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December 5, 2016

Elenilson Franco, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, first sought mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs nearly four years ago.

He is still waiting. The VA lost his original paperwork and hasn’t yet approved a new application, he said.

“It’s frustrating,” lamented Franco, 46, who served in Iraq as a U.S. Marine. “I am a veteran. The VA is supposed to be there for me.”

Over the past three years, the sprawling VA system has come under Read More

    The program’s name quickly tells you how Fairfax County leaders feel about sending people with mental illnesses to jail: Diversion First.

    Still in the beginning stages, Diversion First started in Fairfax County, Virginia, in January in response to tragedy. A woman diagnosed with schizophrenia died in February 2015 after she was handcuffed and Tasered at the county jail.

    County leaders realized too many people were in jail because of mental health issues, and it was costing the county millions.

    The cost to house Read More

    Advocates for people with severe mental illness say the mental health training doesn’t address the most dire needs.

    Advocates of mental health first aid hope to make the program as common as CPR training. (ISTOCKPHOTO)

    A bill that would expand a program aimed at training ordinary people to recognize and intercede when they see signs of mental health issues in others is raising concerns among critics who say it takes Read More


    I previously shared my truth about my battle with depression and self-injury in a piece I wrote titled “An Open Letter to Black Women About Mental Health.” Not only did I openly share my experiences with depression, but I urged other black women to break away from the cultural stigma surrounding mental illness, to rid themselves of the weight that comes with carrying the “strong black woman” title and to seek professional treatment for Read More

    Michael Jackson, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears — speculating about celebrity mental health sagas is nothing new. The latest newsmaker is rapper Kanye West: West canceled remaining stops on his “Saint Pablo” tour after a recent series of outbursts while performing; he was later taken to a Los Angeles hospital. TMZ reported Tuesday that West suffers from “temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and dehydration.”

    The incident sparked chatter about his state of mind, culminating with the #prayforkanye hashtag trending on Twitter.

    West’s Read More

    By Kim Stokes HTF Contributor During October’s Mental Illness Awareness Week [Oct. 2 – 8], which was established by the U.S. Congress in 1990, my daughter sent me a comic that showed someone with a hand missing and bleeding with a person standing next to them saying: “I just don’t understand why you don’t do something about that!”

    If you injured your hand to the point where you were about to lose it, you would recognize that you needed to see a doctor Read More

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