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By Rachel Rutkie, PsyD, psychologist at SokyaHealth

The writer Toni Morrison is not alone in her assertion that race in the United States, the constructs of White and Black in particular, was created to establish a sense of belonging and communion between light-skinned, European immigrants during a fearful time when they had left their homelands to begin anew. She describes that with all their differences in language, culture, and class, “what they could all do is not be Black” (Manufacturing Intellect, August 19, 2019).

In addition to the cruelty, dehumanization, and horror that has resulted, the construction of a racial divide may hinder wellness for people of all races. And, their desperate attempt to cultivate community and belonging is inherently faulty. Researcher and social worker Brené Brown (2017) conveys the trap of connecting with others on the sole basis of hating the same people; she refers to this phenomenon as common enemy intimacy. It is superficial, unhealthy, and, in the case of the racial divide, morally corrupt.

Martin Luther King Jr. courageously dreamt of a society where common enemy intimacy was dismantled and replaced with a genuine understanding of human interconnectedness. A society where opportunities are equal for all. In his I Have A Dream speech (1963), Martin Luther King Jr. asserts:

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.

And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

Many of his assertions are likely relevant today, and the burden of dismantling racism does not lie on Black people alone. In the broader picture, we need new policies and systematic changes. Furthermore, I believe that substantial, sustainable change is possible only when the vast majority of people do individual, emotional work. This involves a confrontation with ourselves, which many of us spend a lifetime avoiding.

We all have harmed others, betrayed ourselves, and/or subscribed to problematic beliefs to cultivate the illusion of belonging, community, and/or emotional safety. We are wired to prioritize our inclusion in the community for survival. Most of us have attitudes that uphold the idea of ‘the other,’ which thrives when we compare our worth to others and seek ways to position ourselves ‘above’ others. This is relevant in racism, sexism, ablism, fatphobia, homophobia, transphobia, all of it. In addition, it can be even more subtle. Believing we are better than the person who cries at work. Believing we are more valuable because we went to college. This plays out everywhere.

As Toni Morrison asks in a 1993 interview, “What do you need this for?” and later declares, “If you can only be tall because somebody’s on their knees, then you have a serious problem” (Manufacturing Intellect, August 9, 2019).

So, what do we do with this serious problem of ours? What do we do with the fear, the pain, the self-loathing that surfaces as we confront the fragility of our own self-concept and self-worth?

There are various options. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Confront and process the emotions that come up when acknowledging that race (and/or education, body size, etc.) does not inherently increase (or decrease) our inherent worth. Notice the defensiveness. Notice the denial of relevance. Sit in the remorse/grief when acknowledging the ways you have benefitted from a society that preserves the illusion that certain qualities are superior, while grossly mistreating, and even dehumanizing, millions of people.
  2. Answer the questions Toni Morrison poses: “But when you take it away, if I take your race away, then there you are all strung out, and all you got is your little self. And what is that? What are you without racism? Are you any good? Are you still strong? Are you still smart? You still like yourself? I mean, these are the questions” (Manufacturing Intellect, August 9, 2019).
    1. Consider expanding these questions to additional domains: If your status, whatever it is that makes you feel better than some, is taken away, what are you left with? What is your sense of self when there is no one to make you feel tall? (& What is your sense of self when there is no one to make you feel small?)
  3. Explore Brené Brown’s research via talks, podcasts, and/or books to learn more about how to navigate emotional discomfort and breed connection. Consider her definition of True Belonging, which reads: “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are” (Brown, 2017, p.40).
    1. In short, Brown (2017) describes True Belonging as a paradox. To experience a sense of  belonging with others, we first and foremost need to belong to ourselves, which directly involves confronting ourselves, understanding our values, challenging our fear-based beliefs/reactions, and acknowledging our inherent worth.
  4. And, when in need of support, engage in therapy or a support group.

We can use Brené Brown’s research to understand how the early European settlers’ attempt at communion was defective. In addition, her extensive research offers numerous tools to expand self-awareness, to practice accountability, and to change our perceptions and behavior. Though so much would need to change, a healthier society is possible.

I cannot offer a prediction of how long the emotional work will take or when we could expect palpable change. What does feel palpable is a sense of urgency. The fate of humanity at large and of this planet seem to depend upon whether we work toward healing and collaboration. Alongside the necessity for the rewriting of policies and the dismantling of corrupt systems, I wonder if the most efficient route toward transformation is to hone our focus on individual, emotional work.


Brown, B. (2017). Braving the Wilderness. Vermilion.

King Jr., M.L. (2022, January 14). Read Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech in its entirety. https://www.npr.org/2010/01/18/122701268/i-have-a-dream-speech-in-its-entirety

Manufacturing Intellect. (2019, August 9). Toni Morrison Interview on Jazz (1993) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsiETgcYM7s

Manufacturing Intellect. (2019, August 19). Toni Morrison Interview on her Life and Career (1990) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53F0lFMSwpc

Being a teenager is hard. It's a unique and formative time filled with lots of social, emotional and physical changes, where we’re striving to fit in and navigate new challenges. We also face certain pressures at home and in school during these years. As a result, many young people are vulnerable to overwhelming feelings of anxiety or depression.

Teenagers are known for being a little dramatic, but you shouldn’t write off changes in their behavior as typical moodiness. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10% to 20% of teens struggle with a mental disorder, yet many remain undiagnosed and untreated. The consequences of failing to address the mental health challenges of adolescents can have a lasting impact that limits their ability to lead fulfilling, balanced lives as adults.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to help. A recent 2022 poll conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that teens experiencing a mental health problem are looking to their schools and parents for information and guidance. If you’re a parent, teacher or caretaker of a teenager, here’s how you can support their mental wellness.

Normalize Talking About Mental Health

Both teachers and parents can make it easier for teens to talk about their mental health by normalizing discussions about anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and more. Encouraging open and honest conversations about difficult feelings and how to handle them helps break the stigma surrounding mental illness and lets teens know it’s OK to share when something’s bothering them. It also shows them you’re someone they can turn to for support.

Here are some tips for talking about mental illness.

Use Compassionate & Supportive Language

When talking about mental illness, do your best not to label people as “mad,” “crazy,” or “insane.” This kind of language can be dehumanizing and sends a not-so-subtle message that it’s OK to mock those with mental health problems. You can send a much more positive message by speaking about others’ challenges with kindness, compassion and empathy.

Listen to Their Needs and Validate Them

If your teen comes to you for support, advice or guidance, remember to listen to them and validate their concerns. Don’t dismiss their feelings or turn a conversation about mental health into an interrogation. Instead, ask how you can help and let them know that you understand.

Talk About Emotions Regularly

You don’t have to wait for an emotional meltdown or crisis to begin the conversation about mental health. It’s always better to start talking about it sooner rather than later so teens know they can speak up about what they’re going through before it becomes a bigger problem.

Educate Yourself and Others

Educating yourself and teens about mental health can reduce the stigma around the topic and help build more awareness about what signs and symptoms to look for. Additionally, some kids who are struggling might not realize that what they’re experiencing is the result of a medical condition like anxiety or depression, so teaching them about mental health can help them better understand what they’re going through and feel less alone.

Here are some ways you increase education and awareness of mental health.

Familiarize Yourself with Available Resources

Learn what resources are out there for mental health support so you can be ready to act. Surround yourself and your teen with a network of friends, family, teachers, doctors and other professionals that can help if they’re struggling with difficult emotions. You can also look into telehealth options like Sokya’s online therapy or groups for additional support.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Learn to recognize the indicators of mental illness in teens and how to differentiate between what’s normal and what’s not. However, don’t hunt for signs with a magnifying glass. If you do notice anything out of character, approach your teen without judgment or shame.

Share Information About Treatments

NAMI’s poll found that 4 out of 5 teens surveyed trust the information they get from their teachers about mental health and think schools should play a bigger role in addressing it. Ways this could be accomplished include having educators share information about treatments and increasing access to appropriate mental health resources for students.

Practice Kindness & Compassion

Simple acts of compassion and empathy can go a long way in helping teens manage their mental health. Research shows that kindness can create a positive feedback loop that greatly improves our general happiness and well-being. For teens struggling with mental illness, it can also help them feel more comfortable and aid in their recovery.

Here are some ways you can approach mental health with compassion. 

Offer Mental Health Days

Good self-care is essential for mental wellness. For many, this includes taking a mental health day to reset the mind and reduce stress. If you’re a teacher or a parent, it's OK to set clear limits but don’t make teens feel guilty for needing a day off every now and then.

Be Supportive, Not Enabling

It can be difficult to know if we’re supporting our loved ones or enabling their behavior. If your teen is depressed or anxious, they might find it hard to get out of bed in the morning and complete normal tasks. It’s never easy to see them struggle, but shielding them from the consequences can do more harm than good by enabling unhealthy patterns. Instead, support them in making positive changes, like seeing a therapist.

Accept that Mental Illness Can Affect Anyone

Sometimes, we find it easier to blame people for their mental health or substance abuse problems, but the reality is that either can affect anyone at any point in life. Remembering that we are all human and therefore susceptible to these concerns can help teachers and parents be more compassionate toward teens who are struggling, even when it's hard.

Learn More

If you’re a teacher or parent and want to learn more about how you can support teens’ mental health, Sokya can help. We offer online therapy, groups, coaching and more that can help you and your teen learn more about mental illness and take steps to manage it with a complete circle of personalized care. To get started, click here to fill out our online contact form or call (866) 65-SOKYA to connect with a Care Coordinator.

Would you know what to do if a friend or family member was having a mental health crisis? How could you help them get through it? Can you recognize the signs of an emotional breakdown in yourself and others? At Sokya, we know that better understanding mental illness and learning what a crisis looks like can be life-saving, so we’re here to help you support those you care about when it matters most.

What is a Mental Health Crisis?

A mental health crisis is a situation that occurs when someone experiences a drastic and potentially dangerous increase in the symptoms of a mental illness. As a result, they may find it hard to function, lose touch with reality or engage in self-destructive behaviors. In the most serious cases, there’s also an increased risk of self-harm or suicide.

A mental health crisis can be triggered by stress at home, upsetting news or conflicts with loved ones, but regardless of the cause, it’s a situation that requires prompt treatment for the best outcome. If someone you know is in an acute crisis, you may have to seek immediate medical help. If you’re worried about their safety, you might need to call emergency services, such as your local mental health crisis response team (if available) or 911.

If you or someone you love is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. In a medical emergency, call 911. 

The Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

No two mental health crises look exactly alike, but you might see some warning signs that indicate someone you know is struggling. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the following are things to watch for in yourself and others:

How to Help Someone You Know

If someone you know is having a mental health crisis, simply being present and offering non-judgmental support can be beneficial. Don’t criticize them or place blame, but make it clear that you’re there to listen. Let them tell you how you can help them best.

You don’t have to sacrifice your own needs or boundaries to support someone experiencing a mental health crisis. If you’re comfortable with it, you can say something like, “It seems like things have been tough lately, is there anything I can do?” or “When life seems like it’s too much, I’m here for you.” You can also offer to help them find additional resources.

Here are some other dos (and don’ts) that can provide a blueprint for showing up with compassion toward yourself and your loved one.

DO — Have a plan

If the person needing help is a close friend or family member, try to have a plan in place. During a mental health crisis, they’re going to need more than just your support. They’ll likely need the guidance of professionals and a strong network of care.

Many mental health providers recommend that individuals share the following with their loved ones for use during an emergency: the phone number of their therapist or psychiatrist, contact info for local crisis centers and mental health organizations, a list of known triggers, and a schedule of community resources (such as online groups).

DON’T — Try to take control

Even well-meaning people can make a bad situation worse. During a mental health crisis, it’s recommended that you offer the individual options instead of making decisions for them or trying to control what happens next. This is especially true when considering actions that could further traumatize them, such as involving the police.

Whenever possible, we should try to include our loved ones in the decisions that impact them if there isn’t an immediate risk of harm. It’s best to reach out to others in their support system and familiarize yourself with your local mental health crisis teams ahead of time to determine the safest course of action during an emergency.

DO — Stay calm

Someone experiencing a mental health crisis may have trouble communicating their thoughts or emotions. This can be frustrating and leave them feeling overwhelmed. If you get frustrated too and lose your cool, it can escalate the situation.

Instead, stay calm, keep your voice level, and avoid overreacting. If they’re not in immediate danger, express support and concern while continuing to seek additional help or guidance. If the situation worsens, contact a professional or your local crisis response team.

DON’T — Dismiss their thoughts or feelings

We may think we’re being helpful by telling a loved one that everyone faces their own unique mental health challenges and that “this too shall pass,” but doing so can invalidate their feelings. It can also minimize their pain and lead to other negative emotions.

Instead of saying something like, “It could be worse” or “Everything happens for a reason,” acknowledge their experience and give them your full attention. You can also practice more positive phrasing that expresses support and lets them know you hear them.

How to Help Yourself

If you have your own mental health concerns, it’s also important to recognize the above signs in yourself and make a plan with your psychiatrist, therapist or clinician in the event of a crisis. You should also talk with your providers about where you can go for intensive care and whether your current treatment plan is working. If your condition is getting worse, it may indicate the need for a change.

Taking steps to improve your self-care can help you better cope with stress and keep your symptoms in check on a daily basis. During difficult times, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for support and utilize your toolbox of coping skills, thinking about what has helped you stay calm in the past. Online therapy groups can provide additional support by connecting you with others who understand what you’re going through.

Finally, try to remember that a mental health crisis doesn’t define you or your loved ones — it’s a temporary moment in time that can be endured with support and compassion.

During a mental breakdown, the support of our friends and family can make all the difference. Better understanding mental illness and learning to recognize the signs of a crisis are also essential to keeping those we care about safe. If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health concern, our team of experienced psychiatrists, therapists, clinicians and more can help you develop a plan of action for dealing with periods of worsening symptoms. To learn more, call Sokya at (866) 657-6592.


Although mindfulness is a buzzword these days, it’s more than just a trend. The practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years and is here to stay- and it can help your mental and emotional health.

Being mindful is being fully present in the moment. You don't think about your to-do list or the movie you watched last night. Your mind is focused on the present, paying attention to the emotions and sensations that arise. In doing so, you’re teaching your brain how to let go of stress and anxiety on a neurological level.

What You Should Know

Mindfulness rewires the brain. Mindfulness is often recommended by therapists, even if they don't use it as part of their therapeutic approach. Evidence suggests that practicing mindfulness regularly can improve everything from pain tolerance to emotional regulation in your brain.

Mindfulness takes practice. Practicing mindfulness can be exhausting at first. Think of it as a muscle. Practicing mindfulness will become second nature over time, and staying in a mindful state will become easier. Initially, start slowly- just a few minutes- and gradually build up.

Why it Matters

Experts still aren’t sure the full extent of the benefits of mindfulness, but here are a few things it has been shown to improve, according to the American Psychological Association:

Learn More

You can read more about the benefits of mindfulness at https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08, and you can find mindfulness exercises in the Sokya Resource Library.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain-based disorder that affects a person's ability to focus. Despite its common association with hyperactive young boys, ADHD can affect anyone, regardless of gender or age. Although ADHD can have negative impacts on a person's life, it can also be managed with therapy or medication.

What You Should Know

The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but genetic factors may play a role. The chances of being diagnosed with ADHD are higher if your parent or sibling has it. Brain injury, premature delivery, and prenatal exposure to drugs, tobacco, or alcohol may also contribute.

Signs of ADHD include (but aren't limited to):

Typical ADHD symptom lists are based on studies of boys, so ADHD may show up differently in adults or females.

There are a few types of ADHD, including what used to be called "ADD" but is now called Inattentive Type ADHD.

ADHD, combined type

Stereotypical ADHD looks like this. Hyperactivity and distraction symptoms are both present in people with combined type ADHD. They might struggle to focus their thoughts and still their bodies.

ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type

This is the least common type of ADHD diagnosis. Those who experience impulsive/hyperactive ADHD have fewer concentration problems than people with other types, but they have trouble with impulse control. They might move and talk very fast and have difficulty waiting and resting.

ADHD, inattentive and distractible type.

People with inattentive type ADHD are often forgetful and easily distracted. They might lose objects frequently and have trouble listening.

Why It Matters

Children with ADHD are more likely to struggle in school than their peers, and adults with the disorder may struggle with workplace performance and anxiety or depression.

ADHD can, however, be an asset when managed properly. People with ADHD tend to be highly creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. When they have the negative aspects of their symptoms under control, they can be incredibly productive and make connections at astonishing speeds. Some of the world's most successful people- like Bill Gates and Walt Disney- have had ADHD.

There are lifestyle changes that can help those with ADHD manage symptoms while leveraging the “superpowers” that come with ADHD:

If you're still seeing ADHD impact your life negatively after trying the above, you'll probably need more intervention to address the issue. You should see a mental health professional who may suggest one of the following treatments:

Learn More

You can find more information about yoga, mindfulness and exercise in Sokya's resource library. You can also grab a few resources to help you set routines and prioritize tasks when your ADHD is making it hard be productive.

The words relationship and independence don’t exactly seem to coincide. Relationships include two or more people who have a special bond with each other, while independence refers to not depending on others and being self-supporting.

However, you may know from your own relationships—or, if you haven't been in a relationship yet, having observed others—that being around your partner all the time can create a rather toxic and unhealthy partnership. You don’t want to fall into the trap of building a relationship where happiness is only found with the other person and you feel empty or alone without them. This is something that can be easily avoided and, if done correctly, will actually strengthen you and your partner's relationship.

Independent and Still Intimate

Independence means being alone and fending for yourself without relying on the aid of others. This is not a lifestyle should live all the time, as companionship is important and necessary for humans. However, depending on your partner completely can lead to you struggling to feel happy and content when they're not around. Therefore, knowing how to have both independence and intimacy in a relationship is the key to success.

When you’re independent in a relationship, it means there's still a “you” and a “me” outside of the “we.” Some signs that indicate you may be depending a bit too much on your partner include:

Engaging in these behaviors can cause the best version of yourself to slowly deteriorate and evolve into a person who no longer knows what happiness is outside of their significant other. Recognizing these red flags does not mean you and your partner need to end things. However, having a conversation and setting boundaries between the two of you may be necessary to keep your relationship from becoming codependent and unhealthy.

While you do need to learn and practice being more independent, maintaining intimacy is just as important. This by no means is meant to be a break between the two of you, but rather a new lifestyle that focuses on your own, separate needs so that when you are together, your relationship doesn't suffer because one of you is suffering individually.

Setting Boundaries

If you notice you and your partner never have any time to yourselves, you can begin to reflect on changes you want to make for your own personal life while continuing to make your relationship work alongside that. While you should still certainly spend time with the other person, permit yourself to have time to yourself as well.

Some things you can do to make this work include self-care activities, focusing on your physical and nutritional health, and spending time with friends and family to keep up strong bonds with them as well. Neglecting these things in a relationship can easily cause things to go south without you even realizing it. When you add these things to your lifestyle alongside your partner, it doesn’t mean they’re not important, it means that you have a balanced and well-rounded life.

When brainstorming how you are going to achieve this balance in life, let your partner know about your concerns, needs, and plans. Communicating relationship concerns can be scary, but the relief and the release of built-up tension from keeping those things inside or never doing things independent of each other can cause the best version of you to come out.

The best way to approach your partner about this is face to face using effective communication techniques that keep the conversation tension-free. Don't put blame on yourself or them, but make sure to emphasize how you are feeling and why you feel the two of you need to be more independent. Setting boundaries around how much time you need for separate activities with your partner is a good thing to do here.

Practice Healthy Dependence

At first, it’ll probably seem overwhelming trying to balance a personal life with your relationship life when that’s not what you’re used to. It is okay to continue being emotionally engaged with your partner as you both work on this new lifestyle change. In fact, this can aid in the process of you two finding more independence and growing the relationship even more. Additionally, spending time apart from your partner and relying on them less will allow the times you two are together to be even more special and meaningful.

Relationships take two people. To make a relationship work, you might believe that you constantly have to be in each other's presence. However, this is far from the truth and a relationship like that can quickly become toxic and detrimental to your mental health. Instead, relationships should consist of times spent with your partner as well as time spent apart to avoid becoming too dependent on each other. When you're dependent on one another, finding other sources of happiness becomes difficult and can cause feelings of emptiness. If you feel as though this may be the case for you, seeking professional help may provide you with the best solution. At SokyaHealth, mental health professionals are trained to provide counseling and coaching services that'll lead you down the right path in all the relationships in your life. For more information, call Sokya at (866) 657-6592.

Do you have a good sense of the control you have over your life? Are you more independent and prefer making decisions on your own and living a lifestyle full of self-love? Are you more the opposite, tending to be dependent on others and preferring to do activities with others above doing things by yourself? 

These are questions that relate to your attachment style. Both dependence and independence have great benefits that help build character and strengths that make you who you are. However, there is a point where too much independence or dependence can deeply hurt yourself and others if it’s not balanced carefully. Finding the right balance between being independent and dependent can greatly improve your love for yourself and others, making the quality times you spend with each beneficial.

What to Do if You’re Too Independent

Significant traits of an independent person may include being confident, resourceful, and courageous. Some like to take initiative and have great leadership skills. Other highly independent people may experience social anxiety and therefore spend their alone time being more self-reflective, find comfort in being alone, and probably aren't fans of working in groups. The situation varies from person to person. Whatever the case may be, independent people share the common factor of preferring to be in control of their life without the influence of others.

If this resonates with you, you may benefit from asking yourself why you choose to be so independent. Being independent can be completely healthy and a lot of great skills are gained from being so. However, if you find that your choice to be independent stems from a fear or avoidance issue, it may be time to consider how you can break this cycle to learn how to be more dependent.

Here are some things people struggling to depend on others can do to help:

What to Do if You’re Too Dependent

Being dependent means that you enjoy surrounding yourself with others and seeking advice and answers from them in times of need. Some dependent people might feel safer and more comfortable around others. Using others as resources is a great way to expand your horizons about the world in which we live and find help when you are having a difficult time knowing what to do.

Those who are dependent share a desire to have others to rely on. This can be good at times, but not so good at other times. If your dependency stems from a need to be around others to feel safe or due to a fear of not trusting your choices and decisions, it may be time to build trust with yourself.

Consider adjusting some of these things in your life to build trust with yourself and become more independent:

Finding the Perfect Balance

How do you know if you found the perfect balance between dependence and independence? One way to tell is that you will feel less tension when making decisions. Another is becoming equally comfortable working by yourself and with others. People who are typically too independent can learn to delegate tasks and trust others to complete them, or learn to enjoy the company of others as much as they enjoy their own company. Overly-dependent people can develop decision-making skills and become more confident in their ability to operate by themselves.

There's nothing wrong with being more independent or more dependent. Both are good traits to have. When you can balance both sides and succeed regardless of whether you're doing something by yourself or with others, your life can become significantly better.

Identifying solely as independent or dependent has its strength and weaknesses. Independent people have great assets that allow them to make quick and confident choices while dependent people can build great relationships with others. However, too much of either can quickly cause a downward spiral that leaves you with a void that is in desperate need of being filled. If you find yourself in a situation where your self-reliance and dependency on others are unbalanced and affecting your life, SokyaHealth provides professional mental health services from therapists and coaches trained to assist you in such situations. Coaching and counseling services are available in a convenient online platform to get you in a better standing in life where you can feel content with being around both yourself and others equally. For more information on our services, call Sokya at (866) 657-6592.

Many may not know this, but the month of July is National Minority Mental Health Month! Each year, this month is observed in July to bring awareness to mental health and the struggles that minority communities face in this country. By bringing awareness to minority mental health, we can offer resources for these communities to utilize as well. 

No one should feel like they don’t have access to quality mental health care. In fact, SokyaHealth was created from the need for complete quality mental health and wellness services. Especially over the past two years of quarantine and isolation, there has never been a greater need for quality mental health services online. Sokya can provide virtual mental health services to minority communities across the country. If you are part of a minority group and looking for access to quality mental health care, consider treatment with Sokya today. 

Common Barriers Faced by Minority Communities

Many factors have hindered access to quality mental health care across minority communities. Some include lack of insurance coverage, limited resources, and language barriers. Another issue is when these communities lack quality mental health professionals. We used to live in an age where options for mental health services were limited by geography. That’s no longer the case. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published an evidence-based resource guide series to showcase how telehealth can be used to treat serious mental health and substance use disorders.

Resources like this can help minority communities understand how they can seek quality treatment from the comfort of their own homes. Some barriers are still present despite virtual treatment, factors like lack of insurance coverage. However, virtual therapy broadens the pool of potential therapists or counselors. It offers more professionals who speak any native languages that may be needed and opens the door to a number of extra resources and connections that can aid individuals on their path to improved wellness. Other factors that may have hindered individuals from seeking qualified treatment are lack of transportation or child care. Virtual therapy can resolve these barriers as well.

Resources for Minority Communities 

While July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, April was National Minority Health Month. SAMHSA offers a number of behavioral health equity resources that you may be able to utilize today. According to SAMHSA, National Minority Health Month is designed to “highlight the important role individuals and organizations can play in helping to reduce health disparities and improve the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native Communities.” It’s essential to focus not just on minority mental health but on spreading awareness altogether about healthcare access across these minority communities. 

In addition to the obstacles already present in seeking mental health care among minority communities, the COVID-19 pandemic made it “harder for racial and ethnic minority groups to get access to mental health and substance use treatment services,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) regarding National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Throughout the month, the OMH will be promoting tools and resources that address the stigma around mental health, specifically among minority populations. They are encouraging people to continue visiting their webpage throughout the month of July. You may also consider checking out their resources and publications page. By accessing resources such as these, you’ll do so much more than educate yourself. You’ll be able to share what you learn with others and pass along the knowledge that this month strives to spread. 

How Sokya Can Help 

In addition to resources from SAMHSA and the OMH, we went to explain a bit more about how SokyaHealth can help you improve your mental health today. As mentioned above, Sokya was created from the need for quality mental health services through an online space. Through a combination of evidence-based treatment and a holistic, whole-person approach to wellness, we are able to help all kinds of people from anywhere across the country. Part of our goal is to revolutionize therapy to focus on mind, body, and spirit while allowing our clients to feel empowered and in control of their mental health treatment. 

You may be someone who has very little faith in the community of mental health professionals because of your past experience or lack of access to quality mental health. If given the chance though, our wellness services and clinical professionals can help you today. Sokya understands the importance of everyone having access to quality mental health care. Please allow us to help you today.

July is National Minority Mental Health Month. Similar to National Minority Health Month, which takes place in April, National Minority Mental Health Month focuses on spreading awareness about mental health and the struggles that minority communities face in accessing quality mental health services. Some obstacles often experienced by these communities include lack of insurance, limited access to resources, and language barriers. However, with the rise of virtual treatment, there are more options than ever for individuals to access the mental health care they need. SokyaHealth was created specifically from the need for more mental health and wellness services in the online space. With our whole-person approach to treatment and clinical professionals, we can provide more quality treatment to all individuals across the country. If you're struggling to access quality mental health treatment within a minority community or just need someone to talk to online, call Sokya at (866) 657-6592 today.

Each year on July 26, Holistic Therapy Day is celebrated to promote health professionals and practices that provide ways of tending to your health other than the traditional, Western practices that are commonly used. These more traditional practices are usually more clinical and modern-medicinal.

While there's nothing wrong with these methods and there is certainly a place for them, holistic therapy differs from the more “accepted” healing methods as it takes into consideration more than just the area of a person that is specifically affected. It would consider beyond the physical pain or mental and emotional symptoms you may experience and also consider how the affected area interacts with other areas of your body, mind, and spirit.

This article will help you gain knowledge on the many benefits provided by holistic therapy as well as teach you ways you can utilize these techniques in the comfort of your own home.

Advantages of Holistic Therapy

Connecting to your entire body promotes physical and spiritual healing like no other. Individuals who have used holistic therapy have reported it to be a kinder and gentler approach to healing that provides them with boosts in energy and hope over time. The effects that holistic therapy has may differ between people and between the different types of therapy used. However, there are some common advantages everyone trying holistic methods can experience.

Nervous System

Your nervous system is a complex network of cells and organs that contribute to your sensory and motor abilities. It is composed of two parts. The first is the parasympathetic system, which is responsible for allowing you to feel and remain calm. The second is known as the sympathetic nervous system which activates in times of fight-or-flight. When you receive holistic therapy, these two systems are said to be in balance, promoting a state of peace and contentment.

Body Awareness

Oftentimes, it's easy to get caught up in your work or daily tasks and forget a moment to breathe and take a look at life. The ability to be able to see and experience all the wonders your body provides for you to navigate through this world often goes unnoticed and taken for granted. Some holistic therapy methods, like breathwork or mindfulness meditation, can be used as a tool to center yourself back into your mind and body, and truly live in and fully experience the present moment. 


After a couple of sessions of therapy using holistic practices, you may find that your life outside of it begins to change. The ways you start perceiving the world, people, and yourself might be completely different than before you started engaging in these therapeutic methods. This can cause you to create new life goals or tackle any issues you may be facing with renewed confidence, energy, and motivation.

Other Benefits

There are many more upsides to using holistic therapy because it puts your whole self as the center of attention. It can positively impact your future life goals and plans. Holistic therapy doesn't just treat the symptoms of an issue, but looks at the whole of your person—mind, body, and spirit—and seeks to remedy and unify each part so that the root of issues can be managed for longer-lasting healing.

How to Self-Use Holistic Therapy

Now that you know the benefits of holistic therapy, you might be eager to know how you can get started on using holistic techniques. There are many counselors, coaches, and therapists who implement these techniques into their practices. You can find these professionals to help you get started on or continue your wellness journey.

For the days when you can't access your therapist or just want some good at-home practices to use, here are some holistic ways you can improve your life from home.

Use Other Resources at the Same Time

While holistic therapy can do tremendous work in healing you both physically and mentally, you may still need professional medical attention for your mental or physical health. Using holistic methods along with more clinical resources may make your healing process the best it can be.

Holistic therapy is an effective approach that can treat mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. It can have both mental and physical healing properties to not only be effective for what is needed but to also go beyond in making you feel whole and healthy. There are many at-home holistic practices you can start using today if you find yourself struggling mentally and need a quick, temporary fix. Seeking out further mental health services will promote long-term health. You can find effective coaching and counseling services provided by the team at SokyaHealth in an online, easy-to-access space. At Sokya, highly qualified and trained professionals can give you unique, one-on-one and group sessions to best fit your mental health needs so you can become the best version of yourself. For more information on our coaching, counseling, and therapy services, call Sokya at (866) 657-6592.

The brain is so complex and music is so powerful that the two can interact and allow music to evoke certain emotions just by listening. The effect music has on the brain even has the ability to reduce pain.

If you think about it, you may experience different emotions depending on if you’re listening to slow songs which may cause sadness, or upbeat songs which may cause happiness or excitement. You may even notice that you feel a physical change in yourself in response to your favorite song coming—maybe your heart beats faster, you feel the desire to move your limbs and dance, and the urge to sing along overwhelms you. 

Music is a great way to lift your spirits while aiding in your wellness when you’re feeling down. It is a great tool to integrate into your self-care routine.

The Biology of Music

Biomusicology is a field of study that focuses on music and its effect from a biological perspective. To get an idea of just how beneficial music can be in your life and how it can be used for self-care, it’s helpful to understand what happens in your body to create such a dynamic response. To break down exactly how we hear music and allow it to create an emotional sensation within us, we must first talk about perception.

Perception is your ability to detect the five senses (touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight) and consciously recognize them to interact with the world. When it comes to music, sound waves emitted from the music source come in contact with your ear and affect your neurons, which are the cells in your brain that allow you to perceive the world. 

These aren’t the only cells in your brain involved in hearing and reacting to music. You also have cells that connect to all regions of your body to help you express your emotions, whether that be physically or sensationally, and also to help you move. The sound waves you receive from music tell your brain to communicate to different parts of your body to help you “feel” the music and react to it. This may mean connecting to your heart to express the emotional response you may have to lyrics that resonate with your life experiences, or connecting to your foot to make you tap to the beat.

Music can play with your emotions, either heightening or changing them, and can influence you physically with the urge to dance, clap, or move to the rhythm.

Finding a Song That Fits Your Mood

The brain is perhaps the most intelligent organ in the human body as it is able to recognize different aspects of music and respond appropriately to various tones, rhythms, pitches, timbres, and more. According to biomusicological research, here are some tips to help you know what song to pick based on how you're feeling.

With this information, you can decide what music choice is best for you according to your feelings. If you’re feeling sad, you can try to pick up your mood by playing a song with characteristics that don't fit the sad category. The same goes for feelings of anxiety and happiness. You may even find it beneficial to play happy music even when you are happy to amp up your excitement even more.

Get the Most out of Your Healing Journey

To get an even greater experience alongside using your self-care techniques, whether that be listening to music, journaling, pampering yourself, or even seeking professional help that provides you with mental health care and medication, use the power of music to influence your emotions. Knowing how music affects your brain and body can help you know what you need when you're feeling some way that you want to change or heighten. You can get the most out of your healing journey when you use music as a form of self-care to change bad moods for the better and keep the good ones going.

Music can provide your body with sensations that are hard to explain. It can be even more difficult to imagine that your brain has control over your reactions to different kinds of music. Educating yourself on how your body works can help you find ways to use music to help deal with issues you're facing and improve your mental health and well-being. If you're a lover of music, this is the perfect place to start your healing journey. Even if you're not, music can be a powerful tool to affect change in your overall mental health status. If you struggle to maintain a healthy, happy outlook on life due to mental health issues, let SokyaHealth help you gather the best tools to remedy this problem. At Sokya, services led by our team provide unique treatment methods to help you heal. For more information, call (866) 657-6592.

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