Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Recognizing your feelings, finding the routines that lift you up, removing toxic influences and connecting with others can all help you on your path to recovery as you develop your own mental health tools.

Having Breast Cancer and Managing Mental Health:  It is important to be cognizant of mental health after diagnosis and during treatment. It is important to recognize that each woman’s journey is different and that being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect your mental health and that of your loved ones.

Some of the most common psychosocial concerns reported by women with breast cancer include:

  • Fear of recurrence,
  • Physical symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, or pain,
  • Body image disruption,
  • Sexual dysfunction,
  • Treatment-related anxieties,
  • Intrusive thoughts about illness/persistent anxiety,
  • Marital/partner communication,
  • Feelings of vulnerability, and
  • Existential concerns2 regarding mortality.

Managing mental health can make it challenging to do things that benefit your health, such as eating healthy foods, exercising, connecting with friends and family, and complying with medical treatment. However, the good news is that breast cancer and its emotional impact such as feelings of depression can lift over time, and the level of anxiety is likely to decrease.  However, it is important to note that if you feel anxious or depressed, ask your healthcare team for a referral to a mental health provider.  Taking care of your mental health should be a priority.

Join us for a series of virtual events designed to bring you practical tools to take action now towards a more balanced life!

Join us for a conversation on creating a healthy self care routine with Maimah Karmo and Esther Boykin

By taking care of yourself, you are encouraging a more empowered narrative, creating a life from a position of positive energy and creativity. The ripple effect of this type of action, no matter how small or large, positively impacts those closest to you on many levels.

About Esther Boykin: In 2004 with Master of Science from Virginia Tech and a vision of making mental health widely accessible to all, Esther Boykin began her career as a marriage and family therapist. With her passion for therapy and relationships growing, Esther opened Group Therapy Associates a psychotherapy practice in the Washington, DC metro area.
Now, nearly 15 years later, GTA has grown to include multiple office locations and Esther has extended her reach to other projects to further her mission for healthy relationships and accessible modern mental health. As CEO of Group Therapy Associates, Esther launched Therapy Is Not A Dirty Word, which hosts events and retreats and is also engaged in philanthropic efforts with Sidewalk Talk and Black Love Industry Professional (BLIP). She also co-hosts With That Being Said, a podcast with Erica Turner, and is featured regularly as an expert on shows like Good Morning Washington and the Real Housewives of Potomac.

Join us for a conversation on finding peace in life’s storms and challenges with Patricia Fox

Life can present challenges that can sometimes feel disheartening. Spend some time with me as I share mindful meditation that will assist you with balancing your energy in times of chaos.

About Patricia Fox: Patricia Fox, also know as The Pink Sistah, is a young breast cancer survivor diagnosed in 2013 at 26 years old. Today she is a cancer advocate for young adults affected by dis-ease, offering beauty inspiration and wellness information.

Join us for a conversation on owning feelings with Mike Fanelli and Tanya Walker

Our emotions are our most present, vital and sometimes painful response to living. Our ability to love and be loved, to feel joy and experience a full life is based on our ability to feel and express our emotions. Not surprisingly, owning your emotions begins with self-awareness.

About Mike Fanelli and Tanya Walker: Mike Fanelli and Tanya Walker are the Founder of the Alive and Thrive Movement. We know what it’s like to lack fulfillment and to experience feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anger and rejection that result in relationship breakdown. Something we both strongly identify with. If you are feeling misunderstood, disconnected and desire relationships/connections you are 100% in the right place. Our approach will transform how you attract others by meeting yourself in ways you never have. What is the best way to get what you want?  Be exactly who YOU are looking for!Invest in the most important person in your life – YOU.

Join us for a conversation on supporting cancer patients to live life now with Maimah Karmo and Angela ‘Jersi’ Baker

Most women experience at least some psychosocial distress during the course of their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. The level of distress varies from woman to woman and, within an individual, over the course of diagnosis and treatment. Angela ‘Jersi’ Baker, Founder of Angel in Disguise, serves to support people battling cancer, affectionately called V.I.D.A.S. (Victorious, Inspired, Delicate, Angel, Survivor) with tasks they are unable to complete alone. They focus on breast cancer survivors and their families, helping them adjust to lifestyle changes and maintain hope so they can ‘live life now’.

About Angela Jersi Baker: Angel in Disguise was founded in 2015 by Angela Baker, a three-time breast cancer survivor who is currently living her life to the fullest with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. After her third diagnosis, Angela decided it was time to leave her job to focus on her health and helping other people. Soon after, she received a call from another woman fighting breast cancer asking for a ride to the doctor. She needed someone to not only to drive her but support her through the difficult treatments. Angela knew the hardships of fighting cancer and was there for her. She started handing out business cards at cancer institutes and receiving more calls from patients who needed transportation. It was then that Angela realized her passion for supporting and inspiring other cancer patients throughout their journey. She founded a 501(c)3 organization entitled Angel in Disguise Inc. to provide transportation and support to breast cancer patients in Charlotte, NC. There is an enormous barrier and racial disparity in health care, making it difficult for certain cancer patients to gain access to quality care and transportation. Angel in Disguise is bridging that gap. In 2018, AID helped eliminate the transportation barrier in Mecklenburg and Cabbarus county by providing 2,822 complimentary transportation miles and 180 waiting hours to cancer patients in need. So far in 2019, AID has driven 1,276 miles and provided 116 volunteer hours to underserved and underinsured cancer patients. Most patients are driven by Angela herself, a STAGE 4 Metastatic breast cancer patient.

Brought to you by the Pure Cat Initiative:

Tigerlily Foundation’s Pure Cat Initiative was launched in honor of Catherine Odderstol, a sassy yogi, who danced through life, spread light and joy with everyone she met, and who left us the gift of her eternal gypsy soul.  Cat was dedicated to helping others have a mind, body, spirit approach to health and wellness.  Cat has inspired us to honor her SPIRIT legacy, by offering patients, caregivers and loved ones access to programs that inspire them to light up life, focus on faith not fear, and as she loved to say, “Let Love be Your Frequency”.   

“Let Love Be Your Frequency”