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Mama Glow Foundation Unveils Mental Health Pocket Guide Funded by Kate Spade New York

Bintou Diarra, A.B | Medical Anthropology, Brown University | October 10, 2023

The mental health consequences of societal conditions on women, girls, and caregivers are well-documented. Around one in five women present with at least one mental health condition, like depression and anxiety. Additionally, mental health conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder, disproportionately affect women and girls. During Mental Health Awareness Week, the Kate Spade New York and Mama Glow Foundation collaborated in an effort to improve these circumstances for girls everywhere. Today, the Kate Spade New York sponsored Mental Health Pocket Guide went live—a culmination of months of effort and a powerful resource for people at any point of their mental health journey.

Covering a wide range of topics, resources, and writings, the Mental Health Pocket Guide contains 120-pages of accessible mental health content, each nestled within one of the following spheres: sexual wellness and intimacy, mindfulness and contemplative practice, wellness and self-care, and mental and behavioral health. Additionally, the guide contains contributions from trailblazers of all walks of life who work tirelessly to improve health conditions for women, girls, and caregivers everywhere.

The sexual wellness and intimacy section includes works from Mama Glow Foundation Fellow Alex Ivanchev and Pleasure 2 People Founder Cindy Luquin. Together, the two delve into the interplay between sexual well-being and mental health, and go beyond a surface-level analysis to highlight current problems plaguing mental and sexual health in the United States. Filled with guides, prompts, opinion pieces, and scripts, this section aims to empower readers to evaluate their relationships with their bodies, and contemplate their relationships with their bodies. Most of all, the section validates readers in their wishes for the United States’ sexual health landscape. 

Within the guide is an acknowledgement of all dimensions of mental health and wellness. In the mindfulness and contemplative practice section, contributors Malia Jones, Mama Glow Doula and instructional designer; Elisa Kim, Mama Glow Foundation Fellow; and our very own Latham Thomas, founder of the Mama Glow Foundation, paint an integrative picture of the psychological aspects of mental health and wellness. Within this section, you can find works that transcend borders to illuminate the often-disregarded roots of contemplative practice, and works that bring us back home to the United States to examine the interplay between the practices of the East and the West. Additionally, Latham’s healing exercise and the prompts included in this section encourage you to pause and embrace the principles on which this section is founded—stillness, and presence. 

Titled wellness and self-care, the third section draws on the relationship between mental and physical health. Together, Mama Glow Foundation Fellow Delena Alemayehu, Brown University senior Pilar McDonald, and Malia Jones highlight personal experiences and practices of wellness that readers can implement anywhere. Here, readers can also find brief histories on the centrality of wellness and self-care to radical movements, personal reflections in the form of poetry, and writings that call on readers to unpack long standing conceptions of health and wellness. This section stands as a reminder that within the mental health space, activists, organizers, and the organizations working to ignite change are engaging in simultaneous deconstruction and building.

The final section, which is authored by Program and Partnerships Director Leona Hariharan, Mama Glow Foundation Fellow Simone Klein, FordMomentum! Founder Maya Ford, and Embodied Black Girl Founder Therese Cator, continues the work of encouraging readers to dispel current frames of understanding. The mental and behavioral health section features personal narratives, interviews from people working to redefine mental and behavioral health, and works that examine the relationship between trauma and embodiment. Additionally, it features practical steps readers can take to infuse their lives—and our world—with teachings rooted in trauma-informed care. 

In many ways, the mental health of the caregivers, women, and girls goes largely ignored within the spaces they are working to improve the most. With this gift, it is the hope of the Mama Glow Foundation that people are equipped with the tools to empower themselves and others.

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