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mental health

Megan Thee Stallion Launches Mental Health Resource Website for Fans

Three-time Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion has launched a mental health resources website named “Bad Bitches Have Bad Days Too.” The website lists virtual therapy platforms, external resource directories, nonprofits and crisis helplines.

Many of the resources on the website support marginalized communities, such as linked directories to locate nearby therapists of color and several resources dedicated to serving Black communities. A section titled “LGBTQIA+ Community Helpline” contains eight different crisis hotlines for members of the community. The page also provides resources for addressing substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

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In an interview on Taraji P. Henson’s “Peace of Mind with Taraji” series, Megan spoke about the “cultural stereotypes that often prevent people in the Black community from getting the help they need.”

 “As a Black person and when you think of therapy, you think, ‘oh my gosh, I’m weak.’ Like you think of medication, and you just think the worst. ’Cause that’s kind of what you see on TV too. Therapy wasn’t even presented in the media as something that was good. Now it’s becoming safe to say, ‘All right now, it’s a little too much going on, somebody help me.’”

The website’s name comes from a lyric from her song “Anxiety,” whose video visualizer is embedded into the page. Megan tweeted about the website’s launch to her followers with “Hotties! You know how much mental wellness means to me, so I created a hub with resources that can help when you might need a hand.”

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In the interview with Henson, Megan shared that she started therapy after her mom died from a brain tumor in 2019. Her grandmother died just two weeks later, and her father died when she was a teenager. A year later, in 2020, she was the victim of a shooting, which she described as “the worst experience of my life.” After she named the shooter to be rapper Tory Lanez, people took to the internet to create memes, make jokes at her expense, and call her a liar. Lanez openly denied he ever shot her. Megan eventually posted photos of her feet post-surgery, where she had been shot, to prove her injury.

“I feel like right now mental health is more important to me, more than ever, because I have more pressure on me than I feel like I used to have…when I was Megan, and I wasn’t as criticized and under such a magnifying glass as I am now…now, in this space, I’ve lost both of my parents. So now I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh, who do I talk to? What do I do?’ And I just started learning that it’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to want to go get therapy.”

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U.S. Life Expectancy Increases For The First Time In Years

The life expectancy of the average U.S. citizen has gone up for the first time since 2014. A major contributing factor to this is likely the fact that cancer death rates have declined the most they have in U.S. history within the past year. Additionally, drug overdose deaths, whether intentional or unintentional, have also seen a major decrease since 2018, some good news for a country that’s typically always devastated by physical and mental health statistics. 

The reports come from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and went on to emphasize how drug overdose deaths have decreased by 4% nationwide since 2018, a shocking statistic considering the increasing threat of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s caused countless accidental overdoses; including that of famous rapper Mac Miller who passed away in September 2018. 

However, the CDC credits the overall increase in life expectancy to the decrease in deaths caused by cancer or heart disease; the two leading causes of death in the world. The average American now has a life expectancy of 78.7 years, which is one tenth of a year more than what the CDC said in 2017. While one tenth of a year may not seem like that big of a deal, in terms of preventable and unpreventable causes of death it says a lot, especially to the professionals who are working with those who are sick with these diseases; it indicates to them that what they’re doing is working, even if it’s just a little.  

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“While modest, it’s really great news that the data shows progress. We have to be a little bit optimistic that some of our approaches to the problems worked, but let’s strike while the iron’s hot. I credit [the decline in overdose rates to] the overdose antidote, naloxone, which states and cities have made available so emergency workers and others can save the lives of people overdosing on opiods. But naloxone is a last resort that doesn’t get at the root causes of why people turn to drugs or suicide,” said psychologist Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer at the non profit Well Being Trust.

Miller is referring to the stigma surrounding mental health and its relation to addiction. The fact is, substance abuse and addiction isn’t seen by general society as a real illness because it has to do with will-power and your brain, not multiplying cancer cells that you have no control over in your organs. However, mental illness is just as severe as physical illness, and the statistics can back up that both are just as uncontrollable and deadly. 

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Destigmatizing addiction and expanding accessible mental health resources won’t fix everything, but it’s definitely a start, and the new data from the CDC proves that it works too. Miller emphasized this point as well, stating that within the past few years medication-assisted treatment for those addicted to opioids has become more accessible. This is extremely important as addiction to opioids specifically has become one of the biggest health epidemics the U.S. has ever endured. 

Before this new data, for the past three years the U.S. has seen a relatively steady decline in life expectancy due to disease and accidental death rates. Drug overdoses are looped into this conversation because they account for over a third of all accidental deaths in the U.S.. Accidental deaths are within the top 10 leading causes of death as well, and that top 10 has remained stagnant as well for the past few years. 

Other top leading causes of death in the U.S. include pneumonia when coupled with the flu, heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries that lead to unexpected complications, lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and suicide. By further opening up these conversations regarding mental health and addiction, we can at least work on preventing some of those top 10 causes from increasing while we let medical and mental health professionals work on the rest.