Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Welcome to the Living Room

Welcome to the Living Room
Arkansas RAPPS ( Reaching, Affirming, Positive Progressive, Systems) in its continuing effort to
reach out to educate, empower and engage the MSM community in linkage and retention in care, has mashed up, "Welcome to the Living Room," a new art approach that is designed to address healthy living among MSM's dealing with living with HIV and AIDS. The project is scheduled to launch May 15, 6:30pm in the Kramer Arts Collective Auditorium, 715 Sherman in downtown Little Rock.

What is envisioned are participants gathering together to share starter conversations around personal responsibility, life skills, ART adherence, insurance access and linkage or retention in care issues.

The focal point of each session will also allow attendees to began "building a living room space," that signifies lived experienced moments, beacons of success, living memorials, or markers of lost or other treasures that honor their forward progress. Currently plans are underway to create an inclusive format with a "welcoming" atmosphere that will ultimately end in a "art statement," to share within the context of future programming including a reception or other art as health related activity.

Separate from this event, there are talks underway with other area organizers who have shared great interest in moving forward with a "Wearing White for The Fight," event tentatively scheduled for July 11,2015. As details are finalized, they will be shared on COP 24/7 exclusively. For more information about Arkansas RAPPS watch for their new Facebook page coming this month!

Healing Spaces for Hearts and Minds

Ever since I was a little boy I suffered from depression. I've spent too much of my life battling a sadness I never thought I'd overcome. But that all changed when I began talking about my depression - in particular, when I talked to other people suffering from or who have suffered from the illness. The conversations we had helped me realize I can win this battle. We can win." Donja R. Love, co-founder of The Each-Other Project

#DearDepression is an interactive healing campaign. We want to do whatever we can to help provide a safe space for our community of men to seek and hopefully find healing in their battle with depression. This is from the brainstorm of Donja R, Love whom spear heads The Each-Other Project. Love's work and additional content can be found on their website including a web series as well as other pertinent links to like minded content. If you are interested in learning more hit them up at www.TheEachOtherProject.com  
What is #DearDepression?
An interactive healing space, for Queer men of diversity, which hopes to take the shame and loneliness out of depression through anonymous electronic letters. 
It’s like pen-pals, but through email.
What Do I Need To Do?
1. Email:
2. Write us your letter and/or request for one.
3. Hit send.
What Do I Need To Know?
1. Our purpose is to create a personal healing space that takes the shame and loneliness out of depression.
2. People can send us an anonymous letter addressed to "Dear Depression", request for one, or both.
3. There is a maximum 24 hour turn around to respond to emails.
4. #DearDepression will act as a liaison between sender of letter and requester.
5. There is no limit to the amount of times you can send or request a letter, conginent upon their availability.
6. All letters are prescreened. 
7. Authors will remain anonymous and will never be identified, under any circumstances.
8. If individuals foster an electronic relationship they can continue to write each other, through us. Letters will still be screened.
9. If letters are submitted that pose a threat to authors well-being, action will be taken to notify specific outlets.
Smoking in the LGBT Community: What Can Be Done Better???
The Arkansas Department of Health and The National LGBT Health Education Center will co-  sponsor a webinar featuring Dr. Phoenix Mathews, PHD on the topic of improving treatment and prevention of tobacco use in LGBT populations. This webinar will be held at noon on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 and free CME/CEU credits are available.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people smoke at roughly twice the rate of non-LGBT people, putting them at elevated risk for smoking-related health disparities. In this webinar, Phoenix Matthews, PhD, Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will educate participants about smoking disparities among LGBT people, including a discussion of what motivates LGBT people to smoke, what clinicians can do to help LGBT people quit, and what the state of the science says about smoking cessation interventions for LGBT people.

Dr. Matthews is nationally and internationally known for health disparities research with underserved populations primarily focused on culturally targeted cancer risk reduction interventions. Currently Dr. Matthews is the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded study to conduct a randomized clinical trial of a smoking cessation intervention for adult smokers.
 To register:

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