Bleg: Team Bella Q

Bella Q emailed and asked if I’d post this bleg for her. So here goes:

1 in 5. That’s the current estimate of how many people in the US will experience what’s known as a “mental illness.” Which is a misleading term because these are physical illnesses that can be fatal. Many of the conditions are manageable with medication and other therapies, and some even without medication. But far too many people don’t even seek treatment because of the social stigma attached to “mental illness.” I use the quotation marks intentionally, because the conditions are medical, and as physical as allergies or fractures or cancer.

Society doesn’t blame people with allergies or cancer, and we don’t expect people to conquer them with willpower. Not with “mental illness,” however – people with those conditions are often expected to just get over it, to buck up, or think happy thoughts. If only that worked. I guarantee you that you know someone who lives with one of these conditions; you may or may not know that you do.

The reason you may not know is that it is not a rewarding social move to reveal “mental illness.” Research published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 41, No. 2) found that 68 percent of Americans did not want someone with a mental illness marrying into their family and 58 percent did not want people with mental illness in their workplace. So people are understandably wary about sharing that kind of information, since it can have significant social or professional consequences.

Those consequences can include incarceration. Americans with severe mental illnesses are three times more likely to be in jail or prison than in a psychiatric hospital. In any given year, the largest psychiatric hospital in the US is either the Los Angeles County Jail or the Cook County Jail. Granted those numbers are for severe mental illnesses, but like many other conditions, deterioration can occur without appropriate medical treatment, so what may not start out severe can end up that way.

There are potential professional consequences also. In a 2014 report by Yale Law School, 30% of Yale Law students who said they had considered, but did not seek treatment for mental health problems, cited “fear of disclosure risk for the bar exam” as a reason why. The level of intrusiveness of mental health questions varies by state. Some states choose to ask only about actual conduct or behavior that can be explained by a mental health challenge while some ask about current mental health challenges only. On the more invasive end of the spectrum states ask about past diagnosis and treatment history. With no national regulation of these questions, the range of questions is wide. (Source)

NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  NAMI’s mission is to raise awareness of mental illness and to help individuals living with mental illness and their families. All NAMI programs are provided to participants free of charge. Fundraising is crucial to continuing programming, which helps more people each day as awareness of the programs increases.

NAMI provides support, education, and advocacy to hundreds of thousands of families, individuals, educators, mental health service providers, and law enforcement professionals each year. Among the important things NAMI does is support of programs to train law enforcement to manage situations involving people with mental illnesses. I presented sections in several of those trainings and saw the improved results as more officers were trained.

In 2019 Team Bella Q is raising funds for NAMI SW Ohio. Harry has his own page, and he’s again on pace to raise more than the rest of the roster. Any donations will be appreciated. All can be made as anonymously as you like. Visiting jackals who donate will get a coffee, cocktail, or other confection of their choice from me during their visit to SW Ohio (or with me if you live here).

Thanks for reading.

You all know what to do.

Open thread!

There Are Other Congregations Whose Churches Have Burned in Need

Right now everyone is paying attention to the Cathedral of Notre Dame as it smolders. And to a certain extent that makes perfect sense. It is a historic marvel and a major tourist attraction both because of its historic and its religious significance. President Macron has unequivocally stated that the cathedral will be rebuilt. And the organizations that were set up to raise funds for its renovations will now quickly switch over to fundraise for the rebuilding effort. But even as those funds are raised, there are other churches, specifically some African American churches here in the US that were deliberately burned down in acts of domestic terrorism whose congregations need some help to rebuild their houses of worship.

From the GoFundMe link:

Three historically black churches have burned in less than two weeks in one south Louisiana parish, where officials said they had found “suspicious elements” in each case. The officials have not ruled out the possibility of arson, or the possibility that the fires are related.

“There is clearly something happening in this community,” State Fire Marshal H. Browning said in a statement on Thursday.

The host of this campaign is the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149 year old non-profit religious organization.  We are working with the Governor of Louisiana, local leaders, elected officials, the impacted churches and their pastors, other faith organizations and the community to ensure 100% of all funds raised will be evenly distributed to the three churches affected.

Please donate here and look for upcoming opportunities to help these churches and communities begin to heal.

The Seventh District Baptist Association lead by President Freddie Jack,  is comprised of approximately 60 Baptist churches from seven parishes in Southwest Louisiana, which includes the three churches affected by the recent fires.  The District meets on a quarterly and annual basis emphasizing Christian Education, Evangelism, Discipleship and fellowship in the Body of Christ.

The District’s annual session is held the first week in June  where we celebrate our legacy and plan continual ministry events to reach the lost and edify the Saints.  The District will be holding its 149th Annual Session in Lake Charles, Louisiana the week of June 2nd.

President Jack requested that a Go Fund Me campaign be initiated to show our support for our church families and the communities affected.  We are unequivocally committed to aiding our Sister Churches.  The donations received are earmarked specifically for the Seventh District’s member churches – St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.  All of your generous donations will be disbursed equally among all three churches for not only rebuilding their sanctuaries, but for the purchase of all necessities lost in the fires, including pews, sound system, musical instruments, etc.

Seventh District and the Pastors and congregations of the St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church thank you and solicit your continual prayers and support as we will overcome this tragedy together because we are ONE BODY IN CHRIST!

Ruth V. Jack, Finance Secretary
Seventh District Baptist Association

I know we hit you all up for money all the time here, especially Doug who has now raised enough money to put his baby through grad school with these ActBlue fundraisers he tells you are going to political candidates…  with the ActBlue drives for political candidates and the pet blegs, but if you’ve got some spare change this month, these good folks could use a little TLC.

Open thread.

From A Commentor: Medicare-Related Bleg

Commentor Aliasofwestgate:

I’m an irregular commentor here since about 2009ish, but I’ve always loved the place.

My Mom has been in and out of the hospital since November. At the moment she’s in a rehab facility nearby for physical and occupational therapy. I’m in Michigan, which has some pretty crazy Medicaid laws. But mostly the fact that I’ve been denied help with bills that should have been taken care of but was unable to due to things being pending in applying and stuff I know they outright won’t cover, and rehab facility fees for her being even a temporary resident.

There’s also the fact that Mom’s an immigrant. She may be a Permanent Resident and has been for nigh on 40 years, but I’ve been denied from pretty much any place I’ve applied to for help.

I mostly need some extra money to fund a possible hospital bed copayment (lowball estimate $500), and wheelchair bus rides to and from the facility, which is definitely not covered right now with her supplemental or Medicare. I’m planning on getting her a Rollator style walker for home, and have some equipment already in the house to be installed soon. But the walker is the one thing I’m planning on, along with the bed for sure. My very lowball estimate of $1500 should take care of the worst of it.

I’m a freelance transcriptionist myself, but the money is not that good. Especially since i’m not a professionally trained one.

I have a ko-fi at , which works something like Patreon, but not as structured.

My paypal address is

Oh, we also have a tubby, goofball minpin/JRT mix called Lady who misses Mom a lot. We know she’s coming home, but it’s gonna be a while yet.

Repost / Update: Helping Out Jacy

This is just one example of jacy’s amazing artwork.

Re-upping an abbreviated version of TaMara’s original bleg, because we’re *so* close…

Friend and fellow jackal jacy, as many of you know, has battled cancer and other health issues. She’s run into a bit of a problem and has set out a plan to get herself back on her feet.

Once she has it organized, she’ll be doing an art sale, which John or Betty will front page under our Artists In Our Midst series. She can do custom pet pictures…I’ve seen some of her samples and they are beautiful -, plus she has some beautiful things ready to go.

Link to her Etsy page

And finally, she has set up a GoFundMe, to help her get caught up.

Since having chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, I’ve had cognitive difficulties. It’s been very hard, because I run my own business and care for my children and my elderly mother alone. Over the past year there was an increase in my problems with fatigue, memory, and organization. An undiagnosed thyroid condition made things worse. I’ve been working hard with doctors and therapists to adjust to the problems with my brain and have developed strategies to make up for those deficits and I have new medication regimens. But while I was getting increasingly sicker I couldn’t take care of everything — including medical expenses and fighting for custody of my youngest child — and I got behind on bills.

Most of all, I think she can use some kind words of support.


Help a Kitten Out: Cat Bleg II Saving Grace Edition!

Look at that face!!!!

From commentor MomSense:

Here is a pet bleg for the kitty of my friend who died recently.  I would be so grateful if you would post this.

Grace is a very shy but well behaved little kitty.  Her mom Maya passed away at the end of January and ideally we would find a jackal home so she doesn’t have to go through the stress of being in a shelter with lots of people and other cats.

She has been an exclusively indoor kitty and we are not sure what her vet history is but the family will pay for a veterinary work up and all the testing and vaccinations she may need before going to a new home.  They will also help with transportation costs.

She is a very small kitty but I think she may be polydactyl.

Thank you!!!


Here’s some more pics of Grace:
MomSense will be along in the comments to tell us where Grace is currently located.
Update at 12:33 AM EST
Grace is currently in Brunswick, Maine.
You all know what to do!
Open thread!