By Dr. Vishnu Bisram
THE Caribbean Voice has launched a new online magazine on mental health and other psycho-social related subjects. It is a different kind of magazine on social and psychological health never before published on or about the Caribbean with relevance to other societies like the Caribbean diaspora in North America and Europe.
The goal is to publish quarterly. The first issue of this new, colour, super-sized quarterly magazine came out last week. It is powerful.
It is very colourful and beautifully designed with an inspiring style. The front cover is laced with several pictures and an assortment of topics covered inside. There are also two photos of Bajan superstar Rihanna (one when she was abused by a boyfriend and another of the real singing sensation). The magazine is 124 pages divided into several sections. It contains reports, comments, views, and ideas on various matters relating to psycho-social health designed to inform the public of issues as it is to combat social pathologies. The language is easy for readers of all ages and educational background. The magazine is very comprehensive and informative and packed with information on so many topics. It also has information on problems facing people, including famous personalities.
It is very compact. It is general in purpose, bringing so many topics under one publication.
This magazine would have required a lot of labour and countless hours of work to put it together. I applaud the editor-in-chief and other people who put it together as well as the many contributors. Annan Boodram is the person behind it. He has had a lot of experience in publication having put out several in New York on Guyana and the Caribbean. He is also one of the earliest trained Guyanese journalists in America. He served as editor-in-chief of several publications. He worked as a reporter for Stabroek News and Mirror in Guyana. And over the last three decades in New York, he penned many articles on varied social subjects.
The editorial gives a perspective on the scope, purpose, and objective of the magazine. The contents include topics like domestic violence (in Guyana, TT, St. Lucia, etc.), information on domestic violence hotlines in several countries, gender-based violence in several countries, child abuse, sex abuse, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, suicide, mental health training, trauma, mindfulness, PTSD, bullying, cbyer bullying, human trafficking and other pathologies, NGO Spotlight, caring for animals, debunking myths, self-care, quotable quotes, a mental health calendar, and much more. There is a message from Nobel Laureate Malala. And there are letters, viewpoints, global tidbits, latest developments on the mental health landscape and more. All of the topics or the contents have had a tremendous impact on our lives. There are several contributors of new content including from Pandit Deodat Persaud of Guyana, who wrote on youth volunteerism as well as psychologists Anu Bissesar and Samidha Maharaj of Trinidad & Tobago, who wrote on mindfulness; Lancia Isidore of St. Lucia, who presented on the work of the St. Lucia Crisis Centre and Jamerican, Melonie Hall, who reported on Rhianna and mental health. There are reports, commentaries, what’s happening in various societies relating to the subject contents.
Readers will find short reports, views, comments, and extracts of well-known personalities including legendary Ramnaresh Sarwan, cricket fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi of South Africa, Nobel Laureate Malala of Pakistan (and UK), Nicki Minaj, Priyanka Chopra of (Bollywood and Hollywood) India, and several other famous figures from the world of entertainment and sports. There are profiles on activism.
The Caribbean Voice magazine brings together writers with differing viewpoints to attract readers of all backgrounds bringing reports on mental health and psycho-social issues. The objective is to educate the public so they can combat social ills and help those afflicted with various psycho-social ailments. It is hoped that the information in the magazine will galvanise people to address mental and psycho-social issues so as to reduce social pathologies.
The editorial advises good mental health practices, noting that “without good mental health there is no optimal health”. It advises: Find time to enjoy nature, mediate, do yoga, practice mindfulness, imbibe humour, read, play games, foster a network of good support relations, listen to music, and practice good deeds.
The magazine can be read on line as a flip book, with no need for a subscription or payment of a fee. It can be read at: https://www.flipsnack.com/caribvoice/the-caribbean-voice-magazine.html.
Individual or business contributions, as well as sponsorships to sustain the magazine are welcomed. Feedback on stories and responses to published items are welcomed as are new contributors.