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One Latina Talks About Breaking Down The Walls Of Stigma In The Latinx Community

In an ideal world, we would all play active roles in breaking down the mental health stigma. Dinner talks would be filled with

 “¿Mijo, cómo te has sentido?” 

“¿Cómo vas con tu medicina?” or

“¿Sigues yendo a yoga?” 

Showing emotion would be encouraged and vulnerability would be praised. 

But you and I both know, this isn’t the case when it comes to the world we live in. Growing up in the Central Valley, surrounded by what seemed like endless tomato fields, with two farm-working parents, I will be the first to admit that conversations about mental health were non-existent. Up until my last year of undergrad, I believed that anxiety attacks were an over-exaggeration of weak, pitiful people who couldn’t handle a little stress. Until of course, it happened to me. I suffered my first anxiety attack one night during my last semester at Fresno State. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced, and it changed my life forever. 

During the years that followed, I fought against cultural norms. For me, nothing else had worked, so I said ‘yes’ to therapy and anxiety medication, even when my family opposed it or didn’t quite understand it. It was hard. I felt misunderstood and out of place. I was conflicted about how people would judge me and my family if they found out that I sought outside help. 

But I am happy to report that things did get better. Therapy and medication helped tremendously, and my parents eventually came around to supporting my decision to seek help, primarily because they began to see the progress I was making. 

So yes, even though these conversations are tough, I believe they are absolutely necessary to ensure the wellbeing of our families and our future generations. Mental health conversations have to become an integral part of our families, especially within the cultural context.

There’s no doubt about it, the Latinx culture is beautiful! Its richness is felt in the music, food and strong family values. However, many aspects of the culture are not conducive for growth. Not being able to comfortably talk about our mental health because of the ensuing stigma is definitely one of them. Truth is, if we want to move our Latinx families forward, we must find ways to play a role in normalizing mental health conversations within our traditional families. There is no room for inaction. 

The good news is, you don’t have to be a hardcore mental health advocate to help! 

Empowered Bystanders Matter

We can choose to either be an empowered bystander or play an active role in this. Both can be equally important in normalizing these conversations. First, we must acknowledge that not everyone wants to be outspoken and actively pushing change forward. Regardless, empowered bystanders can still make a difference with what may seem like small insignificant acts. 

Here is how you can help as an empowered bystander: 

Withdraw from toxic dialogue.

Oftentimes within traditional family dynamics, we witness ideologies that are toxic for people experiencing mental health issues. Conversations in family reunions can sometimes be offensive and discouraging. As an empowered bystander, you have a choice to partake in this dialogue or completely withdraw from it. By simply choosing not to laugh at an offensive joke, for example, you take a subtle yet firm stance that you are not here for this, you do not agree with this behavior. 

Compare apples to apples.

You may not suffer from a mental health issue, but you can still observe and pinpoint opportunities for conversation. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say one of your siblings is contemplating taking medication for their mental health but is discouraged by your parent who says things like: 

“¡You don’t need that, you are not crazy,” or

“¡Que locuras! Mejor ponte a limpiar tu cuarto, es lo que debes de hacer!” 

As an empowered bystander, you have the power to respectfully interject and propose an idea like:

“Pa, how is that different from you taking your daily blood pressure medicine, you take that every day for you to function.”

In doing so, you suddenly propose a new thought, a new perspective. You don’t force change; you simply ask questions and initiate thoughtful conversations.  

For those of us who are personally impacted by mental health issues, and feel strongly about creating change, here is how you can help as an active participant: 

Embody and embrace the rebel persona. 

Within the cultural family context, we must acknowledge that taking an active role in breaking the mental health stigma often comes with feeling isolated. We will not always fit in. Understanding this upfront will make it easier to cope. We have to understand that our immediate family will not always be our frontline cheerleaders. This is 100% okay. Whether we receive support within our family or not, it is vital that we seek some type of support, through friendships or support groups. 

Be the example.

Do you suffer from a mental health issue? Do you take medication? Do you go to therapy? Living without shame and using your experiences to offer insight and a different perspective in conversations with folks is key to normalizing this subject within our families. Own your experiences, so they become the shining light for others struggling to find their voice. Showing them that you can thrive with your condition is the best type of education we can provide to our families.

To check out Your Story to Tell Academy’s Instagram go here.

Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

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Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

David Ryder / Getty Images

Meat processing plants have been at the center of the COVID-19 response conversation. The plants, many located in the Midwest, are crucial to the food supply chain to feed the country but outbreaks at these facilities have threatened that supply chain. Some closed to save the health of their employees but an executive order, with limited power, allowed for these plants to stay open.

The meat-processing industry is surprisingly small with 4 plants providing 80 percent of the meat in the U.S.

Workers at meat-processing plants have been testing positive for COVID-19 in April. The spread was quick and some plants began to shut down in late April and early May to avoid massive outbreaks in their plants. In early May, several plants closed to handle the outbreaks, including Tyson Foods, one of the largest pork-processing companies in the U.S.

New data shows that coronavirus cases are increasing in the U.S. meat processing plants. The numbers have tripled to 15,000 with 63 meat plant workers dying from the virus. Within a month, Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat processing company, saw its number of coronavirus cases jump from 1,600 to 7,000.

The number of cases has spiked within meat-processing plants that have reopened.

In late April, President Trump signed an executive order that some people misinterpreted as ordering meatpacking and processing plants to remain open. What President Trump did was to order that meat and poultry plants are essential according to the Defense Protection Act of 1950. The DPA is used to compel manufactures to create “scarce and critical material essential to the national defense.”

The second thing the order did was to give the authority to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue is responsible for keeping the meat processing and packing plants running during the pandemic. He has to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As with some states, there are discrepancies showing in the data being released by the meat plants.

In North Carolina, the Smithfield meat-packing plant in Tar Heel is being elusive with their number of positive coronavirus cases. They are being assisted in the lack of transparency by state and local officials, according to The New York Times.

“There has been a stigma associated with the virus,” Teresa Duncan, the director of the health department in Bladen County, where the Smithfield plant is located, told The New York Times. “So we’re trying to protect privacy.”

A poultry plant in Arkansas was the cause of an outbreak in a Latino community.

In Arkansas, a community saw a spike in cases within the Latino community. The cases were coming from employees, their families, and their social circles. The one poultry plant resulted in 151 new cases in the Latino community of Dardanelle, Arkansas.

READ: Another Man Has Died Of Covid-19 In ICE Custody And The Agency Still Lacks Any Plan To Prevent More Deaths

Chrissy Teigen Gets Tested For Covid As Pre-Surgery Protocol

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Chrissy Teigen Gets Tested For Covid As Pre-Surgery Protocol

@chrissyteigen / Twitter / chrissyteigen / Instagram

Chrissy Teigen is known for her social media presence. The model is one of the most famous social media users because of her unfiltered voice. Teigen is honest about her life and outspoken when she sees wrongs online. One of Teigen’s latest posts on Instagram is another example of Teigen’s willingness to share all parts of her life.

Chrissy Teigen is getting ready for surgery and people just had to know why.

Teigen shared herself getting a Covid-19 test recently in preparation for surgery and people on social media began to ask questions. Of course, everyone would want to know what surgery she was having. Maybe people were concerned about her health. Maybe they just wanted to be nosey. Well, now we know what is happening.

Turns out that Teigen is getting her breast implants removed to start a new journey in her life.

The model stated on Instagram that she is simply done with having her implants and wants them removed. It is a trend we have seen with several celebrities, including “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Michelle Visage. Visage had her implants removed because of her Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid glands.

Some people saw Teigen’s original tweet and allegedly got upset that she was being tested for Covid-19.

Teigen lives in Los Angeles. Los Angeles was the first major city in the U.S. to expand free Covid-19 testing to all residents as a result of a county order expanding free testing to all residents of the county. There are steps to get the testing but all residents are allowed to receive free testing.

According to the LA County Covid-19 website, all people who want a test should contact their healthcare providers first to see if they are able to get the test there. If it is not possible to be tested there or you cannot make contact, you can register for an appointment for free Covid-19 testing through the city and county.

Patients who are undergoing elective surgeries are one group being tested before the procedure. Residents who are symptomatic, over 65, have chronic medical conditions, or are essential workers are prioritized for the Covid-19 tested provided by the county and city governments. Essential workers include janitorial, security, airport, government, health care, food and grocery, and more.

The Twitter user deleted the tweet and responded in the thread.

Looks like Teigen was able to get through to someone on social media. Covid-19 testing is a hot button issue with the federal government leaving testing up to the states. The lack of a federal plan means that states are handling their own testing and data. According to a report by Vox, only three states meet the threshold for a safe reopening. Those states are Alaska, Kentucky, and New York.

Women are celebrating Teigen’s honesty and transparency about her surgery.

Credit: chrissyteigen / Instagram

Teigen is known for being unfiltered and giving her followers what they want. She does not hold back and he has let people into some intimate moments in her life. The news of getting her breast implants removed is just another chapter in her open book life.

READ: Rebellious Women On Twitter Are Gearing Up To Be #FilthyMouthedWives Thanks To Donald Trump’s Latest Attack