Capital City Plus America
Mental Health Awareness
A woman should be two things: whoever and whatever she wants!
I was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta -- Clarksdale to be exact. After matriculating through Clarksdale Municipal School District and graduating in the top 10 of my class from Clarksdale High School, I attended Coahoma Community College and finished my undergraduate degree at Delta State University. While at DSU, I participated in a number of extracurricular activities and groups. I was a member of the Delta Players and acted in several plays, the gay-straight alliance, African American Student Council, an intern for the Student Success Center and consistent Dean's List scholar. In the Fall of 2014, I was initiated into the Magnificent Mu Gamma Chapter of AKA where I pledged to serve and support all mankind. I was conferred my bachelor's of Arts in Communications Studies the following semester.
All of my accomplishments in college were made as I held down a full-time job and grieved the loss of both my grandmother and sister who both passed away in 2013. My college experience taught me that life happens fast and all at once. Times get rough but you must put one foot in front of the other and make a conscious effort to make the best of your situation.
Fast forward to the year 2019 and I now hold a Master's of Science in Community Development (also from DSU). I find myself a healed domestic violence survivor, a mental healthcare advocate, and an advocate for public education. I currently reside in the Hinds County area with my wife, Vic, and two fur babies Lacey and Kelly. I am a middle school educator and pursuing a Specialist in Curriculum Instruction at Arkansas State University. As if all the other things aren't enough, in no particular order of importance, I'm also a writer, sister, entrepreneur, niece, aunt, and friend.
When I take moments like this to methodically think about all that I am to everyone around me, life seems overwhelming. However, in spite of all that is going on around me, I do what every hardworking woman does: I wake up each day and work tirelessly to make the life that I desire happen and give glory to God for every moment He gives me to do so.
Thank you for allowing me to share some of what makes me who I am with you. I ask that you pray for my strength and endeavors to make the world a better place not only through Mississippi Plus America but in all areas of my life. Please carry on this journey with me and show your support in word, deed and monetary seed.
Xoxo - JayeCGee
WHY I CHOSE MY PLATFORM
When I was 8 years old, I awoke during the night to find my mother in what I know was respiratory distress. I then woke my brother and with the help of a 911 dispatched, we performed CPR on my mother. My mom didn't survive that night. She suffered a heart attack at age 43. The trauma of losing my mom at such a young age crushed me. Watching it occur haunted me relentlessly. From my first night home from the hospital after I was born, until the night she passed away, I slept with my mother. To not have her in my life sent me into a tailspin.
Following my mom's death, I had many people praying for and encouraging me and my brothers as much as they could. For me, however, that wasn't sufficient. Being told "It's going to be alright" and "You've got to trust God" weren't comforting enough for me. Months after the funeral, my grandmother could see that I wasn't myself. I needed some professional help. At my grandmother's request, I started receiving grief counseling at school. Grief counseling eventually turned into general therapy sessions where I got tools for coping with anxiety and other everyday issues. As an adult, when I felt myself slipping into a dark place because I had received services before, I was able to recognize I needed help and get the ongoing professional care I need.
My experience isn't one that always occurs --, especially in the African American community. In our community, those who suffer from trauma and mental illnesses are often told the only solace they should seek is in religious practices. They are told to pray the depression, anxiety, self-loathing and other illnesses away. I am a firm believer in the power of pray, fasting and seeking healing from God. However, I also know the help that comes from professional mental health treatment and education.
I want to work to shed light on mental health treatment and services for those in need. Additionally, I desire to provide those who are caregivers and family members of the mentally ill with tools for helping their loved ones. Together we can erase the taboo of mental illness and care.
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Thanks in advance for your encouraging words! Wish me luck!