When the mind is unstable, all other aspects of one’s life can be unstable
Expert Interviews: Benita L. Weathers, BL Weathers LLC
Tell us a little about BL Weathers LLC and your plans for it:
BL Weathers LLC, a multi-faceted consulting business that enables the client to “Discovering what becomes you.” The three facets of the business include consulting on the development of health education programs, editing, and life coaching. In all of these facets, the client has an idea, seeds that are within that they want to blossom. That's where BL Weathers LLC comes in.
What are you looking to accomplish with the business you are building? Why?
The goal of the business is to nurture the seeds and assist the client in producing the desired fruit that leads to a more fulfilling life. I hope that through it, lives are transformed and the world is made a little better because of it!
What’s motivating you for this path?
I have always enjoyed being a champion for others. When I provide a service, like editing, for example, my clients will tell you that I am much more than an editor. I'm also an encourager and listener, a pep squad. I make sure that clients realize the value that their respective projects will bring to at least their small part of the world. With being a life coach, I focus specifically on individuals over the age of 40 who feel unfulfilled in their current career or life path, to help them find their way to re-tool, re-fuel, and re-cycle their passion toward a life that is fulfilling.
Tell us about your background and what lead you to be where you are today and going tomorrow?
I have training in biology, public health, and ministry. In all of these disciplines, I have learned holistic- physical, mental, and spiritual, strategies for dealing with life's struggles and challenges. Even as a young child, I was always interested in ways to prevent health challenges and wanted to understand how people's behaviors impact their health. In understanding how behaviors impact health, one can determine ways to prevent some of the medical challenges that exist.
I wanted to be proactive and help people before they became sick rather than waiting for them to get sick and then try to do something about it. This requires a holistic approach in all aspects of one's life. I am also very passionate about mental health because every behavior starts in the mind. When the mind is unstable, other aspects of one's life can be unstable.
Can you please explain further what exactly is Public Health Education? What do you do? Where is this service found?
I have over 30 years of experience in developing health education programming for communities. It is something that I am passionate about and since I am no longer able to do that in my current job, I consult with researchers and faculty of institutions in helping them to operationalize the vision they have for making their programs relevant to the communities they are targeting.
In terms of health education, you are also an advocate for mental health awareness. Can you tell us about the book you are in the process of releasing? What made you want to write this book? Where can we buy a copy of the book?
Mental health is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. My husband and two of my children battle depression. As the caregiver or loved one of them, their battle with depression impacts me as well because I love them and want to help them but very often, I feel helpless. My new book The Scream Within Mental Health and Clergy Marriages, Journey of a Pastor's Spouse is the story of my journey as the wife of a pastor who battles depression.
The Christian faith community and the African American community have largely viewed mental health as something that is taboo. People have characterized members in those communities who deal with depression as lacking faith or they're told to just get over it and move on. For a person battling depression, it's not that simple and they need to see someone who can give them the tools and strategies to handle bouts of depression.
I wanted to also let people know that caregivers of those with depression are impacted as well. The book specifically talks about the ways in which my husband's depression impacted me and how we have been able to navigate the topic throughout our near 26 years of marriage.
What are some of the signs of depression people should pick up on of their families and loves?
It's important to note that there are several different forms of depression. Some signs may include frequent mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere, inability to be "present", no desire to get out of bed or eat, suicidal speech, such as; "I don't want to be here anymore"... "I just can't do this anymore"... "I'm tired of hurting"... etc.
There are resources that people should utilize if they believe that they or their loved ones are in need of additional help. It's also important to note that people should not be forced to seek help. They must come to terms with their need for help on their own and seek it.
Are there any treatment programs out there for those suffering from depression? Do any of these programs require drug treatments?
There are many programs depending on the type and level of depression that a person may have. It's important for individuals to speak with their doctor about their specific health needs.
How do you feel depression is impacting our youth today?
Many youths are suffering from depression and anxiety and the Covid pandemic has increased that number. There have been recent reports of young children committing suicide often because of the incessant bullying that they have sustained.
I think it's important for parents who recognize mental instability in their children to not be in denial about it. I also think it's important to have discussions about depression and mental health in general in families so that children who battle depression understand that they're not alone.
You have a great vision for programs involving supporting our youth’s mental wellness. Can you share a little about what’s to come that we should look out for?
I have developed a non-profit program called Mind the Mental. The goal is to get people, from a young age, thinking about their mental health and understanding the importance of being intentional about their mental health care regardless of their circumstances. Moreover, it is the hope that when people are in better mental health, their communities will benefit from the gifts they have within to make their communities stronger.
The mission of Mind the Mental Non-profit is to motivate youth and young adults to be aware of and pay attention to their mental health, and that of their peers by providing;
- The Support and Care to Remove Excess Anxiety from the Mind (SCREAM) Program curriculum to organizations such as schools, churches, community centers, etc.
- To engage the youth in activities that stimulate mental health awareness and care.
- A complimentary parent program to facilitate parents being aware of their own mental health and its effects on their children, as well as ways to assist their children.
- Sharing mental health resources such as licensed mental health therapists, school and community resources, etc.
- Mental health outlets for youth through the arts, including writing, music production, and visual arts.
How can people get in touch with you?
The best way to get in touch with me is through my website www.benitaweathers.com
Is there anything else you’ll like to share with the readers?
I really hope to inspire others to de-stigmatize mental health in their families and communities toward a better overall society.
Thank you, Benita, for taking time out to chat with us about public health education and mental health awareness as it pertains to depressions for our young people and family members.
Thank you so much for having me.
Please contact Benita L. Weathers, an amazing individual and one I’m proud to know.
Continue to watch out for more interviews, tips, and advice from other experts like Benita, as we are wrapping up this marvelous journey we’ve had with the Expert Interviews.
Stay tuned for more greatness!
Until next time,
Check out the video chat between Benita and Gracie:
To learn more about BL Weathers LLC and the new non-profiting coming soon! Mind the Mental Non-profit by visiting www.benitaweathers.com