SEPTEMBER SPEAKS…VOLUMES #SuicideAwarenessMonth #AlopeciaAwarenessMonth

And so it begins. Here we are. The first day of the ninth month in the year 2020. I’ve seen a lot of Septembers before but I’ve never seen this one. Autumn is upon us and it is by far my favorite season!

So it’s new…brand new and in the midst of all; this moment feels good. I am blessed; and as DIFFICULT as this year has been on SO many levels, this season has also revealed several opportunities to express gratitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

God is good. I am full of hope and by faith, I embody the wholeness and healing my Savior intends for me to have. This mindset however, is a result of His strength…definitely not mine. So I welcome September and pray that with it comes unparalleled beauty for all…

September also brings with it a national awareness of two causes most dear to my heart: Suicide Awareness and Alopecia Awareness. Though I’ve written about both movements several times throughout the years, we’ll talk a little later about how my role in raising Suicide Awareness has somewhat changed.

#AlopeciaAwarenessMonth

My burden for Alopecia Awareness is a result of our then 11 yr. old daughter’s Alopecia Areata diagnosis. With her permission, I shared her story in a piece entitled, “A Smile Big Enough to Cover the Pain“. Though she was losing patches of hair, including one as large as the palm of my hand, her condition went undetected by others.

Between her smile and the thickness of her remaining hair, she was was able to hide her pain. Now a freshman at the Berklee College of Music on a full tuition scholarship, she still deals with patches of hair loss but no more than about the size of a quarter or so. Certainly not as often as before.

I admire our daughter for choosing to raise awareness, because no one would had ever known.

There are others who are diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis where they lose all of their hair. This includes nose hair which our body uses to ward off pollution and bacteria.

Meet Congresswoman Pressley

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley shared her story of living with Alopecia by removing her wig in a video via The Root earlier this year. I can not imagine how liberating and perhaps a little scary that moment was. How courageous! I find her stunning either way.

#SuicideAwarenessMonth

On to Suicide Awareness! Having previously served as a Volunteer Suicide and Crisis Hotline Counselor, I was excited to be a first time Team Captain for AFSP’s (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) annual 2019 Out of the Darkness walk.

With a team goal of raising $1000.00 for Suicide Prevention, my Team Inspiration With E raised $700.00!!

Team #InspirationWithE – Oct. 2019

You can imagine how much I was looking forward to walking in the event this year and actually reaching our $1000.00 goal, but Covid 19 has impacted how we will gather. As a result it’ll be a virtual walk this year.

Though it was not conducive for me to be a Team Captain this year, there are several creative ways to still support AFSP’s mission, raise awareness and funds! Click here for more information on The Greater Philadelphia Experience of 2020!

Now on to what’s shifted a bit for me…

As of April 2020, I officially became a volunteer for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Education Committee – Speakers’ Bureau! Upon completion of my training, I will have opportunities to help raise Suicide Awareness with a focus on communites of color and communites of faith! My heart’s cry is not only help end the stigma of suicide within these communities but also help inspire anyone who needs encouragement!

My heart is so full. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve in this new role!

My Advice to YOU

I encourage you to take care of YOU. Self care is relative. For one person it’s a bubble bath for another it’s just learning how to say, “No“!

Well that’s all for now. If you’re new here welcome new faces! Be BLESSED upon measure💫e

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

The Grief Recovery HelpLine 800-445-4808

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741

If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: All original owners via Pinterest with the exception of photos of myself and my team. No copyright infringement intended.

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