Roundtables #34 — It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! How are you committing to support Hispanic and Latinx mental health this month and beyond?

Jennifer Vu: Hispanic Heritage Month takes its time to celebrate the achievements of Hispanic communities and recognize the rich history of the many Latino cultures and who they are today. The dates from September 15th to October 15th encompass the many anniversaries of independence among Latin American countries, and we can utilize this time, and beyond, to be sure to support Hispanic and Latinx voices and mental health.

Hispanic Americans have played an important role in the United States — they have worked hard to achieve their goals and passions, and they do so in a way that embodies the highlights of American values, contributing to the diversity of the United States. This year’s theme is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” which I anticipate all of us take into account our origins and the aspiration we see going forward given where we come from. 

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Roundtables #11 – National find a rainbow day was last week! What real or metaphorical rainbows did you find? What rainbows do you look for in each day?

Gretel Tassah: On Sunday I saw red. The good kind: an impassioned red that energizes your spirit. It colored my mother’s lips as she grinned on her way home from Easter Sunday. My favorite shade of red on her.

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The Magnificent Potential of Machine Learning

By: Melissa Liu

Machine learning is the usage of computer programs which automatically improve its algorithms. The program learns through experience by using statistics to find patterns in mass groups of data: a prominent subset of artificial intelligence (1).  For example, machine learning can detect patterns of specific diseases within “patient electronic healthcare records and inform clinicians of any anomalies” in a dataset of people with benign and malignant tumors of breast cancer (2). Machine learning in mental health has mainly been implemented to identify specific biomarkers, develop treatment plans, and predict crises (3). David Benrimoh, a psychiatry resident at McGill University, claims that machine learning algorithms will aid doctors in doing a “better job at determining relevant subtypes of different disorders and which treatments are most effective” to utilize. Through identifying sub-categories, doctors and mental health experts will “develop more catered treatment plans and medication dosages” (3), tailoring to precision medicine. 

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The Theory of Hope

I believe that almost everyone has seen the power of hope through witnessing someone else find it. I also believe that it is a different question to ask: have you felt hope within yourself? The answers will vary much more, especially now. 

Hope seems to be the seed of miracles. The voices and platforms we follow endorse hope as a necessary component of the next step we take. With that said, one thing I have always felt is missing, is instructions on how to find it – different circumstances, epiphanies, experiences etc. give different people hope. How do we tread these waters? We have seen the stories of people who have found hope, often by chance, but how do we go looking for it when it would seem there is none to find? Or, alternatively, that there is no reason to try to find it anymore. Unfortunately, in this world, it is easy to give up. But this is where I believe there is a complicated relationship between accepting victimhood and fighting for agency and authority in your life. When I started writing this piece, I thought hope could be the bridge.

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Spotlight: Abigayle Peterson & The Stories Within Magnify’s Code

Magnify Wellness was coded using a JavaScript library called React, but there is another language embedded into the story that Magnify Wellness’s code portrays. It is a familiar language, which conveys the challenging story of learning how to best use our gifts through the experiences we gain. Abigayle’s story is one that reminds us that we share the language of pain, ache and loneliness, though we may experience it differently. Her story reminds us that we can grow, learn and make profound leaps in a plentiful direction while keeping our experiences in our back pocket. 

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