Priorities for Maryland’s Commission on LGBT Affairs

Thanks to the efforts of Delegate Qi and several co-sponsors, the General Assembly passed HB 130 in 2021, establishing a long overdue Commission on LGBT Affairs. The bill finally passed, becoming law without the Governor’s signature, after a similar bill succeeded in the House but languished in the Senate in 2020. The law establishing the Commission takes effect on October 1, just in time for National Coming Out Day on October 11. After a director and 15 commissioners are appointed, the Commission should be operational by early 2022.   Given Maryland’s deep blue hue on the electoral map, and the […]

The Pride Center of Maryland (PCOM) Launches First Billboard Campaign

Baltimore- The Pride Center of Maryland (PCOM), the state’s oldest and largest sexual and gender minority (SGM) serving organization has released its first ever series of billboard campaigns. Despite the pandemic the organization, now in its 45th year, remains active, serving a still growing number of same-gender-loving (SGL), gay, lesbian, bisexual trans and gender nuanced cultures, ethnicities, individuals and families. Merrick Moses, chairman of PCOM’s board, expressed, “Like most organizations that have been around as long as we have, challenges have emerged. However, I am proud to report that PCOM has never been in better hands, never stronger. Our very diverse […]

Mental Health Moment -Mindfulness and You

By Dr. Andrea Gottlieb Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re logged into your umpteenth Zoom call of the day and you start zoning out. After a few moments of having your mind wander, you realize you weren’t paying attention and have no idea what people are talking about. So you actively return your focus back to the meeting. That conscious act of harnessing and retraining your attention back to the present moment is actually a very important skill. You’re practicing mindfulness. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, including acknowledging your own feelings and thoughts […]

In Memory of Milton Lentz, February 18, 1941 – January 20, 2010 – More than a Decade Today and Still Learning to Cope

by Rick Roberts             No one will ever tell you that grief feels so much like fear. Losing someone you love can be like losing one half of yourself. The pain, the emptiness, and the grieving processes can go on for months or years.  No two people respond to the same situation in the same way.  Grief is a day by day, week by week, year by year process.  You will have bad days when you feel like you’ll never recover and think that you will never function again from your loss.             Each and every one of us changes […]

The 22nd Annual 12 Days of Christmas

Hooker & Boys celebrated 22 years of their annual fundraising event. “The 22nd Annual 12 Days of Christmas: a COVID Kinda Christmas, a Virtual Holiday” was held on Saturday, December 12, 2020. 2020 has been an extraordinary year, and no less for H&B’s 12 Days event, as we took the event to cyberspace to keep everyone as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shawnna Alexander and Rik Newton-Treadway were our hosts as we broadcast live from the Clifton Pleasure Club in Baltimore, MD, with the help of a skeleton crew on-site, and ASL interpreters Debbie Jones, Susan Weinstein, and […]

Food and Mood

By Silvia Solano, MS, RDN, Nutrition Care Coordinator at The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt Have you heard the phrase, “You are what you eat?” Obviously, the proverbial saying does not mean we are doomed to turn into what we eat. It is simply the notion that to have a healthy functioning body, you need to fill it with all the nutrients it needs. In fact, the nutrients you consume are literally the building blocks that your body’s complex structure of cells, tissues, organs and systems needs to regenerate every day. The same truth applies to your mind. […]

COVID’s Impact on Your Holiday Season

By Michael Young, MD, Service Chief of The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt I’m sorry to be a Grinch, but like everything else this year, COVID may have a big impact on your holiday plans. The holidays should be a festive time, filled with family and friends and parties. As the holiday song says, it’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”! Instead, we’re all making a list and checking it twice about the latest COVID restrictions and number of new cases. Colder weather, the looming flu season, and uncertainty about which of our beloved, festive traditions are […]

Help for Your Mental Health

By Laura Webb, VP and Chief Nursing Officer COVID-19 has cut us adrift in a sea of uncertainty: Will I have a job six months from now? Will I or my loved ones get sick? How should I educate my kids? These incessant worries can do a number on our mental health. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in August 2020 that found during the pandemic, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated rates of symptoms consistent with mental health conditions. Overall, 40% of respondents reported at least one mental health concern or condition, such […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

What Older Adults are Doing to Promote Racial Justice

By Dr. Jennifer Jimenez Maraña, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Broadmead In his video series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” Emmanuel Acho reads a letter from a White woman who grew up in the 1940s. She wrote that racism was embedded in her experience growing up, but now she has been listening and is still learning. She asked that Acho and others “not give up” on people like her, adding, “I’m awake now and determined to wake others up.” When I shared the video with a group of residents I work with at Broadmead, a life plan community […]