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Shattering the Mask of Mental Health in Hip-Hop

Cora Taft
Posted by Cora Taft on Oct 7


Photo credit: Chris Clayborn for A3C Media Services

Kid Cudi released a public statement on Oct. 4 saying that he checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. Lil Wayne's recent song with Solange "Mad" off of  A Seat At the Table, reveals that he also battled with mental health challenges. he raps "And when I attempted suicide, I didn't die I remember how mad I was on that day..." Mental Health is one of the most overlooked issues in the African-American community. It effects men, women, and children plus  it doesn’t discriminate with age either.

Quick Facts:

  • 1 in 5 people struggle with mental health issues which includes anxiety, ADD/ADHD, depression and more.
  • Suicide is the number three killer of African-Americans and 90% of that is caused by depression.
  • 80% of all mental health issues are treatable.
  • Men are more successful in committing suicide.

Dina Marto , Ashley Reid and Debra “ Deb” Antney, were all panelist with this sensitive topic.

As Jack A. Daniels began to introduce Deb an audience member yelled out “FLOCKA”, Deb made the young man repeat himself because she said she had her own identity. That was one the first gem that Deb dropped during the conversation.

Each of the ladies had a different experience of mental health issues but heavily focused on suicide. Ashley Reid spoke on the multiple accounts when she tried to take her own life. Deb shared memories of the day leading up to the death her second son, Kayo. Dina Marto talked about having a close friend who committed suicide.

Here are some gems from the ladies:

  1. Make sure you know the signs so you can identify them in yourself or others.
  2. “Mental issues don’t discriminate” – Ashley Reid
  3. “When the pill us gone, the feelings come back” – Debra Antney, on why she decided not to take medication for her mental health issues
  4. Don’t suffer in silence.
  5. “Depression is not going to be there forever.” – Debra Antney
  6. “Don’t do things that allow you to get in your own head” – Ashley Reid
  7. Be careful with what you say to people including those on the internet. You may push someone away that is in need of help.
  8. Learn a how to have a good balance of work and personal.
  9. Do things that will help release stress.
  10. Mental health doesn’t mean you’re crazy. A lot of are battling inner issues.

Jack A. Daniels asked the audience if we or anyone we knew battled with some type of mental health issues and the entire audience raised their hands with exceptions of about four people.  Dina, Ashley, and Deb all stayed behind to talk to people about mental health.

 It was very refreshing to see being vulnerable enough to speak to them about their own personal situations.  I am so glad I was able to attend this panel because it brought what most people suffer with to the forefront.

Hopefully next year, this will be one of the panels that hundreds of people will be attending.

Also if you or someone you know suffers from mental health issues and don’t know who to turn to, please dial 211.

Cora Taft

Written by Cora Taft

Topics: Music, a3c, mental health, a3c16, kid cudi

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