In the black community, mental health is still a bit taboo. Many suffer from various illnesses but fail to get help. Then there’s Pamela Hill who has personally suffered from mental illness and has made it her business to help others develop self-confidence, compassion, integrity, and more. Find out how in her Q&A.
Tell us about yourself?
Professionally, my background has been in business for over 25 years. From the beauty industry, hospitality, private schools, and property management. Currently, I head up the HR department at a Property Management Company. This company has several properties in 3 different states. My HR focus is on Payroll and Health Benefits.
I am also the founder of I CARE / U CARE, LLC. A mentoring and leadership program enriching Self-esteem, Self-awareness, and Mental Health Literacy, which is my passion and I believe my responsibility.
Personally. my interest goes from one extreme to another, just like me 🙂 I’m adventurous and reserved. I love the ARTS–whether it involves music, art or poetry…count me in!
How did I Care / U Care, LLC come about? What made you decide to start a non-profit organization?
I’ve experienced what I call the 3 H’s: Hurts, Hindrances, and Hardships. Just like many others who have dealt with physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse, I had trouble with self-esteem. I was put down, talked about and even bullied by friends and so-called family. I used to believe the negative talk more than I believed anything positive.
People would tell me I should love myself because I was special and that I could be great at anything if I just believed in myself. I didn’t know how or where to begin as none of those people took the time or maybe didn’t know how to show me. How can you love yourself, when I don’t like your life? How do you become great at something, when you don’t know what you’re even good at?
It wasn’t until a woman, who was not my family, took me in as family and became a second mother. By investing time and even money in me, she taught me my worth by helping me develop as young woman. She truly taught me what faith in God meant, so I would know how to FORGIVE others and myself. She taught me how to accept responsibility for everything in my life, even the 3 H’s: Hurt, Hindrances, and Hardships, that I may not have deserved or asked for. All while NEVER ASKING FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN. She planted the seed and encourage me to care enough to let life water it…and I grew.
I would often thank her, but she would tell me, “Don’t thank me. Thank God and it will come a time for you to give just like I’ve given to you.” She really took time and energy, even to this day, (THANK YOU BELINDA GROGAN!) to show me she cared, and I began to care. Hence…I CARE / U CARE became my responsibility and passion!
You focus on helping individuals raise their self-esteem and increase their self-worth. What need did you see in the community to focus on these areas?
There is always a need to help others in our community and hopefully, it transcends into our world in some small way. Having a confidence in self, learning how to hone in on your strengths, what to do with your weakness and discovering how to manage with any issues that can debilitate you, is crucial to making proper personal choices. Then you become your best and can offer your best to others. It starts with you.
What are some services you offer? What age groups and demographics?With the motto, “We’ll speak up or sweep up,” ICUC will volunteer and/or partner with any organization fiduciary to their mission in making people, places, and things better.
ICUC offers two programs: M.E.I. Groups and I.A.R. Workshops. Both are intended to enrich lives and to help people reach their full potential by embolden confidence and help expand personal choices and life options.
M.E.I. stands for Motivation, Encouragement and Inspire. This is a short-term group for adults that meets at scheduled times to provide support and information on topics, such as:
- Self-esteem and Self-awareness
- Healthy Lifestyles Choices
- Financial Education
- Mental Health
- Conflict Resolution
- Achieving balance between the self and others
- Recovery from grief and abuse
I.A.R. stands for I Am Resilient. These are youth workshops that use creative skills to explore and nurture self-esteem, acceptance, responsibility, assertiveness and build an overall positive image in spite of circumstances that can break and debilitate the human spirit.
I AM RESILIENT means I MAY BEND but I will WITHSTAND and I will RECOVER!
These workshops focus on:
- Creative Writing & Poetry
- Art Mediums
What is the ICUC’s ultimate goal?
Simply put…to establish CARE to those who want to learn to how to better CARE for themselves. I hope it plants a seed to plant another seed of how to develop self-confidence, compassion, integrity, and personal empowerment.
Why is educating and helping to end mental health stigma so important to you?
I have ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and Depression.
If you have a broken leg, more than likely you don’t know how to fix it. How to stop its pain or how to develop its strength back. If you don’t get help, by going to a doctor that specializes in broke legs…guess what? You will not walk the same, probably limp for the rest of your life and suffer from its pain.
People will look at you strangely and say, “Why didn’t you go to the doctor and get your leg fixed?” It’s like second nature. If you need a doctor–go to the hospital.
But people look at mental health with such a dark cloud. Often times people don’t know that they even have mental health issues because they equate mental health with being crazy (stereotypical). Getting educated and receiving help will help manage or rid yourself of mental health problems. Not all mental health issues are forever or unmanageable.
Do you see a doctor for your mental health?
Yes, I see a doctor, just as I see a medical doctor. I still see a therapist from time to time.
Do you have any training programs that deal with mental health?
Yes, I am certified in Mental Health First Aid and I am also certified by NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness as a Support Group Facilitator. I have also taken a course in Art Therapy and other MH programs.
What organizations have you worked with?
We do ongoing work with America Scores. This organization teaches kids how physical activity, creative expression, and teamwork nurtures a strong body, mind, and character. I am a poetry judge and I have mentored the children in creative writing and poetry.
PNC Fairfax Connection is a free community resource center designed to strengthen and connect the community. I sometimes teach a course there called, “How to read your paychecks,” to various ages–teens to seniors who are new to the workforce or returning to it.
Those are just two of the organizations. ICUC has volunteered with transitional housing, shelters, and churches with the youth. It’s what we love to do!
Are you looking for volunteers for ICUC?
Yes, we are always looking. Currently, we are seeking Board Members, Event Planners, Mentors, Social Media and anyone who feels they have something to offer. Rather it’s “Speaking up or Sweeping up.” 🙂
How to reach you?
We can be reached at 216-925-6073 or a voicemail can be left at 216-438-3225. Find out more information at http://icareucareohio.business.site.