Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) is a xicana, brown, indigenous body-positive project run by Gloria Lucas. Their Instagram – now at 64,000 plus followers – is known for having a vocal community, but their recent post, in response to Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, has overwhelmingly surpassed the number of comments NPP usually receives. One-hundred and seventy-one commenters (so far) detailed the types of healing they would like, versus the limited options presently available in our mental health system of suicide hotlines and hospitalization.
Because of these 171 responses (*Update as of 6/22: 289 responses) , The Strange is Beautiful is reaching out to healers, therapists and organizations to discuss how a different type of suicide healing center and mental health system can be developed.
If you are interested in participating in this discourse, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name, Instagram handle, and your healing modality.
Below is one response that I found particularly important in NPP’s thread:
“We need centers that provide love and self care as resistance. We need to be more in tune with how we can help our communities. We need hugs, we need people to care and ride the waves with us if they actually want to. I hate it when people claim to care then they blame you for their problems because you’re struggling and you’re talking about it. If you don’t want to hold space and ride the waves with someone then just leave, help someone find treasonable resources, don’t stigmatize the person into silence. There is a huge stigma for talking about mental health, trauma and abuse. This stigma needs to be destroyed, please talk about it if you’re able to). Ableist language needs to be pointed out and stopped. We need accessibility for folks with low income, physical and mental health conditions.
People love to say to call hotlines, if they work for you I’m glad they do, but I don’t like to as they’ve threatened to call police on me. As a PoC with mental health conditions I don’t feel comfortable interacting with the police regarding mental health as PoC with health conditions are more brutalized, stigmatized and police don’t care about issues regarding health, PoC that they (the police) perpetuate. Therapy, inpatient, outpatient, groups are always recommended too but for low income people it’s harder to access. Once we don’t have money we’re forced to see our insurance (if we have one, insurance is a privilege) doctors who likely whitewash our healthcare. Therapists all throughout my twelve years in therapy on mass erase patients of color history, culture, race etc, forget that all cultures have different ways of managing mental health that should or shouldn’t be fused with therapies or treatments depending on what the patient wants.
We need more PoC therapists and workers in the mental health field. We need to hold space and protect one another. Thank you for this thread to express ourselves.”
*Source requested their handle be changed.
Together we are strong and together, we can create a new system.
Sending you positive vibes,
The Strange is Beautiful
Words by Shannen Roberts.
Shannen is a Peruvian-American writer, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here.