March 23, 2010

Sisters in Medicine: Healers

America will change with health care reform, but there is more work to be done. I had the opportunity to go to a lunch time talk with Bylle Avery, she's a long-time community organizing activist and founder of the now Washington, D.C. based Black Women's Health Imperative.  Her enriching and inspiring talk for a small diverse group of physicians, women in ministry and others working in communities throughout New York City was just the motivation I needed.

This talk was part of a day long program "Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need." Dr. Avery was reflective and also gave her perspective on the current issues that women continue to battle, while there have been some victories there is still more required.  She offered story-telling and lessons in self-care for women. Her reflections on the women's movement revealed even more of the need for women to keep pressing on collectively to work for change in America because far too many don't have the access to opportunities that allow for healthy living. 

The afternoon continued with a talk by Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist and health strategist on "Fighting the Blues" and stress management tips.  She clarified the difference between "the blues" and major depression.  Do you know the signs of depression? Check out this screening tool to help yourself, your loved ones and those around you who may be suffering from depression.  Seek professional help if you have more than "the blues" and encourage those around you to do the same if they seem a little more than blue. Here's a glimpse of statistics of the statistics:

We also talked about the effects of chronic stress on the mind and body, you can visit my previous post on this topic.  Dr. Taylor discussed self-help strategies to help reduce stress by :
  • using coping strategies
  • identifying your sources of support
  • creating downtime for yourself
  • understanding "No" is a complete sentence
  • living your own values
  • getting out of abusive relationships
  • exercising regularly
  • practicing relaxation and meditation techniques
It's great to bear witness with sisters in medicine and those who are committed to healing for themselves and our communities. A new day is here and there more resources available to help those who need it and that's good news. 

1 comment:

  1. One of the best ways to help yourself recover from depression, for me is to, find someone who is feel down and concentrate on making them be more cheerful, I make it my mission to lift their spirits. It works too, as you cheer someone else you cheer yourself and forget your problems.