Empowering Minds Messenger 
“Our responsibility as citizens is to address the inequalities and injustices that linger, and we must secure our birthright freedoms for all people. As we mark the 40th year of National African American History Month, let us reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by generations of African Americans, and let us resolve to continue our march toward a day when every person knows the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” –Barack Obama, 2016

The New Year has come and gone, and all the sudden we’re smack back in the middle of things. Valentine’s Day is swinging around the corner. And we’ve got a question for you: “Who doesn’t want to be the healthiest valentine?!” Whether or not you’ve got a sweetie, maintaining a healthy heart and mind is always important! Below you’ll find some great tips on taking care of yourself and your loved ones on February 14th. Also in this month’s messenger, we want to honor and celebrate the 41st Black History Month! Below you can read about influential African American psychologists, including Dr. Francis Cecil Sumner, Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser, Dr. Herman George Canady, and Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark.

                  Valentine's Day Tips

Whether you plan to celebrate on your own or with someone special, use these tips to give a gift of health to you or someone you love on Valentine’s Day and all year long.

Be heart-healthy.

Make A Date With Your Heart! February is American Heart Month, and Valentine's Day is a great time to start taking steps to be heart-healthy.

  • Prevent and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be active.

Eat healthy.

Be food - conscious. Consider making a healthy meal for Valentine s Day. Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables, and make less sugary sweets for an overall healthy Valentine s Day.
Spread love, not germs. Protect yourself from the cold and flu.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick.
  • Get your flu vaccine.

Prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.

  • Abstain from sex.
  • If you choose to have sex, use latex condoms which can lower the risk for some STIs and unintended pregnancy.
  • Having a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner may help lower your risk.
Be prepared for travel.

If you are going on a romantic getaway, be prepared.
  • Are there special items such as sunscreen or insect repellent that you will need?
  • If you take medications, do you have enough for the trip?
Go easy on the bubbly.

If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. It is also the third leading cause of preventable death. Don't drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not drink any alcohol.

Be safe.
  • Gear up. Are you considering a new, potentially risky, or unsafe activity? Be sure to use appropriate safety gear, including seat belts, life vests, and helmets to help prevent injury.
  • Watch the sparks. If you decide to cook a romantic dinner, light some candles, or have a cozy fire, dont leave them unattended.
  • Be aware. Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence, including intimate partner violence, than men. Risk factors such as drinking alcohol and using drugs are associated with a greater likelihood of violence.
Be sensitive.

Consider that your valentine may have allergies, asthma, diabetes, or other health conditions. You can be sensitive to your valentine by finding out if certain foods, flowers, pets, stuffed animals, or anything else might affect his or her health.

                                                   COURTESY OF THE CDC

     What Does Cupid Do to Your Mental Wellness?

So it’s Valentine’s Day, and though its intention may be to establish time to celebrate love, maybe you’re not feeling the love for this holiday. Billboards, magazines, and commercials depicting beautiful happy people sharing and extravagant dinner and exchanging gifts can create stress and anxiety.  People who are in relationships question what to get each other: Will it be good enough? Am I spending enough money? And, those who don’t have a partner can sometimes feel sad or alone at a time when love is the theme of the day –thus, the common vernacular of “Singles Awareness Day.”

If Valentine’s Day is leaving you feeling anything less than excited, our gift to you is a list of strategies that may help lift your spirit:

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all your relationships

You don’t need a special someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Your parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, mentors, friends and colleagues all play a special role in your life.  Today is a perfect opportunity to show them how much they really mean to you.

Your love is not equal to gifts and money

It’s important to remember that your love for someone is not measured by the gift or the amount of money that you spend. A simple “I love you” or a handmade card can mean just as much (if not more) than anything you can buy in a store.  And remember if you receive a gift, it truly is the thought that matters.

Show yourself how much you love YOU

This is the essence of My Mental Health Day and Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to  pamper yourself. Go to the spa, soak in the tub, sleep in a little later—whatever it is that makes you feel a little less stressed and a bit more relaxed. This day is an opportunity to love  yourself and appreciate your needs as much as it is a day to recognize the other important people in your life.


                                  COURTESY OF MY MENTAL HEALTH DAY



Dr. Francis Cecil Sumner was the first African American to receive a PhD in Psychology. His many works challenged racist theories about the inferiority of African Americans. He was one of the first scholars to challenge the Eurocentric methods of psychology. Though Dr. Sumner is considered the “Father of Black Psychology,” he did not support the concept of “Black Psychology.” Instead, he proposed that the field of psychology break away from its Eurocentric roots and inform itself through other cultural perspectives. In his lifetime, Dr. Sumner wrote over 2,000 abstracts for Journal of Social Psychology and the Psychological Bulletin, two major intellectual publications.  


Dr. Inez Beverly Prosser was the first black woman to receive a PhD in psychology, graduating from the University of Cincinnati. Her dissertation was The Non-Academic Development of Negro Children in Mixed and Segregated Schools. In it, Prosser studied the effects of segregation on African American children’s self-esteem and self-respect. Though she didn’t argue for or against segregation, as her study was a small study of 64 students, she did consider several consequences and benefits of segregation. For example, she noted that segregated schools insulated black students and teachers from white

abuse and helped both students and teachers form community unity and black identity. Her dissertation was greatly considered during Brown v. Board of Education, which declared racial segregation of schools to be unconstitutional.


Dr. Herman George Canady was the first psychologist to study the role of a white examiner’s race as a bias factor in IQ testing. In the Journal of Negro Education, he published "The Effect of 'rapport' on the I.Q.: A new approach to the problem of racial psychology" and suggested methods to improve this bias factor. The legacy of this work can be seen in both stereotype threat and intergroup anxiety, two prominent psychological theories. Dr. Canady also was a driving force in organizing black professionals in psychology. Due to the National 

Education Association's (NEA) racist barring of black teachers, African American educators formed the American Teachers Associate (ATA). Dr. Canady, a member of the ATA, wrote “A Prospectus of an Organization of Negroes Interested in Psychology and Related Fields.” In it, Canady argued for a psychology section within the ATA. This section would work to cultivate interest in psychology among black students, enhance African American scholars’ research programs, and encourage black institutions to prepare and hire black psychologists.
Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark was the first black woman to receive a PhD from Columbia University. Her influential master’s thesis was titled "The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children.” This included the famous doll studies, which would be critical to Brown v. Board of Education. In these studies, Clark interviewed African American students in a segregated and a desegregated school. She’d present the students with a black and a white doll and ask them questions regarding the dolls, for example: “Which one would you rather play with? Which one looks nicer?” She used the dolls to gauge
the effects of segregation on black students’ self-esteem. And she found that students in segregated schools had lower self-esteems. Clark was also a co-founder of The Northside Center for Child Development, one of the first agencies to give psychological services to poor black children. From 1946 to 1979, she served as the director there.

Empowering Minds Resource Center is proud to announce there is currently  NO WAIT LIST at the agency. We work hard everyday to ensure referrals are quickly processed and clients are engaged by our staff and partnered therapists immediately.  We are ready, willing and able to accept new clients TODAY.


Empowering Minds Resource Center is EXCITED to announce that we will be providing Mental Health Case Management: Care Coordination for Children and Youth in Harford County!
Empowering Minds recognizes  LAUREN DORSEY as the ag ency's Direct Service Coordinator of the month.   Lauren was recognized for her consistency in on-time document submission as well as her years of dedication and commitment to the needs of her clients. 

Congratulations and thank you for your hard work and dedication, Lauren!

Empowering Minds is looking to add some new members to our wonderful team. Check out the link below for more information!
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