Recent Articles

Pilot project reaches out to local Black veterans — Bridge Builder Project could be a ‘breakthrough’ in helping vets access VA benefits



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) projects that the percentage of Black veterans will be “significantly higher than other minority groups” as well as “the largest portion” of all veterans of color, and Black female vets account for 20 percent of women veterans. Still, there are too many Black veterans unaware of their benefits, says the Black Veterans of America (BVA). Next week it launches the Bridge Builder Project, a series of nine sessions throughout the Twin Cities to be held during August. “We saw a need and took action on it,” said BVA Executive Director/Founder David Hall, Jr. August 2 at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. His organization advocates for Black male and female veterans and their families, as well as working with homeless and incarcerated veterans in the Twin Cities area. Continue Reading →

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Rattled with PTSD: Post-Traumatic Snake Disorder




This summer there will be no grilling on my back porch. And here’s why. This past Sunday morning I found myself in a chapter of a Stephen King novel. It began as a hot, lazy, humid, and deliciously quiet morning. I got up to fix a cup of my favorite morning Joe, send off a few emails, and read the Sunday papers on the back porch of the house. Continue Reading →

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How does racism cause mental illness?

As we closed out the month of May, the DSM-5 was being released. The DSM-5 is mental health’s equivalent to the Bible. There has been a lot of discussion about addressing racism as a precursor to mental illness, more particularly to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recently, Dr. Monnica Williams wrote an article for Psychology Today on this very subject. According to Dr. Williams, “Similar to rape victims, race-related trauma victims may respond with disbelief, shock or dissociation, which can prevent them from responding to the incident in a healthy manner. Continue Reading →

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Insights from experts at starting anew



Hello to all the followers of the “Starting Anew” column. I am pleased to announce that after many triumphs and struggles as well as other issues, I have landed a permanent working position at St. Stephens Human Services. It was four years ago this month when I was given the opportunity to start this column. I have gone through quite a bit since then. Continue Reading →

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