Mental Health Consultant and Founder Chou Hallegra on Christianity and Faith, Mental Health, and Racial Justice

How do you think the historical legacy of the Christian church has contributed to the current mental health stigma that exists in the faith community?

“Lack of knowledge perpetuates stigma. In the past, people didn’t know much about mental illness and have done horrible things to others for the sake of “curing” them of their ailments. Today, those who are not open to talking about mental illness still see those who suffer from it as people who have little to no faith. In reality, there is more that comes to play here. People can have faith and still feel depressed.”

Ethnicity and Racial Diversity in Personal Care: Where Are We At?

According to Nielsen data, racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are quickly outpacing whites. Black women spend nearly nine times more than their Caucasian counterparts on hair and beauty. Hispanics, driven by a strong culture of Latino beauty influence, are a growing ‘foundation’ for beauty sales and are more likely to spend on hair care and cosmetic products than the general market. Asian- Americans spend 70% more than the average share of the U.S. population on skincare products, and are more likely to spend on premium brand name products and drive beauty sales through high use of mobile and social media usage. When brands fail to offer diverse product offerings targeting the needs of different ethnicities or feature models representing their true end customers, it’s bad for their image as well as for their bottom line. Increased representation in the beauty industry needs to be more proactive, and not merely reactive to broader market trends if sustainable change is to come about.

Introducing New Forms of Narrative: Berlin Based Artist Seo Hye Lee on Navigating Hearing Loss and Taking Inspiration from Her Unique Sonic Identity

“Living on my own in a new country (Germany) has taught me many things about myself and that I cannot do this completely on my own. I found it hard to ask for help and to open up about myself at the risk of being in a disadvantaged position. The uniqueness of who I am has helped to shape my art practice and what I want to share with the audience. I’ve been given great opportunities in various places to discuss how my Cochlear Implant has shaped my sonic identity and I’ve learned to embrace my individuality through my art practice. My deaf identity has allowed me creative freedom with sound art and the ability to reinterpret sound in my own way.”

Samantha Huggins on Her Wellness Regimen, Openness Versus Vulnerability, and Mental Health in Schools

“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”

Chanel Tyler on Her Mental Health & Wellness Regimen, Diversity, Tokenizing the Black Community, and Communal Empowerment

What are some sources or tools that you believe have impacted your wellbeing?
“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”