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This month VIBRANT proudly shines a light on M. Antoinette Walker and Think Bright Therapy. Think Bright Therapy Provides mental health and substance use counseling to indi-

viduals and groups ages 18 and older. The practice provides education to reduce the stigma around mental health and increase awareness of the impact mental health disorders can have on the biological and social health.

Recently, Walker joined 4 other women to release “The Ashes Have Voices”, for what began as collabora- tion that quickly shifted into a journey filled with bumps and bruises. Each woman choosing to put her life on paper caused a disruption externally and even more so, internally. Each woman was faced with unresolved pains of the past yet chose to continue the process of healing and self-discovery. Along the journey, each woman traded in her pains of the past and chose beauty for ashes.

THE ASHES HAVE VOICES is for those who feel their voices have been silenced, those who seek rest and peace, and those who want to heal from shame and guilt. This is a story filled with change and growth, failures and successes, and valley low and mountaintop experi-
ences. One or all of their stories may resonate with you. Join
these five women on a journey of healing and victory.

Defining the Ashes: Let’s be clear in voice. The Ashes Have Voices is exactly what it sounds like. The ashes are the burned and smoke-filled memories, and past thoughts and actions that have the right to be heard through your voice. If suppressed, these things can lead to mental health challenges for men and women.

Challenges for Women: Women are expected to carry it all. Work. Home. Children. Husband. We are trying to build the fort, and hold down the fort, while sometimes it feels like the fort is burning down at the same time. The load can become over- whelming. In an article by Timothy Diehl, he outlines five expec- tations of daughters that eventually impact them as women: be beautiful, stoic, small, soft and passive. So, if women speak up for themselves or others, they are generally called the “b” word. (And if you are a black woman who speaks up, then you are an “angry” black woman.) Managing who we really are and who others expect us to be can be exhausting


Challenges for Men: And men, we know you are not exempt. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than

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