P.C.Pop with Pablo

Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Anno Nuovo – Vita Nuova

In Family, health, New Year, wellness on January 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

happy-new-year-2015

I have great hope for 2015 — to be the best year in ages.

Starting the year with strong connections to family, a small group of friends I can trust, work that fulfills me, children who make me proud (and make me laugh), a partner whose got my back (and makes me laugh), the wisdom to remember the past for what it teaches and the precious memories it has created, the courage to face the future without anxiety, love to share, patience to “let it go,” and the good sense to live for today and be present in the moment — and appreciate (thank God) all of the treasures I have (and perhaps don’t deserve).

Praying for peace, justice, joy, and good health — for all.

Anno nuovo vita nuova!

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My Story of Pasta Fazool

In Family, fatherhood, Food, health, Italian, parenting, Summer for Renewal, Uncategorized on August 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm


Pasta Fazool aka Pasta e Fagioli — This is My Story


Pasta e Fagioli is one of those dishes in my family that popped up every now and then — and everyone loves it. Later in life I was given more insight into this simple Italian meal from my Grandmother, Phyllis. If I hadn’t lived with my grandmother for a while in college, I might never have heard some of these stories about our family, our heritage, our Pasta e Fagioli. When I was accepted into college my family didn’t have a lot of disposable income to support me 100% — so, I made some tough decisions to make college more affordable. First decision was to attend a regional campus of UConn to save some money.  Commuting to the Hartford regional campus would allow me to live at home and pay a fraction of the cost of tuition/fees compared to the main campus. By the time the first day of classes rolled around I unfortunately no longer had a working car. Just getting to the campus every day was a challenge. I did various things to get back and forth and for part of that time I lived with my grandmother. My grandmother lived in the south-end of Hartford and the UConn Hartford campus was on the west-side of Hartford — actually in West Hartford. I soon became a city kid and got comfortable taking the bus everywhere.

My new home was in one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in Connecticut. Franklin Avenue is a well-known center of the Little Italy of Hartford — and I live right on Franklin Avenue in an apartment with my grandmother. The street level of her building was one of the best Italian grocery stores on Franklin Avenue and directly across the street from one of the best Italian bakeries in the city. It was a very walk-able neighborhood — everything you needed was within walking distance and downtown Hartford was only a 20 minute bus ride away. My grandmother did not drive or own a car either but never struggled getting by on Franklin Avenue. At this point in her life my grandmother was retired but still very busy. I soon realized that during the day through early evening she had a definitive routine.

My grandmother’s routine was driven by “her shows.” Her first soap opera came on at 11 a.m. so everything had to be done by then. She got up and made breakfast. One of my favorites was French toast made with Italian bread. She often ate hers with salt and pepper — not maple syrup. Once breakfast was done, my grandmother planned the menu for the day and then went shopping for fresh bread and everything else she needed for lunch and dinner. She enjoy really fresh food, so she shopped every day at the small grocery store downstairs, the bigger grocery store a block away, and one of the several bakeries on Franklin Avenue. Her options of places to shop increased on Wednesdays because she walked a couple of blocks up Bond Street to attend early morning mass at St. Augustine’s. My grandmother worked very hard all morning planning the meal, shopping, tidying up the apartment, and making lunch. Her ultimate goal was to be settled in her chair in the TV room with her lunch ready to eat at exactly 11 a.m. when her first soap opera started. The dinner she planned would be pretty traditional with an Italian flair but lunch was consistent — a sandwich and a side dish. My grandmother used fresh Italian bread, fresh deli meat, and fresh cheese usually provolone. She then prepared a hot side dish. Although for most this would be just another lunch — but to my grandmother it was an inspired work of art made with love. The sandwich was toasted or grilled and was a masterpiece.  The side dish could be almost anything like a simple soup (chicken noodle, turkey rice, split pea & ham, minestrone), vegetables (ratatouille or grilled vegetables like peppers, onions, squash, zucchini), pasta (risotto, pastina), or creamy polenta with grated cheese and/or tomato sauce. I learned a great deal about cooking and planning meals during these times. My grandmother shared little tricks and techniques and soon I knew how to turn a good sandwich into a great sandwich.

Most of the time, my grandmother was so focused on getting settled for her soap opera TV show, that there wasn’t much time for chatting. But I learned that if I listened carefully, I could learn a lot. She not only taught me about food but also would tell me the story behind the food. One of my favorite stories is how this is the food that the poor people at in Italy. Most of the ingredients of her side dishes were inexpensive, grown in the garden or from left-overs from dinner. As I mentioned in another blog, we rarely went out to eat at an Italian restaurant because they served we could make better, fresher and much less expensively — for pennies. As Italian chain restaurants started to pop up and become popular it amazed my grandmother that they offered and charged a lot for Italian “peasant” dishes like polenta, pastina, risotto, Pasta e Fagioli, and even pizza with homemade pizza dough.

Another story was about Pasta e Fagioli. Pasta e Fagioli is the ultimate poor-family meal. Among her friends when she was a kid, Pasta e Fagioli was made at the end of the week with the left overs from the entire week. Pasta e Fagioli literally translates into “pasta and beans.” So technically any soup that includes pasta and beans can be called Pasta e Fagioli. It is a delicious, hearty meal that you could make with everything you had on hand. Pasta e Fagioli can include meat but it can also be a vegetarian meal. Now you have to be careful with old time Italians because even though it was served vegetarian most of the time in my family — the flavor in the broth came from pork. A hunk of salt pork, some bacon fat or a ham bone was often used to add flavor. Salt pork or bacon fat was used when sautéing the onions and celery and if you had a ham bone on hand you would include it with the water or broth when you begin simmering the soup.  You then add the first of the two main ingredients — the beans. It can honestly be any bean you like but in my family it was typically kidney, chick peas, canteloni beans or some combination of the three. After an hour or so of simmering, remove the hunk of pork and ham bone and add beans and pasta. My favorite is a mini tube pasta called ditellini. Others in my family prefer a bow-tie pasta. I think you get the idea — frugal families would take all of their leftovers for the week (including hunks of salt pork and bones), add rough-cut vegetables, onions, celery, garlic, broth/water and the magic ingredients — pasta and beans.

Pablo’s Pasta e Fagioli Recipe – click photo

The best part about Pasta e Fagioli is it is the ultimate Italian food for the soul. There is nothing more comforting that a hot bowl of Pasta e Fagioli with grated parmagiana, crushed red peppers, and a slice of crusty Italian bread. So it is not surprising that most Italian restaurants offer Pasta e Fagioli; and it is one of the best things to bring to a carry-in or potluck. And when you want to show your friends that you care about them during tough times or times of joy, nothing says you care more than sending a big pot of Pasta e Fagioli. You’re not only sharing a meal but you are sharing your heritage and a family tradition.

Another quite humorous part of this meal is the pronunciation itself. When I was growing up we ate something called “Pasta Fazool.” Everyone in our family called it Pasta Fazool; our friends called it Pasta Fazool; you could order Pasta Fazool in a restaurant on Franklin Avenue and get what you wanted without the server giving you a strange look. Basically there was no reason for me to question the proper pronunciation of Pasta e Fagioli. It wasn’t until the coordinator of the potluck lunch at work asked me for the recipe of my Pasta Fazool that I actually saw how it was spelled. And then the first time someone ordered it at the chain Italian restaurant, the well trained server of the fake Italian restaurant gave us a funny look and corrected our pronunciation — which by the way wasn’t correct either. I again denied our family mispronounced Pasta e Fagioli because we also didn’t pronounce other foods phonetically — like lasagna, manicotti, mozzarella, or ricotta. I later discovered that the pronunciation, Pasta Fazool, is unique to the American-Italian community in the Northeast. So I now proudly say Pasta FAZOOL!

Our Pasta e Fagioli is vegetarian (often vegan) and a healthy, high protein, low fat meal. Today, I share this story and meal with my family — the next generation. The most wonderful part of this meal are the memories of my grandmother and our time together. The cook that I have become is in large part to my grandmother. She was a creative and confident chef. She loved making meals special and loved sharing meals with others. As a tribute to her and all of the other great cooks in my family, I am committed to not only sharing these meals with my kids but also keeping the stories alive. My grandmother would be very pleased that I have kept many of her traditions alive and I am still sharing her stories and our memories.


Buon Appetito!


If you want my recipe for Pasta e Fagioli, click here.


This PC Pop Blog post is a part of a series called the Summer for Renewal. Read the other Summer for Renewal posts too.  They are as follows:

 


Read more stories about growing up in my family and our traditions, check out these PC Pop posts:


Emerging Stronger

In health, life, Malavenda, Music, Pablo Malavenda, Philosophy, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, wellness on April 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller

(Stronger, 2011 – Clarkson).


I believe in signs — and this week little signs were popping up everywhere. Eventually it hit me like a hammer. Here’s my story.


Sign 1:


I rarely listen to pop radio — maybe once every six months or so.  Because I am a music snob, I either listen to my iPod or NPR. Yesterday while driving across town, for some reason, I needed to hear music and hit search on the radio till I found music. The first song was the latest mega-hit by Adele, which is enjoyable. Honestly the rest of the songs have been long forgotten except the last song.  As I was pullin’ up on our house, I saw my wife and daughter; so, I cranked up the tunes and pulled in the driveway.  The song was Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson. My daughter gave me that “Dad, you’re such a dork” look but I was amused as was my wife.  This morning on my way to the gym, I turned the key in the ignition and the radio came on, still tuned to the pop (schlock) radio station.  The song was Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson — AGAIN.  What the heck? Although I think American Idol is evil to the core, I do admire Kelly Clarkson; and this song isn’t half bad.  It is a bit cliche but it is a catchy pop song with a great hook with the chorus; and it is enjoyable in a mindless sort of way.  My daughter loves Kelly Clarkson (it could be worse) so I listened a bit closer; and although it is an angst infused love song of sorts I was struck by the “…stand a little taller…” line. Yes — this is the first sign — a message being sent to me to get me through this week. I immediately needed to hear Kanye West’s Stronger.


Work it harder, Make it better,
Do it faster, Makes us stronger,
More than ever, Never over,
Our work is never over.

Now that don’t kill me
Can only make me stronger

(Stronger, 2007 – Kanye West).


History


The saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is from Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, who was a writer, poet, and commentator on philosophy based on the foundation of values and morality as well as religion and culture of his times. His outspokenness and critiques made him so famous that he decided to publish the equivalent of Nietzsche for Dummies in 1888 entitled Twilight of the Idols.  This book was divided into several sections to make it easy to understand the most important work of Nietzsche (according to Nietzsche).  The first section the Preface set the tone by including a maxim from Roman author Aulus Gellius. The quote which Nietzsche referred to as his motto is “Increscunt animi, virescit volnere virtus” which translates into

“The spirits increase, vigor grows through a wound.”

Wow…this could be the next song by Ms. Clarkson or Mr. Kanye — or better yet their collaboration.

This section of Twilight of the Idols was aptly called Maxims and Arrows.  In Maxims and Arrows, Nietzsche shares profound statements in short-form — a list of incredibly thoughtful, mind-boggling, tidbits of philosophies by which to live. Although Nietzsche was being ironic, sarcastic and mocking in many of his entries, today we revere them in a literal manner. Number eight of the Maxims and Arrows is “Aus dem Leben der Schule des Krieges: Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker” which means: Out of life’s school of war:

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

This famous saying has been paraphrased in several different ways, sometimes with “Whatever” or “That which” instead of “What” and “slay” or some other verb in place of “destroy.”  Today, we state “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” {And it is quite ironic that Nietzsche uses the word “Idols” in his title and Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of American “Idol.”  False gods for sure.}


Song composers and screen writers love Nietzsche.  Some mentions of Nietzsche and this famous maxim (or is it an Arrow?) in movies, music, and  entertainment news are as follows:

  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) – quote shown in opening credits
  • Steel Magnolias (1989) – stated by Clairee played by actor, Olympia Dukakis
  • The Dark Knight (2008) – a variation stated by the Joker played by actor, Heath Ledger. Joker’s line: “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger.”
  • The General’s Daughter (1999) – “Whatever hurts you makes me stronger” stated by Elisabeth played by actor, Leslie Stefanson
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006) – Uncle Frank (played by actor, Steve Carell) looks at the banner with a drawing of Nietzsche and says, “Nietzsche, huh?”
  • Music artists who used Nietzsche as inspiration include Pink Floyd, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Radiohead, Dust Brothers, Mobb Deep, Manowar, Black Sabbath, the Doors, Slayer, Metallica, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Fall, Pantera, Fear Factory, The Dandy Warhols, Judas Iscariot…and of course, Kanye West and Kelly Clarkson.
  • Mel Gibson in an interview with the Telegraph (2010) reflecting on what he had learned through his humiliating experience that “It changes you and makes you one tough m*th*rf**k*r. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s really that simple.”
  • Angelina Jole’s tattoo on her hip is a Nietzsche-like Latin quote “quod me nutrit me destruit” which means “What nourishes me also destroys me.”

But seriously; Nietzsche was on to something.  All of us have (or will have) to deal with tragedy, although you may doubt that it really “makes you stronger.”  No matter what’s going on in your world that makes you feel like it can’t get worse — I guarantee there is someone worse off.


Sign 2:


Last week a travelling Broadway production of Young Frankenstein (pronounced Fronkensteen) came to town.  It was a pretty good show if you enjoy silly, sophomoric, fart, horny, pee-pee humor — but it is what it is.  During the show I recalled with amazement how many stars were in the movie version including Gene WilderTeri GarrCloris LeachmanPeter BoyleMadeline KahnKenneth MarsRichard Haydn and Gene Hackman. I couldn’t remember though the name of the actor who played Igor. I now know it was the incomparable Marty Feldman. Fast forward to Monday’s CBS This Morning — Anna Quindlen was being interviewed when she shared a story. She was stuck in a dangerous storm and her daughter was worried about her to which she replied, “I am too old to die young.” A powerful and witty quote that could mean a number of different things.  My interpretation is that once you get to a certain age (I hate that term, btw), you realized that tragedy is a part of life and you survive by how you deal with it. After another Google search — I discovered that Marty Feldman was the author of this quote. He was close to the end and quipped

“I am too old to die young, and too young to grow up.”

This was Sign 2 — and it hit me like a Hammer.


Sign 3:


This weekend I was following the tweets of my friend, Sam, who has been training for months to run a marathon, and it was this weekend. Sam did a great job of tweeting to his followers regular updates on his progress to the starting line and ultimately to finishing the race — fulfilling a lifelong goal. About the time that the marathon was about to start, one tweet caught my attention. This tweet mentioned “the reason why I am running” with a link to a post on his blog, “Making Sense of the Senseless…I Think?!” The title of the post is “Running Through Pain,” and it is a powerful and personal account of why Sam had to run this marathon.  Sam’s journey includes mentoring through Big Brothers a young man going through tough times, the loss of his grandfather last year, and remembering the loss of his cousin and best friend at the very young age of 19 — the marathon is the 6-year anniversary of his cousin’s death. All of this “pain” plus the real pain of training for and running a 26-mile marathon is the theme of the blog post.  Sam’s story is so powerful I had to read it twice — and then share it with my son (and anyone else who would listen to me). Trust me — you must read this blog post about Sam’s journey. It reminds me of our resilience. Much of what we feel is a choice. How we respond to tragedy, pain, setbacks, disappointment, and mistakes, intentional or accidental, not only determines how we feel but reflects our focus, our vision, our determination, our  patience, our forgiveness, our perseverance, our strength. You learn a lot about others and yourself when things go wrong. As Maya Angelou said,

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

Sam’s journey and the recent death of one of our friends due to cancer, again at the young age of 45, also reinforce that no matter how low I feel, there is always someone who is suffering more.  More importantly, be grateful for all of your blessings now, and make sure you know what is important — and it ain’t money.  I am focused on family especially my wife and kids and my friends — who are positive and supportive.  I value my home, the food in our pantry and on our table each night, my freedom, my time with my family, and the resources I give my children to become caring, loving, and STRONG servants and scholars.  It saddens me that others are suffering more and have less than I, but it gives me hope and motivates me to give and serve. It puts my problems in perspective.

And yes, you can disagree with the maxim “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but it is hard to ignore the success stories.  Three individuals come to mind, who were severely abused but managed to rise to unbelievable levels of success. They are Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Louie Armstrong. I chose these three individuals because no one can deny their achievements have been extraordinary and their hardships were extreme.

  • Is adversity a blessing in disguise?
  • Feeling sorry for yourself is a choice.
  • Shame and guilt may be a choice but still overwhelming. As my pastor says though you should not feel Shame but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of Guilt to motivate you to change.
  • Setbacks in life give you fuel for growth, give you a way to heal, allow you to succeed on your own terms, and cultivate within you compassion and empathy.
  • I assure you the next time someone you know gets in trouble, you will not be so quick to judge, you will refrain from gossip, and you will reach out to them — with compassion and empathy.
  • Mercy, forgiveness, and grace are powerful and transforming.

So, now go read Sam’s blog post: “Running Through Pain,” cue up Kanye’s Stronger and crank it up.

Stand a little taller; and Believe that we will be BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER — ’cause our WORK is NEVER OVER.




“Lord, please let them accept the things they can’t change; And pray that all of their pain be champagne”

(Otis from Watch the Throne, 2011 by Jay-Z and Kanye West).


Prologue – More Signs:


Bizarre Random Signs of Nietzsche since the post was published:

  • April 23, 2012 – Dances With the Stars: I was working on the first draft of this post while watching DWTS and Bruno said to Urkel, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” {Spooky}.
  • April 30, 2012 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: In a comedy bit called “Don’t Quote Me,” Nietzsche’s quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” was featured with a lesser known Nietzsche quote (here’s the comedy part) — “A fourth bong hit is always a bad idea.”  Click HERE to see the Jimmy Fallon “Don’t Quote Me” video: Nietzsche is the last quote in this segment and may be seen about 4 minutes into the video.
  • May 19, 2012  – GLEE marathon on Oxygen network. GLEE cast covers Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You). Originally aired on Fox network during the GLEE winter finale episode “On My Way” on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
  • August 22, 2012 — found this quote online — “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

READ more about Choosing Your Attitude — PCPop blog post:


Signs of Spring — Blooming Flowers and an Increase in Suicide

In depression, flowers, health, life, spring, suicide, Uncategorized, wellness on March 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPop


Signs of Spring are everywhere.  Flowers are blooming, grass is getting green, and the bird songs and sunshine are waking me up each Spring Rosesmorning before my alarm clock.  Today, I took an exhilarating 15 mile bike ride through the country with a gentle breeze, billowy clouds in the sky, and sunshine. I feel the anticipation for the happiness that Spring brings.  It also reminds me, though, that we are approaching the season with the highest incidents of suicide. I have a background in psychology, counseling and human development and have worked with Malavenda Tree -- photo taken and owned by PCPopcollege-aged students my entire career.  My commitment to leadership, service and community engagement led me to serving on the Lafayette Crisis Center Foundation Board for several years — three of which as president.  During this time I became acutely aware of the needs of the community, especially those in our community who suffer from depression due to abuse, illness, bullying, and  mental disorders. During my time with the Crisis Center we focused on Suicide awareness and prevention especially in the Spring.

I don’t suffer from depression but I am a bit obsessive.  And Spring not only has many opportunities to put winter behind us but Spring also pulls us in many different directions.  The energy is welcome and the motivation is increasing but the projects whether “spring cleaning,” gardening, or yard work can be more than some of us can manage. I will admit it makes me anxious.  Making to-do lists, task lists, and having a plan of action helps — not just to make tasks manageable but to also keep your emotions in check.

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopFor those who suffer from depression, it is hard to understand why everyone is so excited about the Spring.  It is difficult for anyone to make it through the holidays, the new year, and the stresses of winter but most get out of their funk when the first signs of Spring appear. So if you are the only one still feeling burdened with anxiety, despair, shame, and confusion — you may sink deeper. Individuals who suffer from anxiety or depression already feel like they are not normal — not like their healthy, happy friends.  When they continue to be depressed through Spring — and no one else is — this is often too much to handle.

For every student it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on getting through the semester after Spring Break.  It is also getting to the point of no return for students who have not kept up with their school work and have been in denial about their academic future.  If you are failing most of your classes and facing expulsion, Spring is the season of reckoning. No longer can this student avoid telling their friends and family that their college Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopcareer is over.  To many, it seems like the end of the world and the shame is unbearable. And thus, Suicide is the second highest cause of death among college students (first is accidents).

For these reasons and more Suicide peaks in the Spring. Many still don’t realize that in the months of April and May there is a spike in suicides in the US and all of the northern hemisphere. We don’t think about it because it isn’t really logical in our minds.  In so many ways Spring has outward signs of happiness, hope, and a new beginning.  We become more active and motivated to begin new projects and engage in our communities. Perhaps this same energy and motivation explains why those who suffer from depression actually make plans to take their own lives in the Springtime.  What a juxtaposition.  They become more focused, more determined, and even in some cases, more angry and aggressive with severe mood shifts. A new beginning perhaps means the end.

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPopToday every community has local resources that are tremendously effective — when we’re aware of them and use them. The first step is being aware of the Warning Signs signs and Causes of Suicide.  Since untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide it is also important to understand what causes depression.  This includes drug and alcohol use/abuse, bullying, accident, illness, abuse, loss, unemployment and more.  (A more comprehensive list of the causes of depression may be found here.) Remember — There are almost ALWAYS warning signs of depression and suicide.

Suicide is preventable. But remember that Suicide does not discriminate, and it is a real issue in today’s society. There is one suicide each minute of each day and over 30,000 each year in the US. — 1350 of which will be college students. This issue, like Spring Rosesmany, needs to be confronted as a community.  If you want to help you should become AWARE of…

  • the people you love — call or visit with your family and friends and neighbors — check in regularly
  • take action if you observe any warning signs
  • be familiar with your local resources and reliable online information
  • get help from professionals — you’re not alone

If you suspect one of your loved ones or friends is contemplating suicide, you can help best by following these guidelines offered by the American Association of Suicidology and the Lafayette Crisis Center. Here is a summary of the guidelines:

  • Take Threats Seriously
  • Watch for Clues
  • Answer Cries for Help
  • Confront the Problem
  • Tell Them That You Care
  • Get Them Professional Help
  • Offer Alternatives

Malavenda Flower Garden -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

Don’t hesitate to call 911 — but if you find yourself with someone who is suicidal (and it is not an emergency), here are some tips for what to do while you are waiting for help to arrive (from Suicide.org).

  • Listen
  • Comfort
  • Be Concerned
  • Talk openly about Suicide
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Be careful what you say
  • Listen some more (and then Listen)
  • Get professional help
  • Follow up regularly and often

If YOU are thinking about Suicide, read this first.  You should then visit a professional or call one of the Hotlines listed below including Spring Roses1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).  Each of these Hotlines and crisis centers are staffed by caring, trained staff who really want to talk to you.  In our community you may also call 2-1-1; and speak to a trained, non-judgmental person who can assist you in many ways. The 2-1-1 staff have information on important community services. So if you need essential human services – you are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for teenage children, affordable housing options, support groups and ways of becoming part of the community– 2-1-1 allows people to give help and to get help. If you need someone to talk to — just call.  Make it your first call. For more information on 2-1-1, click here (because it may not be available in your area — it is in mine). See below for more Suicide Hotline phone numbers.Malavenda Tree -- Robin -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

We must also work together to raise awareness of important resources in the community like the Lafayette Crisis Center and “2-1-1.”  Agencies like the Lafayette Crisis Center are offering services that are vital to the members of our community who need assistance — because the municipal and state governments are not going to in the near future. These agencies also need your support of time and money — please support the United Way and give directly to the Lafayette Crisis Center.

Malavenda Tree -- photo taken and owned by PCPop

Awareness — Empathy — Nonjudgmental Listening — Community Action. We all need to be aware that Spring is wonderful, but not for everyone. Sometimes all you need is to be aware — aware of what Spring Fever may bring — in addition to blooming flowers. If we work as a community to watch out for our friends, our family as well as our neighbors — depression can be overcome and suicide can be prevented.  Lastly, remember that YOU are not alone — and it will get better.

Now go out and enjoy the warmer weather, the beautiful flowers, and a new beginning.


Call 211 -- Get Connected. Get Answers.


Suicide Hotlines

  • Need Help Now?
    • Call 9-1-1
    • 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
    • 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • Text Telephone: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 1)
  • Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)
  • LGBTIQ Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)
  • For info on Suicide Hotlines in your state in US, click here.
  • For info around the world, click here.

Suicide Prevention on Facebook


Retweet and Comment on Twitter — from Suicide Prevention (@Grassroots___ ):

Signs of Spring Tweet Comment by Suicide Prevention