Featured photo: Calvin Ray Martin, executive director of Destiny Power Center, is one of 17 speakers lined up for an upcoming hope and healing summit.
Written by Tanya Terry
Destiny Power Center (DPC) is a nonprofit community organization that focuses on resolving and giving practical tools and resources to an at risk community using creative methods.
“We do a lot of things through the arts,” explained Calvin Ray Martin, executive director of Destiny Power Center.
“We do a lot of things through visual aids-just to make it more practical for people to grab hold of everyday situations that may arise,” Martin added.
DPC is hosting a free mental health summit from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, on the north side of Flint. At the summit, there will be five workshops for hope and five workshops for healing. Each class runs about 40 minutes, and participants are asked to take part in one of each type of workshop. Men and women take separate classes. Teens and youth also have their own classes. This is so individuals can gain gender-specific information and be more comfortable talking openly, according to Martin. Up to 20 people can be in a class.
Classes on depression and suicide are being offered, with suicide awareness and prevention being a major platform of DPC, according to the organization’s Facebook page.
“You have men, women and children that are experiencing depression on a whole new level, especially because of the pandemic-and many of them don’t even identify it as depression,” Martin pointed out.
“Most depression leads to or can lead to suicide,” he added. “Most suicidal deaths occur in people who have been living in a depressed state of mind.”
Martin said the class involves looking at triggers-components that can be identified on an everyday basis and how one’s environment can contribute to depression or suicidal thoughts.
In addition, classes will also be held on anxiety and self harm.
Martin pointed out anxiety can be about going back to school or work with changes brought about by the pandemic. He said anxiety is rooted in fear.
“Fear leads to self harm, and self harm is not just injuring yourself,” he added. “Self harm is not getting enough sleep, not eating correctly, bad behavior, mood changes-or any of those personal things that are harming you on lively level.”
Martin also stated when individuals are experiencing anxiety they tend to rush through life and not get the most effectiveness out of their days.
Grief and trauma will also be discussed as a hope topic.
“We’ve had so much life taken out of us, especially over the last couple of years, it allows people to be honest with their grieving process. Everybody grieves differently, but it’s OK to grieve. It’s not OK to stay in a grieving state. You have a lot of people that somebody dies and they don’t want to live, or their whole mood changes and now they feel themselves defeated.”
Martin said grief can also cause trauma, and the class will focus not only on the traumatic experiences that have happened in a person’s life, but finding the balance to overcome both grief and the effects of the trauma it has caused.
Martin also said bullying, another hope topic, has become a very popular subject. This bullying can take place not only in schools, but in the workplace, at home, in society and in relationships. Martin also talked about how many people who are bullied become bullies themselves. Whether a person is a bully, a victim or a witness-class attendees will be asked to participate in their own healing.
Sexuality is also a hope topic. Martin talked about how some people, including some who are abused, don’t know who they really are when they enter relationships.
“The highest rate of suicide in teens is with teens that identify themselves with the LGBT community.”
Equally important are the healing topics, which will include self care, saying ‘no,’ letting go or grief, work/balance/life and the king or queen in me.
To register for the Dare to Dream Self Care & Mental Health Awareness summit, visit flintmentalsummit.eventbrite.com, or call 734-985-0525.