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“The reason I became a Life Coach and Mental Health Advocate is because the African American community lacks sufficient education regarding the importance of mental health. It is often overlooked or ignored. Racism in society today still exists, unfortunately. People fear stereotypes and do not want to be rejected. It may seem simple, but it is not to someone who may not be properly diagnosed. People care too much about what others think of them and do not seek help“
VERSAFI MAGAZINE: How are you applying Mental Health in your daily routine?
JASI GREEN: I practice self-care daily, for at least an hour or two. Each day it is vital to make time for myself. Yes, I am a working single mom to three, but it is not impossible. My care time gives me the opportunity to relax and not focus on everything around me for a moment. My most enjoyable past time is reading a good book or going for a run. I feel mentally recharged after my care time.
VERSAFI: As a person dealing with a mental illness, how does it affect your ability to completing tasks or does it?
JASI: It is important to understand you can be okay then suddenly not be. I have learned to live with my diagnosis. I do not put myself in environments that would make me feel how I do not want to feel. I also nourish my healthy relationships. If an interaction or environment is unhealthy, I remove it from my personal space. Living with my diagnosis does not prevent me from completing tasks. I no longer need or consume anxiety medication. God is so good.
VERSAFI: What are the challenges?
JASI: After I was diagnosed in 2015, I educated myself on how to live with my diagnosis. This decreased many challenges that many people diagnosed with a mental illness face. The only obstacle, I do not really consider it a challenge in hindsight, because it was more helpful than difficult, was removing people from my life. Many people who were allowed in my personal space would get upset if they no longer had access to me. That is their battle, not mines. Self-care is putting yourself first. Self-love is a priority. I cannot talk the talk and not live by example.
VERSAFI: Mental health amongst African Americans can be somewhat overlooked in the community. Why do you feel that it is?
JASI: The reason I became a Life Coach and Mental Health Advocate is because the African American community lacks sufficient education regarding the importance of mental health. It is often overlooked or ignored. Racism in society today still exists, unfortunately. People fear stereotypes and do not want to be rejected. It may seem simple, but it is not to someone who may not be properly diagnosed. People care too much about what others think of them and do not seek help. What people think of me is none of my business. I own my diagnosis and live my life unapologetically and authentically. I genuinely care about people and want this for anyone who may be living with a diagnosis or may fear seeking help.
VERSAFI: You are a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. As a member, what does the organization offer as far as programs and activities to bring awareness?
JASI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides me with resources such as free webinars and local support groups, which I am a member of the Greater Houston affiliate group. The most recent webinar was with psychologist, Dr. Meghan Walls. It provided recommendations on how to provide emotional support in navigating our current social crisis, COVID-19. NAMI also provides 24/7 FREE crisis counseling. My blog also has a 24/7 chat for anyone seeking help. They can be connected directly to me and all information is secure and confidential.
VERSAFI: Can you tell us a little bit more about the National Alliance on Mental Illness?
JASI: NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. There are over 500 local affiliates nationwide to provide awareness and provide support to those in need.
VERSAFI: What are you doing in your community to bring awareness of Mental Health?
JASI: I joined NAMI to become a resource for those living with a mental illness. Great ideas about helping my community without execution would be just talk. My goal is to educate, advise and break barriers. Anyone may contact me for assistance. I also provide one- on- one coaching.
VERSAFI: How can others help to become an advocate?
JASI: Becoming an advocate is easy. Simply visit http://www.nami.org or contact me for details. I am inspired to build better lives for those affected by mental illness. I would ask anyone seeking to become a mental health advocate why mental health is important to them. There are many people battling with a mental illness.
VERSAFI: Any recent projects you are working on?
JASI: Currently I am Team Captain for an upcoming NAMI Virtual Walk on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Join my team by registering to be a virtual walker and donating to a great cause at http://www.namiwalks.org/participant/Jasi-Green You can also locate my team by searching my teams name: Jasi Luv & Light. COVID-19 has impacted us all. May 30th will be a day of solidarity and awareness. I will be starting a local support group soon and I am also actively writing.
VERSAFI: How can readers connect with you?
JASI: I am always here to aide anyone in need. Readers can contact me by visiting my blog at http://www.fallinlovewithyourselffirst.com under contact Jasi or my online chat. I can also be contacted via Facebook (Fall In Love With Yourself First) or Instagram (@phenomenally_jay and @fallinluvwithyourselffirst
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