Mental health, like physical health, is neutral. You can have poor mental health or good mental health, and it’s just as important to invest in and take care of your mental health, as it is your physical health.
As you may have noticed, the name of the blog changed from On The Cutting Room Floor to Mental Health Musings. We want as many people to have access to this information as possible, and the new name makes it easier for people searching for mental health to find the blog.
Every Wednesday, I’ll be putting together a quick list of all things mental health impacting Buffalo and WNY. They’re often the things that didn’t make it on-air and were left on the cutting room floor.
I’ll also give you a peek into the things on my mind, in my reporter’s notebook, Report for America, and some things I do to keep my own mental health in tip-top shape.
In this week’s blog, we talk about the trauma of the Sixties Scoop, a meeting for moms with mental illness or substance use disorders in Jamestown, a Report for America meetup in Albany, the second Coffee with Cam office hours, and more.
Take a read below,
—Camalot K. Todd
In My Ears:
This series investigates the death of a young Saskatchewan girl named Cleo who was separated from her siblings during the Sixties Scoop in Canada. The Sixties Scoop is a catch-all name for child welfare policies that saw the removal of thousands of Indigenous children from their families, placement in foster care and then eventually adoption to white families across Canada and the U.S.
The trauma of the Sixties Scoop — of being separated from family, friends, and culture coupled with abuse that often occurs in foster homes — resulted in depression, behavioral health concerns and more. The overall suicide rate for Indigenous people in Canada is twice the rate of non-Indigenous people.
On My Mind:
On Wednesday, October 30, the Mental Health Association of Jamestown will host a free event for mothers in partnership with Mom Tribe’s and Chautauqua Substance Abuse Response Partnership to help mothers learn to cope with a recent mental health diagnosis or substance use disorder.
The speaker of the event will be a mother who, along with her husband, has a history of opioid use. After the presentation, there will be a catered lunch and a gift, according to a press release.
The event is Wednesday, October 30, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Gateway Center, 31 Water Street. Guests should go to Door 14 at the rear of the building.
In My Reporter’s Notebook:
One in five American adults struggles with mental illness in any given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health conditions impact everyone, regardless of class, gender or race.
We dived into how the stigma around mental health impacts youth, those involved in foster care, and more with our guests Anthony Donalson and Kenneth Houseknecht. Both work at Mental Health Advocates of Western New York.
Anthony shared his struggle with depression and addiction and his role at Just Tell One. Above, Houseknecht explains trauma and adverse childhood experiences.
On the Ground with Report for America:
Report For America, the national service program that placed me in Buffalo to report on mental health at Spectrum News, has a newsletter where you can read all about the program’s mission and even read some Q&As with the corps members like me.
In My Belly and Out and About in WNY:
Saturday, I drove to Albany to meet with a few other corps members who were placed in the Northeast part of the country. The drive there was beautiful, thanks to the fall foliage. I binge listened to podcasts and felt relaxed, like I always do on road trips.
Report for America facilitated an intense week of training in Houston during June, but we hadn’t seen each other since. We got coffee, explored the capitol, and talked journalism over Thai. Most of us moved to the east from out west, and bonded over our longing for In-N-Out and learning to navigate new cities, newsrooms, and cultures.
If you have any suggestions of places that I should explore, want to share how you take care of your mental health or have any questions about mental health, email me at Camalot.Todd@Charter.com.