Erriona and Ivory, from California March 20, 2019
I feel like everybody should familiarize themselves with mental health awareness. Oftentimes, its looked at as a stigma. People want to put mental illness in this box, but it affects more people than you know. Ive had it happen to me. I didnt know anything about it, and then it was like, Boom! And then I had to play catch-up. I think its something that everyone should learn about because you never know when youre forced to deal with it. It could be you, a sibling, family member or anybody. Its always good to have the knowledge instead of always trusting everything the doctor is telling you. Sometimes, doctors will tell you that your kids have this and need to be put on that. Thats not necessarily the case, but when youre more informed, you can listen to the doctor, knowing your child and acknowledging that your child may suffer with mental illness or not. Its better to be informed than to be ignorant. I think thats how we get ourselves in a bind and caught up in the system because were unaware and not informed. We should get familiar with it. A lot of times, its hereditary. If were out here having babies, you dont know each others history, and it can be genetic. If we dont know the first thing about it, were not going to be thinking about genes and where mental illness comes from. We wont worry about it until its too late. I think its important because if you do have a family member or somebody does have a mental illness, you want to be able to help them. You dont want them to be out of sight, out of mind, because thats not fair, and they cant help it. When youre informed, you can help people that may be challenged with mental illness. You can share that information. Ivory (right).
I feel like everyone should pay attention to mental health because theres more cases than you know. I think that it gets overlooked. Its just important to keep up with your mental health. Its important for the black community to take it seriously. I have bipolar depression, and I had let it get out of hand. If I let it get out of hand, its hard to get control of. I feel like if the community, or anyone, is aware of their mental health, itll save them in the long run. It can be scary if you dont get ahold of it. Its kind of overwhelming once you get to the state of mania and trying to come back to normal. Its just hard when it gets out of control. Being aware is very important. Erriona (left).
West of Ninth is a Louisville photography blog, westofninth.com, by Russell residents Walt and Shae Smith. They see the value and potential of all West Louisvilles nine neighborhoods. Equipped with a Nikon DSLR, recorder and the ability to never meet a stranger, their goal is to shed light on what makes West of Ninth the greatest.