Mandy Teefey Says Daughter Selena Gomez Was ‘Proud’ of Her for Sharing About Recent Health Crisis
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Selena Gomez and mother Mandy Teefy

By Brianne Tracy, People

Mandy Teefey was a vision of happiness while shooting the December cover of Entrepreneur magazine with daughter Selena Gomez and Newsette founder Daniella Pierson in support of their new mental health company, Wondermind.

But behind her big smile, she was struggling.

“I almost passed out doing the shoot,” Teefey, 45, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “We had to break so many times, but all my friends and loved ones around me helped me get through it. I was smiling and laughing most of the time because I was going to faint. Don’t judge how someone looks because you don’t know what’s underneath that picture.”

Less than a month before the shoot, Teefey had been hospitalized with life-threatening double pneumonia that she says had been “exacerbated” when she caught COVID-19.

“I got pneumonia in February in New York, and I guess the doctor didn’t really clear it up as much as it needed to be,” she says. “I had gotten IV vitamin therapy, which I think helped me get through the times I did.”

“Then a week before I was going to get my first COVID shot, I got COVID,” she continues. “I was at home the whole time. When my fever broke, my oxygen went to 69, and I was rushed to the hospital. The first hospital was pretty badgering, like, ‘Why didn’t you get your shot?’ I’m like, ‘I literally can’t breathe right now. Can we talk about this later? I will explain why.'”

Teefey says she was then transferred to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, where they gave her steroids and antibiotics, as well as breathing exercises to do.

“They said that had my body not responded as quickly as it did, I had two days [to live],” she says. “They said, ‘We don’t know how you’ve been breathing this whole time.’ I had, like, half a lung. I made it through COVID and didn’t lose my taste or smell or anything, but it beat up my lungs pretty hardcore.”

The silver lining of it all, Teefey says, is that she was able to come up with the name Wondermind for her new company while in the hospital.

“Something positive came out of it,” she says. “It was definitely an experience, and it wasn’t scary until I got home. When I got home, I was like, ‘Wow, I may not have ever come back here.’ I was a lucky one.”

Though the shoot was so soon after her hospitalization, Teefey pushed herself to do it. But when the photos came out, she felt the need to speak out about her hospitalization after she was criticized for her weight gain from it.

In a Nov. 19 Instagram, Teefey posted a screenshot of a DM she had gotten offering her a weight-loss program for $5,000 and explained that her hospitalization caused her to gain 60 pounds.

“I posted because I wanted to be like, ‘Guys, this is why you don’t judge people,'” she says. “I did not expect it to get picked up at all by anybody because I’m like, ‘Nobody cares about my Instagram.’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m embarrassed. It’s scrolling on CNN.’ It’s really hard for me to have that kind of attention. But Selena was like, ‘No mom, I’m proud of you.'”

Ever since Gomez, 29, became an international star in her early teens, Teefey says she’s learned to stop paying attention to comments on social media.

“I used to read DMs for entertainment because some of them are pretty creative,” she says. “There are some really creative writers out there! I’ve stopped reading them, and I debate on whether turning my comments off or not because I sometimes reply, and I’m not mean, but I’m kind of a smart-ass. The comments will be like, ‘Do you know what you’ve done?’ And I’m like, ‘Can’t wait for you to tell me!'”

“I hate wasting my time on social media,” she adds. “That’s why I only have Instagram. It’s the smartest thing for me because I had Facebook for two months and was arguing with people who made no sense. I’d rather just talk to them in person, have a drink of an old-fashioned and get into the deep conversations.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Jennifer Lopez Talks About Her Panic Attacks
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Jennifer Lopez speaking at a radio interview

By Sheiresa Ngo, Cheat Sheet

Jennifer Lopez is celebrated for her talent, beauty, and confidence. She has fans all over the world, and to many people, she is unstoppable. Although it appears like nothing could ever rattle Lopez, she admits she has had episodes of panic attacks. Here’s what J. Lo once said about her experience with anxiety.

Jennifer Lopez is always on the go

During a 2016 interview with W magazine, Lopez discussed her career. She spoke about how hectic her schedule is. However, Lopez says she likes to work, so she doesn’t really mind how busy things get. At the time, she was an American Idol co-host, she was doing a residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and she was starring in the police drama Shades of Blue. “When it comes to work, I never get tired,” Lopez tells the publication.

Jennifer Lopez’s panic attacks
Lopez tells W magazine she began having panic attacks after starring in the 1997 movie Selena. Lopez was overwhelmed by all the attention she received after appearing in the film. Lopez says people began approaching her in public, and it became unsettling. Now, she doesn’t go anywhere alone.

“I never thought about fame until [Selena],” Lopez told W. After that film, I would have panic attacks. I remember walking down the street, and someone yelled, ‘Jennifer!’ and I didn’t know who it was. I ran home. From that point forward, I realized I couldn’t be alone in public. I don’t think I’ve been alone on the street in over 20 years.”

This wasn’t the only time Lopez had a panic attack. In her book True Love, she recalled the time she realized she needed to divorce Marc Anthony. She says she had been ignoring the truth, but her body sent her a message she couldn’t ignore.

Lopez says she ignored her feelings about her marriage to Anthony for so long that she developed anxiety. She says she reached a turning point in 2011 during the time she had to do a photoshoot for L’Oreal.

“My heart was beating out of my chest, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” wrote Lopez. “I became consumed with fear and anxiety,” Lopez says she began to panic, and she told her mother and her manager how she was feeling. She told them she felt like something was happening to her body, and she felt like she was “going crazy.” Lopez says people often bury their feelings deep inside until they can’t hold them in any longer. At that moment, she reached her breaking point.

Click here to read the full article on Cheat Sheet.

Selena Gomez launches new media platform with a focus on mental health
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By Megan Marples, CNN

Talking about mental health is good for you, according to pop star, actor and producer Selena Gomez, and she’s determined to be the catalyst for positive change.

The “Ice Cream” singer announced the launch of her latest venture, Wondermind, a mental health platform focused on connecting people with educational resources and ending the stigma around mental illnesses.

She teamed up with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and The Newsette founder and CEO Daniella Pierson to create the media company, which is set to launch in February 2022.

Gomez hasn’t been shy when it comes to discussing her mental health publicly. She previously wrote for CNN about how she’s a “big advocate for social media detoxes” and therapy.

And she announced on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram show “Bright Minded” in April that she has bipolar disorder.

“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” Gomez said. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.”

Her mother revealed being misdiagnosed for over 20 years with bipolar disorder that later turned out to be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with trauma, according to the Wondermind website’s welcome video.

Pierson opened up in the video as well, saying she has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder since she was a child.

The three said they struggled to find a safe space online where they could engage with uplifting content about mental health on a daily basis. Enter Wondermind.

Click here to read the full article on CNN

Crisis Text Line to Support Spanish-Speaking Texters Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis
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guy sitting on floor using smartphone

Crisis Text Line, the not-for-profit providing free crisis counseling via text message, will begin offering its service in Spanish on October 15, 2021. The organization is actively recruiting and training volunteers who are bilingual in English and Spanish to help support the underserved population of LatinX experiencing crisis.

The need for this service is high. Suicide among young Latinas is a major public health concern as they attempt suicide more often than any other group of female teenagers nationwide, according to the CDC.

The fact that LatinX people across the U.S. have a hard time finding mental health care services in their native language fuels this inequity. According to the recent data released by the American Psychological Association, only 5.5% of U.S. psychologists say they’re able to administer mental health care services in Spanish. Research indicates that language is a primary barrier preventing Spanish speakers in the U.S. from accessing mental health services.

“Our goal has always been to support people in crisis with the technology that is comfortable to them. Thanks to the hard work of our team and bilingual volunteer Crisis Counselors, we can also serve texters who feel most comfortable getting mental health support in Spanish,” said Dena Trujillo, Crisis Text Line Interim CEO.

Crisis Text Line is a free service powered by a community of volunteer Crisis Counselors who help individuals in distress, bringing them from a moment of crisis to a cool calm moment through de-escalation, problem-solving, and active listening skills. The organization is actively recruiting and training volunteers who are bilingual in English and Spanish. To apply to become a volunteer, visit https://www.crisistextline.org/palabras.

LatinX texters already make up 17% of Crisis Text Line’s texters, based on voluntary demographic data. English-speaking LatinX texters tend to be younger (56% were 17 or younger) and more likely to be female (79%) than all texters combined.

During the Spanish service pilot, Crisis Text Line had more than 1,000 conversations with texters in Spanish and observed that Spanish-speaking texters were more likely to discuss depression, anxiety, and relationship issues than the Crisis Text Line average during the same time. The majority of texters who used the Spanish service were from Texas, California and Florida.

“I’m incredibly proud of the culturally competent, first of its kind, service we built to help the Spanish-speaking community in the way they deserve,” said Natalia Dayan, Crisis Text Line Localization Director.

Crisis Text Line is known for its innovative use of technology and data, leveraging machine learning to stack-rank incoming messages in order to serve the highest risk texters first. To increase access to the service for Spanish speaking texters, Crisis Text Line also launched a new modality: WhatsApp. Now, anyone in crisis can also reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor on WhatsApp, an app with over 32 million Hispanic and LatinX users.

About Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line has been providing free, 24/7, confidential support for people in crisis via text since 2013. Volunteer Crisis Counselors complete a 30-hour training and have 24/7 supervision by full-time Crisis Text Line mental health professionals. Text HOLA to 741741 or text to 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor in Spanish. Text CRISIS to 741741 for English. Crisis Text Line currently offers its service in theUSA, UK, Canada, and Ireland.

Learn more at www.crisistextline.org.

These 3 Latinas Scientists Are at the Forefront of Fighting Against the Spread of COVID-19
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three latina scientists in lab coats standing in the lab together looking confident with arms folded

BY TONI GONZALES

They call themselves “Las Tres Mosqueteras (The Three Musketeers),” and they certainly live up to their nickname being on the frontline of fighting against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The three Latinas in lab coats are Connie Maza (33), Monica Mann (34) and Elizabeth Zelaya (36). The scientists and medical technologists are part of a small team in Washington, D.C.’s Department of Forensic Sciences’ Public Health Laboratory Division. The trio has been working in the lab for a number of years, when in early 2020 they were thrust together into the spotlight after testing and reporting the first, initial COVID-19 cases in the area.

Photo: Courtesy Instagram

Since the early days the heaviness has been constant. “It’s just unbelievable, the pressure we had. We were under a microscope at that point,” Maza said. “It was scary at first. I was very nervous.” Over 12 months later, the ladies have seen cases skyrocket across the world and all while they remained at the forefront of the pandemic. The women have gone from reporting cases, to identifying and analyzing different Coronavirus mutations, and now onto seeing how the variants spread.

It’s a job that still comes as a surprise to people Zelaya told NBC News.”I do get that sometimes when people ask me what I do. I tell them I’m a scientist and they’re like, ‘Really? What?’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, sure am. I can tell you about some DNA if you want to learn,” she said. The reality is that while it is still revelatory for society, the numbers actually support the accepted stereotype of STEM consisting predominantly of men.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers is not a field that is made up of women-in particular Latina women. Even though women make up almost 50% of the population, only a third of the workforce working in science and engineering fields are women. Even worse, Latinas make up only about 2% of STEM degrees earned according to a 2016 National Science Board study.

The lack of Latinas in their field is an ever present thought in their minds. “You know what used to be the medical field, the science field, laboratory field being run by white males? Now, it has turned into this beautiful rainbow of colors,” Mann said. For her colleague Zelaya, it’s even bigger than that. “Every day I reflect and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is probably going to be in a history book.’”

Their work is far from being over. The pandemic still has a significant hold over the nation and the world. But, the end is in sight for the first time in a long time for the women who are very much looking forward to vacation.”Vacation together? Yeah!” said Zelaya.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers is not a field that is made up of women-in particular Latina women. Even though women make up almost 50% of the population, only a third of the workforce working in science and engineering fields are women. Even worse, Latinas make up only about 2% of STEM degrees earned according to a 2016 National Science Board study.

Read the full article at Remezcla.

Demi Lovato reveals in new YouTube doc that she had 3 strokes and a heart attack
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Close up of Demi Lovato with studio keyboard in the background

By Nardine Saad

Never one to shy away from the intimate details of her personal life, singer Demi Lovato is laying it on the table in a new documentary, “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil.”

And like hotel heiress Paris Hilton and singer Justin Bieber before her, Lovato’s YouTube Originals release sees the “Barney & Friends” alum readily sharing what really happened when she was treated for a drug overdose in July 2018 and how it left her with brain damage.

“I’ve had so much to say over the past two years, wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened,” she says in the trailer for the four-part documentary, which debuts March 23. The trailer dropped Wednesday during the virtual Television Critics Assn. press tour.

“FYI, I’m just going to say it all, and if we don’t want to use any of it, we can take it out,” the “Confident” singer adds. “Any time that you suppress a part of yourself, it’s gonna overflow.”

Lovato, 28, who has publicly struggled with her sobriety and physical and mental health, revealed in the trailer that she’d had three strokes and a heart attack. She said her doctors told her she had “five to 10 more minutes” to live when she was hospitalized for two weeks before entering an in-patient rehab facility.

She survived, of course, and told interviewers that, like her cat, she’d had a lot of lives and now she was on her “ninth life.”

In a video call Wednesday, Lovato told the Associated Press that she still was dealing with the effects: “I don’t drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision. For a long time, I had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read a book, which was, like, two months later, because my vision was so blurry.”

But her endurance is surprising to those around her.

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Bill Gates Says it Will Take Latin America 6 to 12 months Longer Than The U.S. to Control COVID-19
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Bill Gates in a gray sweater library background

In an interview about his latest book and several other pressing issues, Bill Gates sounded especially concerned when I asked him about the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination in Latin America and other parts of the developing world.

The Microsoft founder and mega-philanthropist, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated more than $1 billion to help combat the coronavirus pandemic especially in developing countries, told me that in the best case scenario the vaccines will control the virus in Latin America six months after the United States. But he cautioned that the delay could be much longer, perhaps of up to 12 months.

If things go well with the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax vaccines, “the inequity will be about a six-month” delay. “If things don’t go well with those vaccines, it could be nine to twelve months,” he said.

Gates lamented that, under the Trump administration, the United States failed to support the World Health Organization’s COVAX global vaccination program to help developing countries get 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this year.

While president, Donald Trump withdrew from the WHO, and did not contribute funds for the COVAX program. His measures were strongly criticized by the scientific community, because you can’t defeat a pandemic if the rest of the world gets infected.

In addition, “the previous administration said that every American should have a vaccine before a single vaccine gets out of the country, which, you know, I don’t agree with,” Gates told me.

Fortunately, the Biden administration’s $900 billion COVID relief package includes $4 billion for the COVAX initiative, and “we encourage the Congress to finally show up to help the global effort,” Gates said. He added that “the Biden administration is very engaged in saying no, it’s not just America.”

Read the full article at Miami Herald.

Some Latino Groups More Wary of Covid Vaccine, so Messaging Needs to be Tailored
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close up shot of Latina nurse administering COVID vaccine to a patient

Experts are urging Biden administration officials to better understand the source behind Covid-19 vaccine skepticism across different Latino communities to improve vaccine rollout strategies nationwide.

Surveys have found an “element of fear and mistrust” about the vaccine, but such fears manifest differently across different Latino subgroups, according to researchers Gabriel Sanchez and Juan Peña in a Brookings Institution analysis published Monday.

At least 28 percent of all Latinos surveyed by the Latino advocacy nonprofit UnidosUS in October reported that they were unlikely to get vaccinated for Covid-19. Latinos of Puerto Rican and Mexican origins were the most likely to report they would not get vaccinated, overwhelmingly citing concerns over potential negative long-term health effects and side effects from the vaccine, according to disaggregated data from the UnidosUS survey.

“Given that Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans are the two largest national origin groups among Latinos, with roughly 41 million Latinos from these groups living in the United States, this is a significant concern for the ability the reach the goal of herd immunity through high rates of vaccine uptake across the population,” Sanchez and Peña said.

Over a third of all Latinas surveyed by UnidosUS stated they will likely not get vaccinated, compared to 22 percent of Latino men.

“This gender gap in the likelihood of vaccination identifies how important it will be to conduct more in-depth research with the Latino population and to better understand what is driving fear and concerns about the vaccine to help devise solutions,” Sanchez and Peña said.

While President Joe Biden “has taken an important first step” by establishing a Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force within the Department of Health and Human Services, Sanchez and Peña said more needs to be done in order to improve trust in the vaccine among Latinos.

Read the full article at NBC News.

In Minority Communities, Doctors Are Changing Minds About Vaccination
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two black women waiting in line outside buiding waiting for vaccination

Many Black and Hispanic Americans mistrust government officials, and instead have turned to physicians they have long known.

Like many Black and rural Americans, Denese Rankin, a 55-year-old retired bookkeeper and receptionist in Castleberry, Ala., did not want the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ms. Rankin worried about side effects — she had seen stories on social media about people developing Bell’s palsy, for example, after they were vaccinated. She thought the vaccines had come about too quickly to be safe. And she worried that the vaccinations might turn out to be  (Image Credit – The New York Times)                                      another example in the government’s long history of medical experimentation on Black people.

Then, one recent weekend, her niece, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University in Atlanta, came to town. Dr. Zanthia Wiley said one of her goals in making the trip was to talk to friends and family back home in Alabama, letting them hear the truth about the vaccines from someone they knew, someone who is Black.

Across the country, Black and Hispanic physicians like Dr. Wiley are reaching out to Americans in minority communities who are suspicious of Covid-19 vaccines and often mistrustful of the officials they see on television telling them to get vaccinated. Many are dismissive of public service announcements, the doctors say, and of the federal government.

Continue to the original article at The New York Times. 

Hispanic and Latino health and the Affordable Care Act
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The ACA has narrowed racial gaps in access to health care, but Latinos are still nearly three times more likely to be uninsured.

As a little girl, I would accompany my immigrant mother to her numerous doctor’s appointments; I didn’t know it, but at the time, she was fighting a brain tumor. By the tender age of 7, I had translated most medical terminology from English to Spanish; see, my mother did not speak any English and when she went to the doctor’s office, I was her tiny translator, not that I knew much, but I tried my best.

By the time I was 13, I understood what was happening to my mother and knew how to discuss her symptoms with all her physicians, including neurologists and radiologists. I had my mom buy me a Spanish-to-English medical dictionary and became well-versed in the processes that happen at every one of my mother’s appointments: blood pressure check, weight check, neurological tests. When I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of 24, she stopped going to her doctor’s appointments regularly and chose which doctors she “felt” like going to at the time. I have heard all of the excuses in the book: “I don’t know if they will have an interpreter,” “I feel fine, why do I need to go?” and the most recent one, “I don’t have the money to go to the doctor.”

Read the full article at Benefits Pro.

Why Many Latinos Are Wary Of Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine
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NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to Dr. Eva Galvez about the issue of vaccination hesitancy among the Latino community she serves in Oregon. Polling shows Latinos are less likely to trust a vaccine.

New data from the CDC this month continues to show the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on certain communities. Those numbers show that Latinos are being hospitalized at almost four times the rate of whites. Polling has also shown that Latinos are less likely to trust a vaccine.

 (Photo Credit – BBC News)

So why is that? I spoke with Dr. Eva Galvez. She’s a family physician at Virginia Memorial Health Center in Hillsboro, Ore. Most of her patients are first and second-generation Latinos.

EVA GALVEZ: There continues to be just a lack of accurate information available to the community about the vaccine. So in other words, information that we are reading in different media platforms is often not in a language or at a literacy level that my patients can understand. So definitely this leads to many questions and also leads to much misinformation. What often happens is when people don’t have access to accurate information, they rely on other platforms, word of mouth, social media, and those are often not accurate. And we have seen anti-immigrant rhetoric. We’ve seen anti-immigrant policies. And there’s just mistrust, I think, of the federal government. And so when you have what they perceive as a federal government trying to bring a vaccine to the community, naturally there is some mistrust, and there is fear.

MARTIN: Do you see that fear and distrust across the board, or is it more acute among undocumented immigrants?

GALVEZ: We have a lot of mixed-status families, so even families who maybe have the documents to be in this country, they’re worried about grandma or aunt or uncle or Mom and Dad who don’t have documents. So, really, this fear is being seen whether or not people have legal status.

MARTIN: Is there a particular anecdote you can share, a conversation you’ve had with someone who was honest about those fears or concerns?

GALVEZ: Yeah, absolutely. It was a family who came in to get care for their children. And so the visit really was not a visit for Mom and Dad. But Mom asked me if the vaccine was safe, and she had heard some information on a social media platform that the vaccine had long-term side effects and that the vaccine was actually risky. And then she asked me, how can you ensure that this vaccine is safe? And then what I told her was that we had done very many studies, and it had gone through a rigorous process and that, based on my reading, that it was safe. And what I conveyed to her was that all vaccines have side effects, but that the risks of the side effects generally are less than the benefits of getting the vaccine. And that was how we ended up leaving the conversation. So she didn’t tell me that she was going to get the vaccine, but she certainly seemed open to the vaccine. And so it’s really fighting two battles here. One is trying to convince people that the vaccine is safe and that it is important, but at the same time is also trying to rectify all of those messages that they have been getting from other sources. So these conversations really do take time.

Continue to the full article at NPR.

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