Love yourself and our world this Valentine’s Day

MHA Admin

Fri, 02/10/2023 – 13:26

by Niya McCray-Brown, Community Engagement Manager at Mental Health America

Love is demonstrated in a variety of ways with our family, friends, and loved ones, and having a strong sense of belonging is critical to bolstering our self-esteem and maintaining our mental fortitude. But there is one relationship that often goes overlooked and dismissed: Our relationship with ourselves. More often than not, many of us struggle to offer ourselves the same nurture, compassion, and grace that we extend to those around us.

A luxury or necessity?

Imagine a world where self-care didn’t feel like a luxury only afforded to those with time, money, and the bandwidth to make space for themselves – a world where we unselfishly showed up for ourselves daily and intentionally in the ways we do for our families, workplaces, and to-do lists. We can create that world, and we must, because every human being deserves access to expressions of self-love.

Blind urgency and self-sacrifice seem to be societal hallmarks of a “good ______” (mom, employee, brother, friend, etc.), but that narrative shrinks the importance of self-love and its utility in helping us bring our full selves to our world. We are our best when our needs are met, and who knows how to meet those needs better than you? There will always be time restraints, financial limits, and other barriers to treating ourselves the way we deserve, but loving yourself can be simple and attainable.

Get creative with your self-love

Despite media depictions of bubble baths and pedicures, self-love and self-care are as unique as every individual reading this.

For some of us, spending time alone or in silence translates to engaging in quality time with our bodies and minds, which promotes feelings of calm and reassurance.
Perhaps some of you, like me, receive a rush of endorphins when physically moving – like dancing or running.
Affirmations, journaling, and drawing help to improve emotional clarity and strengthen the bond with our own feelings and thoughts.
Ask yourself what you need to feel loved each day and how you can make it happen. Examples include anything from cooking your favorite meal for yourself, to treating yourself to a small gift, to taking an extra long shower with your favorite soaps/moisturizers. The possibilities are endless.

As we spend this month celebrating love, let us not forget to honor the beauty of self-love and its impact on our individual mental health.

For additional self-love tips see our blog, 10 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love on Valentine’s Day, and if you notice something isn’t quite right while working on self-love, try taking a mental health screen to learn more about what might be bothering you.

Niya McCray-Brown is the community engagement manager at Mental Health America. She is also a licensed professional counselor and mental health advocate, particularly for people of the global majority.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: