What’s on Your Mind?
If the past couple of months have taught us anything, is that mental health should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. So tell us Tribe, “What’s on your mind?”
We spoke with mental health advocate and owner of “What’s on Your Mind?”, Theresa Alphonse to combat the stigma of mental illness, introduce a safe space and provide resources.
THERESA, TELL THE TRIBE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I began my work in the public health field 7 years ago, and decided to transition to mental health 4 years ago in order to provide equity in mental health for marginalized groups, particularly black people in order for them to live equitably. I have always had an interest in healthcare.
When becoming a doctor became less aligned with the future I saw for myself I began to explore other fields. Public health gave me the opportunity to intersect health and community. Everything I have done professionally is intricately linked to those categories. It makes me feel fulfilled and purposeful.
How has the work you create been influenced, shifted, or fueled by the oppression of black and brown communities globally?
It’s influenced every piece of it. I’ve always been very interested in the exploration of my own personal identity and my Blackness is a huge part of my identity and therefore that exploration. In learning about the injustices Black communities face historically, at a young age it seemed to make sense of my reality. My intentional focus on Black and Brown communities comes from understanding history and the lack of resources those communities were afforded.
And how has WOYM helped with this focus?
As opposed to searching for resources and leaning on one another for help many communities of color stay silent. WOYM will not allow this silence to happen any longer. We aim to spread awareness among our community in order to combat the stigma. We are working to make a change in our community day by day. Our work focuses on a series of small change to create large and lasting impact. We’ve done this in Boston, NYC, Los Angeles, Haiti, Atlanta, and Miami through workshops, our Podcast Mind full, and Short documentary highlighting our work.
What are affirmations? Do you have any that keeps you going? Do you mind sharing with us?
Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspirations as well as simply reminders.
My favorite affirmation is; It’s done. Meaning I don’t have to worry about what’s coming to me. The blessings have already been written.
Repeat after us Tribe “It’s done. Meaning I don’t have to worry about what’s coming to me. The blessings have already been written.”
Do you have any special projects you’re working on or anything you’d like to tell the Tribe to watch out for?
Although 2020 halted our plans we usually host an annual Mindfest! It’s an annual mental health festival where you can look forward to engaging conversations and activities that promote mental health and wellness! During this we provide a number of services such as Mental Health professionals ready to answer any questions you may have, art therapy, meditation and breathing exercises, massages to relax the body, and more.