New study shines light on reality of suicide among new Ontario moms, moms-to-be

One in every 19 maternal deaths in Ontario is attributable to suicide. 

That’s the troubling finding of a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this week that shines a light on a topic often seen as taboo: suicide among new mothers and mothers to be.

“Despite high-profile media attention and calls to increase knowledge, with the goal of encouraging policy change, little is known about the true extent of the problem in Canada or the steps that can be taken to prevent it,” write the authors of the study, published August 28.

Their conclusion zooms out on the phenomenon of post-partum depression to show that women can be vulnerable to suicide throughout what’s called the perinatal period — not only during the first four weeks of the baby’s life but months later, as well. And it ends with a caution to health-care providers to be “collectively vigiliant” when it comes to determining a woman’s risk. 

‘It became really isolating’

The research examined coroner records of women aged 18-45 who took their lives over a 15-year period from 1994-2008, and found that suicide accounted for 51 of 966 deaths among pregnant women and those in the first year following birth across the province — that’s approximately five per cent. And it makes suicide the fourth leading cause of death for perinatal women. 

‘The most powerful two words in the English language are: Me too.’ – Claire Zlobin, founder of Life With A Baby

It’s a conclusion made even more heartbreaking when you consider that perinatal women were found to turn to much more lethal means, including hanging or jumping, than other women who took their lives. And that fewer than half had contact with a mental-health provider in the 30 days before their deaths. 

That reality was one of the reasons that drove Toronto mother Claire Zlobin to take matters into her own hands and start Life With A Baby, a network for new parents born from her own feelings of loneliness as a new mother in a new part of the city.

It was 2007 when Zlobin had her daughter, moving from the downtown core to Thornhill to start a family.

But when her husband went back to work, the feelings of isolation crept in around Zlobin. 

“It was just me and her in our house. It became really isolating and I had a lot of anxiety, being a first-time mom and not really knowing what I was doing,” she said.

A resource born from pain

Before long, her project took on a life of its own and now has chapters across the province to help fill what she says are some of the gaps in mental health services for new parents.

“I think we’re lucky in the GTA,” she said, citing services offered by Mount Sinai Hospital and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. 

‘But a lot of places, there’s not a lot of community resources, so you’re really driving like 15-20 minutes to get to an early- years centre,” she said.

Claire Zlobin

Isolation was one of the reasons that drove Toronto mother Claire Zlobin to take matters into her own hands and start Life With A Baby, a network for new parents born from her own feelings of loneliness as a new mother in a new part of the city. (CBC)

The study, published this week, raises questions about exactly that.

Ontario’s rate of suicide among pregnant women falls somewhere between that of the United States and the United Kingdom.

But of all the regions covered in the research, the study authors found women in the northwestern part of Ontario died more often by suicide than in any other region. The North West Local Integrated Health Network (LHIN) spans the area from the Manitoba border to just west of White River, running from Hudson Bay all the way to the United States border. And while it’s the largest of Ontario’s 14 LHINs, it’s also the least populated. 

That women in the region may be more likely to die by suicide than anywhere else in Ontario “perhaps speaks to the isolation or lack of access to care, hypotheses that would need to be tested directly,” the study says. It also points out that 21 per cent of the population in the region is of Indigenous ancestry. 

Thinking beyond post-partum

One of the most serious findings in the study is that women who took their lives did so mainly around the seventh or eight month after birth. That, notes Dr. Brian Goldman, “is far beyond the first four weeks of the baby’s life.”

In a post for CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art this week, Goldman points out that the latest definition of postpartum depression pegs it at as starting during pregnancy or during the first four weeks after birth. 

The study authors note the finding is important — it could suggest women who experience depression later on might not be diagnosed or receive the necessary care. 

But if there is a silver lining to the report, Goldman suggests, it’s that it may be possible to identify women at risk before it’s too late. That’s because the women who died by suicide were found to be more likely to have seen a primary care provider to address a mental health concern within the year before their deaths.

For Goldman, that presents an opportunity. “People like me need to ask about a history of mental health problems as part of routine care,” he said. 

For Zlobin, being able to connect with other mothers and hear about their shared anxieties was way out the darkness she found herself in all those years ago. 

“When you think you are the only one, it makes things a lot harder. You don’t want to ask for help so the stigma of all of that prevents you from getting help,” she said. 

The reality, she hopes new moms will find, is that they aren’t alone in their fears. 

“The most powerful two words in the English language are: Me too.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center Now Urges an Employee of a Connecticut Healthcare Provider to Call About Rewards If Their Employer Is Grossly Overbilling Medicare

We are very interested in hearing from healthcare professionals if their employer is billing Medicare for procedures that never happened”

— Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, August 29, 2017 / — The Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We are urging an employee of any type of healthcare provider in Connecticut to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 for a discussion about potentially very lucrative whistleblower rewards-if their employer is grossly gouging Medicare by forcing patients to undergo medically unnecessary medical treatments or up-coding Medicare bills. We are also very interested in hearing from healthcare professionals if their employer is billing Medicare for procedures that never happened.” http://Connecticut.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

The types of healthcare workers in Connecticut the Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower would like to hear from about federal whistleblower rewards include potential whistleblowers who have proof of the following:

* An employee at a nursing home that is short staffed and not capable of providing mandated daily medical treatments to their Medicare patients-but the facility is billing Medicare or reporting to the state as if they are fully staffed.
* A ER doctor who can prove their hospital/employer is routinely admitting Medicare patients for medically unnecessary tests or procedures.
* An employee at a skilled nursing facility that is forcing Medicare patients to undergo medically unnecessary rehab-therapy-every day, or almost every day. Managers at the skilled nursing facility force their rehab therapists to perform these medically unnecessary procedures—or the therapist is only working part time-or they get fired. The nursing home, skilled nursing facility or rehab center could be located anywhere in Connecticut including communities such as Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, or New Britain.
* An employee of a Connecticut based hospice provider that is signing up Medicare patients for hospice-even though the patients do not qualify for hospice-because they are not dying.
* An employee of a Connecticut hospital that is routinely up-coding Medicare bills to the highest reimbursement levels beyond what the actual treatment that was provided.

The Center says, “If you are a healthcare worker in Connecticut and your employer is overbilling Medicare every day for unwarranted medical procedures or treatments please call us anytime at 866-714-6466 and allow us to explain how the federal whistleblower system works. The wrongdoing must involve at least a million dollars for a whistleblower to get properly compensated. Why sit on a winning lotto ticket without ever knowing what it might be worth?” http://Connecticut.CorporateWhistleblower.Com

Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center: Do not go to the government first if you are a potential whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing. The Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake. Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a reward. Do not try to force a company/employer or individual to come clean about significant Medicare fraud, overbilling the federal government for services never rendered, multi-million-dollar state or federal tax evasion, or a Connecticut based company falsely claiming to be a minority owned business to get preferential treatment on federal or state projects. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help you with a focus on you getting rewarded.”

Unlike any group in the US the Corporate Whistleblower Center can assist a potential whistleblower with packaging or building out their information to potentially increase the reward potential. They will also provide the whistleblower with access to some of the most skilled whistleblower attorneys in the nation. For more information a possible whistleblower with substantial proof of wrongdoing in Connecticut can contact the Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466 or contact them via their website at http://Connecticut.CorporateWhistleBlower.Com

Thomas Martin
Connecticut Corporate Whistleblower Center
email us here

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Familiar St. Helena face to shape Charleston’s International African American Museum

Victoria Smalls might one day return to St. Helena Island, where she grew up on land with farm animals and not far from what she deems sacred ground.

The Penn Center campus is where her father graduated from Penn School and her parents met during the Civil Rights movement. It’s where she most recently worked in various roles for five years.

“It felt like a natural thing for me to be there,” Smalls said.

But Smalls has moved on from the place she felt such a strong connection to.

She found an opportunity she says will allow her to grow while keeping a hand in what she knows well — the Lowcountry’s Gullah history and culture. In July, Smalls became program manager for the fledgling International African American Museum in Charleston and moved to Mt. Pleasant.

The museum’s temporary office is on Calhoun Street across from Emanuel AME Church. On her first day in the city she heard multiple languages during a three-block walk to lunch, noted the many tourists and variety of food.

It was an adjustment for Smalls, whose mother objected to the bustle after a brief stint on Hilton Head Island and moved the family back to St. Helena.

The Charleston museum is a $75 million project expected to break ground next year on the waterfront and be built by 2019. When finished, its exhibits will tell the story of South Carolina’s role in the slave trade and will allow visitors to trace their ancestry through the enslaved Africans who arrived in Charleston.

Smalls said she expects the remaining $25 million needed in private donations will be raised this fall.

At Penn Center, Smalls worked in development and marketing and as its director of art, history and culture. With the museum, she is learning fundraising software and will eventually have a hand in a little of everything, including filling out a staff.

The staff already had Beaufort County ties.

Michael Boulware Moore, the museum’s president and CEO, is the great-great grandson of Beaufort hero Robert Smalls. Victoria Smalls, no known relation to Robert Smalls, pointed out that the new museum will look out into the harbor where Robert Smalls, once enslaved in Beaufort, stole a Confederate ship and navigated it to freedom.

Moore and Victoria Smalls were part of a recent workshop to help shape the stories that will be told at the national monument to Reconstruction planned for Beaufort County. Smalls noted that in a recent interview, Moore said he wanted to reach out and work with similar organizations, mentioning Penn Center first.

“It made me feel very proud,” Smalls said. “I feel like I can still be that liaison, that connection to home.”

You’ll find these names all over town, but who are they? Get to know these Charlotte icons

You see their names on buildings, streets and more all over Charlotte. But do you the person behind the name? Here are 11 Charlotte icons and what they’re known for.

(1) Blumenthal

Where you’ll see it: Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Herman and Anita Blumenthal, and I.D. and Madolyn Blumenthal formed the Blumenthal Foundation in 1953. Herman and I.D. were Charlotte businessmen who owned Radiator Specialty Co. and Herman has been called “the father of philanthropy in Charlotte.” In the 1980s, Herman gave a landmark $3.5 million gift for the uptown arts center that now bears the Blumenthal name.

(2) Levine

Where you’ll see it: Levine Children’s Hospital, Levine Center for the Arts, Levine Museum of the New South, Levine Jewish Community Center, and many, many other places.

As an ambitious 21-year-old, Leon Levine wanted to offer customers good value merchandise for less than $2, so he opened the first Family Dollar in 1959 in Charlotte. He started the Leon Levine Foundation in 1980, who focuses on healthcare, education, Jewish values and human services. The foundation, which Levine still leads, has made numerous donations to different organizations throughout Charlotte.

(3) Jerry Richardson

Where you’ll find it: Jerry Richardson Stadium at UNC Charlotte; On the statue outside of Bank of America Stadium.

We all have this man to thank for the Carolina Panthers. As a former NFL player himself, Jerry Richardson’s dream was to bring the NFL to the Queen City. And did just that in 1993 when the NFL awarded a franchise to Charlotte and Richardson became owner. After his football playing days ended in 1961, Richardson helped open the first Hardee’s franchise in Spartanburg, S.C., and also ran other restaurant chains during his business career. He was also the first person to be inducted into both the North Carolina and South Carolina Business and Athletic Halls of Fame.

(4) Bechtler

Where you’ll find it: The Becthler Museum of Modern Art.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art would not be around today if it weren’t for the inspiration of Andreas Bechtler’s parents, Hans and Bessie. The Swiss-born Andreas grew up around artists and became an artist himself as his parents’ collection of modern art grew and grew. Andreas moved to Charlotte in 1979 to work in one of his family’s manufacturing businesses. When his parents died, he inherited half of the family’s art collection. He decided to donate it, and some of his own collection, to the city of Charlotte.

(5) Romare Bearden

Where you’ll find it: Romare Bearden Park, 300 S. Church St., Charlotte.

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte in 1911 and became one of the foremost African-American artists of the 20th century. The 5-acre park in uptown that bears is name is a tribute to Bearden and his art, and incorporates themes from his life and work.

(6) Gantt

Where you’ll find it: Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St., Charlotte.

Harvey B. Gantt was the first African-American mayor of Charlotte and the first African American to be admitted to Clemson University. He created his own architecture firm in Charlotte in the mid-1970s and was elected to Charlotte City Council before becoming mayor in 1983. The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture opened in its current Uptown location in 2009.

(7) McColl

Where you’ll find it: McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N. Tryon St.

Hugh McColl grew regional North Carolina National Bank into the behemoth Bank of America, and was the bank’s Chairman and CEO before retiring in 2001. In 1995, the bank bought the former Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in uptown for the purpose of establishing an urban artists community. It became the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, which opened in 1999.

(8) Belk

Where to find it: Belk stores; Belk Bowl college football game; John Belk Freeway; Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St.

If you have ever visited SouthPark Mall, then you have heard of Belk. Founder William Henry Belk opened a small shop in Monroe in 1888, which grew into the biggest department store chain in America. The company stayed in the family for 128 years, and Belk’s son, John Belk, served four terms as Charlotte mayor.

(9) Johnson C. Smith

Where you’ll find it: Johnson C. Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte.

Biddle University opened in the late 1800s just outside of uptown Charlotte. In 1921, the late Jane Berry Smith made a very generous donation to the institution in order to build a theological dormitory, science hall, teachers’ cottage and memorial gate in memory of her late husband, Johnson C. Smith. In recognition of the gifts, the board of trustees changed the name of the institution to Johnson C. Smith University. The private liberal arts university now enrolls about 1,600 students.

(11) Billy Graham

Where you’ll find it: Billy Graham Parkway; Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Dr., Charlotte.

Evangelist Billy Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950 and has preached to more than 215 million people in more than 185 countries. He has also counseled presidents and other world leaders. His library – fittingly located off Billy Graham Parkway – is styled after the dairy barn he grew up on in the outskirts of Charlotte.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The war on standards — shoot the messenger edition

… acting white enough i.e. black Americans, Latino communities, and immigrants in … somehow racist, or somehow cause racism—contentions that I and my … said this: The charges of racism, white supremacy, etc. are, sadly … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

An upcoming exhibition grapples with 100 years of Chicago police violence

click to enlarge From the "Gone but Not Forgotten" series, a collaborative quilting project by Rachel Wallis memorializing victims of police violence - COURTESY OF SARAH-JI

  • Courtesy of Sarah-Ji
  • From the “Gone but Not Forgotten” series, a collaborative quilting project by Rachel Wallis memorializing victims of police violence

September 5 will mark 100 years since Chicago police officers and federal agents raided and pillaged the offices of the Industrial Workers of the World on West Madison Street. The CPD seized everything from political pamphlets to personal love letters as possible evidence of the Wobblies’ attempts to sabotage American participation in World War I. In leftist circles, the fishing expedition for “evidence” of treasonous activities was seen as a pretext for dismantling an organization that was successfully unionizing workers around the country and threatening government and business interests. And the police were, as always, serving to protect those interests.

For the members of For the People Artists Collective the IWW raid of 1917 is a point of departure for an examination of a century of police violence in Chicago. FTP is seeking artists’ proposals through September 3 for a monthlong show called “Do Not Resist? 100 Years of Police Violence in Chicago.” The exhibition is slated to open January 12 at the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square with satellite exhibits at Uri-Eichen Gallery in Pilsen, and Roman Susan Gallery in Rogers Park. FTP is encouraging self-taught artists and black artists in particular to submit proposals, and the organization has created a time line of incidents of Chicago police violence for potential subjects or sources of inspiration; artwork related to events not included in the time line is also welcome.

The goal of the show is “to extend the conversations around police violence in our city,” says Monica Trinidad, one of the cofounders of the collective. “Chicago has been in the headlines around Jon Burge torture and Homan Square, but we need to make the connections a bit deeper and go beyond these isolated incidents, to engage with Chicago’s history of police violence in order to understand what’s led us to our present circumstances. We really want to address the roots of police violence, how violence is inherent in policing.” The organizers also intend for “Do Not Resist?” to uplift and honor the victims of police violence and their families.

Trinidad hopes that by curating artistic representations of key moments in Chicago’s history of police brutality—whether through painting, photography, video installations, performance art, poetry, or sculpture—audiences will be better able to understand the ways in which police protection for some is built on violence against others, and might eventually imagine “new structures for community safety that aren’t reliant on policing anymore.”

“Do Not Resist?” extends the work of abolitionist artists and organizers who for years have sparked community conversations on alternatives to policing. Last year a group of activists, including members of FTP, camped out for more than a month on a vacant lot across the street from CPD’s Homan Square facility to demonstrate abolitionist ideas in practice.

click to enlarge An illustration of the 1937 "Memorial Day Massacre," when CPD killed ten unarmed demonstrators during a steelworkers' strike - MONICA TRINIDAD

  • Monica Trinidad
  • An illustration of the 1937 “Memorial Day Massacre,” when CPD killed ten unarmed demonstrators during a steelworkers’ strike

FTP was formed in December 2015 by artists who were also active in community-organizing efforts for racial and social justice. Since then they’ve created visuals for four large campaigns, including #ByeAnita, which was established to vote Cook County state’s attorney Anita Alvarez out of office. FTP also collaborates with social-justice-oriented organizations that seek visual material, like banners or leaflets, to augment their efforts. The collective is encouraging artists to consider participating in the upcoming exhibition, even if contributors have never created work on a political topic before or have had a hard time connecting their artistic practice with their activism.

Ruby Pinto, an FTP member who also works for the IWW, can relate to the challenge. While she’s made artwork for various organizations that approach FTP for help, the art she makes on her own—mostly glass and metal ornaments and jewelry—doesn’t feel as politically engaged.

“I’m gonna really try to make space to reflect on whatever incident I will make art about,” Pinto says. “I’m gonna have to sit with it for a while and really feel it before I know how to communicate that through art.” She encourages others, who might doubt their ability to create work informed by such grim subject matter, to do plenty of reading and research and just “try to connect with the loss of life that occurred and try to uplift the people who were left behind by the loss of the person to police violence.”

In addition to chronicling past instances of police violence, “Do Not Resist?” will include panel discussions with people who’ve either survived or organized against police brutality. Sections of the show will also feature artwork dedicated to resistance and action. “We want to give [audiences] something to leave with,” Trinidad says, “what people can do to challenge police violence in Chicago.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

SZA and Tinashe Under the Same Spotlight


Ctrl album cover

Ctrl album cover

Ctrl album cover

A late night wind-down is nothing without the accompaniment of the ultimate chill down playlist- or album. When it comes to the ethereal new sounds of R&B produced by the SZA and Tinashe, who will be the one to fuel an evening of divine introspection or inspiration-based action?

The eclectic SZA released her debut album, Ctrl, early June and played to the beat of the entire summer. The album gained traction fast and was put beside “2 On” R&B singer, Tinashe, as a comparison.

Although claims of a rivalry are false, these two female black artists do share similar qualities in their music. In SZA’s interview with the Breakfast Club, she quickly gives credit where it is due and leaves room for Tinashe to be dope in a world that is stuck on creating competition between women.

SZA’s Ctrl and TInashe’s Nightride, have one thing in common: they branch away from the traditional world of R&B. By using different approaches to create music, both artists involve sounds that evoke an ethereal quality over lyrics that reflect the highs and lows of their romantic lives.

Ctrl houses a range of songs that reflect the good, bad and downright ugly when it comes to growing into one’s own power and the not-so-healthy relationships that came with it for her. She includes indie rock and neo-soul influences, which can be heard from the chimes and drums heard in “Doves in the Wind” to the almost undetectable whispers from Pharrell at the end of the introductory song “Supermodel.”

In comparison, Tinashe released her EP, Nightride, late 2016, courageously singing about love and romance with an umbrella of dark, breathy tones that invite you to stay for the night ride. Her album maintains sultry, light-dimmed atmospheric music that almost feels woozy to the ear. Her voice uses a breathy vocal to create a spacey sound that fogs you out of reality.

While Tinashe takes you out of this world, SZA brings you back down to earth with unexpected lively instrumentations and sounds from nature. The experience of listening is enhanced with the sun beaming down and ear buds allowing one to hear the intricate details that change from song to song.

Even though the artists do compare in many ways with one being the color of their skin. The world of young female rappers and singers is more difficult to break into but the boundaries are pushed by artists like Tinashe and SZA alike. As SZA’s creative debut project release demonstrates, there is still room to grow on an individual basis to innovate the R&B industry in the future.

Alejandra Solorio can be reached at [email protected] or @alesolorio8 on Twitter.

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Telling others people’s stories – the victim and the race question

The brilliant actor Denzel Washington is set to take the role of Hickey, in Eugene O’Neill’s epic classic The Iceman Cometh.

The brilliant actor Denzel Washington is set to take the role of Hickey, in Eugene O’Neill’s epic classic The Iceman Cometh.

Where does this end?  Men can’t depict female characters?  Irish Americans can’t depict Irish immigrants?

Michael Schwartz is hardly an Irish name.  Schwartz, who died last week at the age of 73, was a Bronx-born photographer whose work appeared in the New York Daily News for decades.

Confederate Memorials Debate at Dallas City Council is Huge

… of the city’s four African-American City Council members to … conservative Republican and the first African-American in Texas to win … of the first resolution: “Whereas African Americans have been subjected to … from the dank recesses of racism? Why isn’t the … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News