“My brothers each took their lives at 36 after dealing with issues for many years of high anxiety, manic-depressive illness, and drug use. I hope that I have helped somebody see the light in this crazy world we live in. Since I have had a rather heavy connection to suicide, I promised myself to seek health every day to protect my emotional and mental state. The work that The Neighborhood is doing reaffirms my conviction to staying above the anxiety in any healthy way that I can. I am blessed with a wonderful life partner in Bev and together we channel our energy for good.” – Dave Derby, Fresno County California – Congressional 22
the legendary Mavis Staples
with You Are Not Alone
How The Political State Affects Our Mental Health
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
We cannot turn away, no matter how hard we try. One glance at the news, out of the corner of our eyes, that our daily trials and tribulations could be multiplied, if the North Korean state of affairs cannot be calmed. A political state, we do not live in and even though a transition takes place every four or eight years, feelings of uncontrolled helplessness, simply do not translate. But the mind, in all of its complexed wonder, develops its own conclusion and triggers an appropriate onslaught of emotions.
Angry, concerned and powerful at the voter’s box, are emotions that we have felt. And flashed across our television screens, anger at town hall meetings from coast to coast. But rarely has politics on such a vast, overwhelming scale, begin to diminish our mental health in such a collective adrenaline fueled way.
“An anxiety disorder is a condition
in which you experience frequent,
powerful bouts of anxiety that
interfere with your life.” – ADAA
Congressional 22 marks a political district in California’s sprawling Central Valley, encompassing Fresno and Tulare Counties. Not exactly one of the Golden State’s most famous locations, but with over a million people, it has a larger population than the entire individual states of Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming. Yet even its largest city of Fresno, has a small town feel. So when local boy made good in Congressman Devin Nunes, both sides of the political aisle believed, that although division and mistrust, was sweeping the land, they had someone who shared their values and cared about them.
But he turned out to be the worse one.
Maybe, from strictly a political strategy, when the mission – at all cost – is to win or lose, would we want him on our side. Perhaps, during the mediaeval era, when survival and thought were primitive in nature, only then would we have kept him close, to stop the knife from plunging into our backs. Devin Nunes’ moment in the sun was so unnecessarily wrong, so blatantly king lemming, that even the most devout political separatist, have yet to embrace him. From the Oregon state line, to the Mexico border; and from the Sierra Nevadas to the Pacific Ocean, in a deep blue state, with proud pockets of red, all at once Devin Nunes represented the type of political state that affects our mental health.
Getting involved in the larger community,
can help you feel more connected,
making it easier to deal with
the challenges of everyday life.
A man named Dave Derby, understood all too well, how low depression can take us, after burying two brothers, victims of suicide. He and his dear life partner Bev, knew they had to do something, but an angry town hall meeting, did not at all seem therapeutic. After Nunes made it clear, that he had no intentions of attending a public meeting – in his own district, to speak with his own constituents – Dave and Bev decided to hold a community vigil in front of his office every Tuesday in a city named Clovis.
Kendall F. Person spoke with Dave Derby about how the Every Tuesday Vigil, has evolved into a community meeting and therapy session. It has helped to not only lower the individual and collective anxiety, but it has also uncovered a viable opponent in Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz.
Abandoned, angry, feelings of helplessness or anxiety? In Congressional 22, you do not have to feel alone.
— The Neighborhood
Congressional 22 is a part of The Neighborhood’s 2nd Annual Mental Health Week 2017 April 23 – 28. To participate live visit The Neighborhood on Facebook. All archived posts, interviews and entertainment can be found at our Mental Health Week Information Kiosk. Thank you for coming. You are appreciated.