expression, unity and belonging to the brand.

About Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas:

Kimberly is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Yunizon. Before starting Yunizon, Kimberly gained over 15 years’ experience in the eyewear industry. As a designer, Kimberly is both creative and detail-oriented; paying attention to the overall construction and materials used. This results in products that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also technically superior. Kimberly has worked closely with counterparts across the US, Europe and Asia, helping her develop insight into fit issues. This has inspired her to create Yunizon’s Global Fit Technology which has resulted in better fitting sunglasses for all facial features.

About Rebecca Lay:

Rebecca is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yunizon. Before starting Yunizon, Rebecca worked in finance as an advisor for over 10 years in Sydney, London and New York, but her true passion is eyewear. The global nature of Rebecca’s work has helped her develop a tolerant attitude and a worldly mindset. This ethos was critical in establishing Yunizon’s brand values of free expression, unity and belonging

Kaelen Felix illustrates Demi Lovato and Marshmello for 360 MAGAZINE

Marshmello Sports Premiere Apparel

By Cassandra Yany

Marshmello sported a Premiere Apparel Tie Dye Hoodie to promote his new song and music video with Demi Lovato. The electronic music artist and pop singer took to Instagram on Thursday to share the release of their track “OK Not To Be OK” and the accompanying music video. In the photos, Marshmello is wearing a tie-dye hoodie by the LA brand Premiere Apparel.

The color-infused “Rain Forest Hoodie” pairs perfectly with the DJ’s electronic sound, and is one of the brand’s many tie-dye signature styles. Premiere Apparel creates clothing with colorful, mesmerizing designs and comfortable fits. 

Marshmello and Lovato teamed up with the non-profit movement Hope For The Day for this collaboration. The pair are working with the organization— whose motto is “It’s OK Not To Be OK”— to start a conversation about mental health and eliminate the stigmas and judgment that go along with it. While promoting the song, Lovato shared a message via Instagram on Thursday, which was also Suicide Prevention Day, expressing her struggles with mental health and encouraging her followers to check in with themselves and loved ones.

About Premiere Apparel

California grown and LA-Based uni-sex brand Premiere Apparel has a vision of reinventing lifestyle. Creating go-to comfy fits to traditional yet innovative looks as well as environmental manufacturing friendly. 

Premiere Apparel is a unisex streetwear premium brand that combines modern essentials with innovative wash techniques to create comfy go-to basics that make a statement. They believe in true essentials designed from life inspired color palettes that satisfy the soul.

Whether it’s your favorite weekend tee or that cozy sweatshirt for a cool night, Premiere Apparel offers well-made items for everyday people and their ever changing lifestyles. Fewer well designed pieces that are made to last and can go anywhere. They manufacture basics from the highest quality materials, using American-made materials and American labor.

Live Nation Urban – #WellnessEdition

In light of National Suicide Prevention and Self-Care Awareness Month, Live Nation Urban is spending September bringing people #WellnessEdition, to promote and showcase resources strengthening wellness and well-being. Through various content and live talks with mental health and wellness advocates, Live Nation Urban hopes to bridge the work of Black executives with the importance of staying grounded.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine orders, Live Nation Urban has been at the forefront of creating live-at-home digital experiences within the music industry. Meet the Founders, a live interview series, has spotlighted Black founders, executives, and staff from various brands on building out their experiences and careers within the music industry.

As a part of their Wellness Month programming, Live Nation Urban hopes to create wholesome spaces for self-care, healing and people’s well-being during these unprecedented times. Produced content will include self-care, music, playlists (available on all platforms), healthy meal ideas, and general wellness tips. Additionally, Meet the Founders will feature a variety of mental health and self-care professionals. Featured guests include, Tasnim Sulaiman (Founder of Black Men Heal), Tiffany Hardin(Founder of Gild Creative Group and Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development of Black Girl In Om), Darian Hall (Co-Founder of HealHaus), and Eboni Harris (Co-Founder of Melanin & Mental Health).

About Live Nation Urban

Live Nation Urban (LNU) is a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company. Specifically focusing on Hip-Hop, R&B and Gospel, LNU builds platforms, events, and festivals globally and develops dynamic content strategies based upon the live properties created. Live Nation Urban considers itself the most powerful source for live urban music. For additional information, click HERE.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Days Approaching: April is Stress Awareness Month | May is Mental Health Month

May 7th is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Expert Offers Six Tips for Dealing with Panic Attacks; Dr. Lata McGinn, Cognitive Behavioral Consultants, White Plains and NYC

A panic attack is a sudden, intense episode of fear or dread accompanied by physical symptoms such as pounding heart, sweating, trembling or shaking, lightheadedness, feeling faint, shortness of breath, choking sensations, nausea, abdominal distress, chest pain, cold and hot chills, numbness and tingling, feelings of being detached or things seeming unreal. Individuals with panic disorder fear that they are going to die, go crazy, or lose control. They then begin to fear getting future attacks and will often change their behaviors to ward off panic attacks; a disorder called agoraphobia.

Tip 1: The first thing to remember is that a panic attack is an emotional alarm that is meant to protect us not harm us. Panic attacks, although unpleasant to experience, are not dangerous. Biologically, a panic attack is the fight-flight response or your body’s mechanism designed to protect you from danger.  It is called the fight-flight response because it helps you fight or flee the danger to protect us. If you are in danger, the fight-flight response would create fear and release adrenalin and create an automatic response in us to take immediate action (attack or run). In panic attacks the fight-flight response kicks in even though you are not in any danger.

Tip 2: Panic attacks usually begin right after a stressful life event so focus on dealing with the stress you are under rather than trying to stop the panic attack.

Tip 3: Fearing that panic will harm you ironically only makes you have more panic attacks – your brain thinks you are in danger when you become afraid of panic attacks so the only thing it knows to do to protect you is to give you more panic attacks. Tell yourself you are not in danger and that it is just a harmless panic attack and that it will go away on its own without you doing anything to stop it.

Tip 4: Trying to stop a panic attack in the middle of an episode is not helpful because you are inadvertently telling your brain that you are in danger even though you are not. Letting the panic attack ride over you until it washes away and not changing your behavior to avoid it or escape it is the best thing you can do. Over time, your brain will learn that you are not in danger and the panic attacks will reduce over time.

Tip 5: Deep, slow breathing exercises (slow, diaphragmatic breathing) that helps regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide can be calming and may be helpful to do regularly as a way of calming your over-anxious state in general. However, it is wise not to use it to stop a panic that you are afraid to have in the moment as it likely won’t work anyway and it will also inadvertently convince your brain that you are in danger.

Tip 6: It is best to first to go to a medical doctor when you have your first attack to make sure it isn’t anything like a thyroid condition etc. Once the doctor rules out any physical basis for panic attacks, it is best to not keep going back and taking unnecessary medical tests over and over again. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating panic disorder and agoraphobia. First, individuals are educated about panic attacks and the physical symptoms of anxiety and fear that are experienced.  Second, they are trained on how examine and change their unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that lead to panic attacks in real time. In addition, individuals are trained to reduce physical tension, and are then exposed to physical sensations of panic and to feared and avoided situations and sensations until the person realizes they are not dangerous. Repeated exposure helps to reduce the fear induced by these situations and teaches the person that the sensations experienced are not dangerous. When the fear of the physical sensations is reduced, future panic attacks are reduced.

Dr. Lata K. McGinn

Lata K. McGinn, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Cognitive Behavioral Consultants. She is also a tenured Professor of Psychology, Director of the Doctoral Clinical Program, and Director of the University-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy Training Program for Anxiety and Depressive Disorders at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. McGinn presents her research worldwide and is regularly invited to conduct keynotes, lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the world to professionals, consumers, schools, agencies, and companies. Her research focuses on vulnerability and prevention of anxiety and depressive disorders. She has recently developed an intervention to prevent the development of depression and has tested the efficacy of this intervention in a NIH funded research study.

About Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants, LLP

CBC is a clinical and training center comprised of internationally recognized mental health professionals who have researched, pioneered, and are highly experienced in delivering cutting edge evidence-based treatments that help adults, adolescents, and children live more fulfilled lives. Founded in 2004 by Drs. Lata K. McGinn and Alec L. Miller, leaders in the fields of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, the CBC team provides a large array of Clinical and Wellness services to the public, provides Custom Designed Programs for schools, agencies, and businesses, and conducts Continuing Education for Professionals in the field of psychology throughout the year. More information can be found here.

TWLOHA Announces Tour Dates

Melbourne, FL – August 6, 2018 – To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is thrilled to announce three dates of “An Evening With To Write Love on Her Arms.” The tour will run from September 18-20, hitting Tampa, FL, Gainesville, FL, and Atlanta, GA, respectively. The evening will consist of TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski speaking, plus performances by two-time National Poetry Slam champion, Sierra DeMulder and musician JP Saxe. For more information, please click here

“After mostly speaking at colleges in recent years, I’m so excited to get back into music venues. These will be small ticketed shows, which represent something new for TWLOHA and for me. If these go well, our goal is to add more dates so that we can bring these nights of hope to folks all over,” shares Tworkowski.

Tickets for all three nights are on sale now. General admission tickets range from $13-$15, and VIP tickets are $40, which includes a pre-show Meet & Greet + Q&A. Further event details are listed below

An Evening with To Write Love on Her Arms:

TAMPA, FL

When: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Where: The Attic // 1510 E. 8th Ave.

Time: 7:30PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: http://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms/

GAINESVILLE, FL

When: Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Where: High Dive // 210 SW 2nd Ave.

Time: 9PM (Doors @ 8PM)

Tickets: http://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-2/

ATLANTA, GA

When: Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Where: The Masquerade (Heaven) // 50 Lower Alabama St. SW, Suite 22

Time: 8PM (Doors @ 7PM)

Tickets: http://twloha.com/events/an-evening-with-to-write-love-on-her-arms-3/

To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. It exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.1 million directly into treatment and recovery and answered over 200,000 messages from over 100 countries.

This past September, TWLOHA wrapped its 6th annual campaign to honor National Suicide Prevention Week and World Suicide Prevention Day. The organization was overwhelmed by the amount of love and support shown during this year’s campaign, titled, “Stay. Find what you are made for,“during which over $103.5K was raised for treatment and counseling. The campaign was shared by supporters all over the world, including NBA player Kyle Korver, US Women’s National Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan, Christen Press, and Ashlyn Harris, actress Shantel VanSanten, Switchfoot‘s Jon Foreman, Dustin Kensrue of Thrice, actress and singer Debby Ryan, The Ready Set‘s Jordan Witzrigreuter, and Jess Bowen of The Summer Set, all of whom were featured in a special video message directed by Dustin Miller, a Florida-based filmmaker and longtime TWLOHA collaborator: http://youtu.be/37cB2CQt_YA.