Published Author of “Jair’s Collections”
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
To me, Black mental wellness is about voicing your feelings and not repressing them. It is about learning how to communicate how you feel, what you feel, and why you feel it without harming others. I aspire to be a voice and an example to let others know it is okay to talk about your struggles. I want to help remove the stigma in the black community around seeking help.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I have a mental health and emotional intelligence group on Facebook that is a safe space to unload and learn strategies to better regulate your emotions and foster a healthy mind. I also write children’s books featuring black main characters dealing with such topics.
What are some upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?
I plan to start teaching lessons from my book on Outschool for children.
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I was a former teacher and experienced firsthand how emotional issues and lack of control over those emotional concerns, became a barrier for academic learning.
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness?
I promote mental health and wellness through writing children’s books focused on emotional intelligence and good mental health practices for children.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
We can encourage more people to seek mental health treatment by telling our stories and providing a safe space for others to tell their story.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
To end the mental health stigma in the Black community, we need more discussions about it and more people speaking out about their own struggles. We also need to increase access to mental health services and ensure that people have access to help for their struggles whether that be therapy and or information on how to cope.
What wellness strategies do you think should be given more attention within the Black community? Are there any reasons why you think they are not given more attention?
Regulating your emotions. From my experience, controlling my emotions was foreign to me. No one in my family practiced it. There was always family dysfunction and fights; no one wanted to take accountability for what they did or what they said, and no one wanted to be wrong, so no one heard each other out. I think it’s not given more attention because a lot of people only want to deal with symptoms and not the root causes.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
Therapy, creating my purpose outside of being a wife and mother ... and saying kind words to myself daily.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Taking daily walks
Scheduling time off work monthly
Scheduling a weekend without my child monthly
Writing stories around how I feel
Writing down my goals for the month
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
Jasmine Shegog is a former teacher and newly published author. She started Jair’s Collections with her son to provide a collection of books focused on emotional intelligence and good mental health practices for children. She has a master’s in elementary education, BA in English and a minor in Spanish. She was inspired to write these books from her own struggles with mental health and emotional intelligence, starting in her childhood.