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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 186

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Did you know that stress responses occur in stages on the “continuum of behavioral and emotional responses”? The CDC says there are 4 stages.

  • Stage 1: Normal stress and anxiety. Ex. You stubbed your toe heading to the bathroom. Someone cut you off in traffic. You are late to pick up the kids, but are catching all of the lights.

  • Stage 2: Rising anxiety. Ex. You left the stove on while you ran to get that one thing you forgot, but can't get through quickly. This comes with nervous habits like finger or foot tapping or fast talking.

  • Stage 3: Severe stress and anxiety. Ex. You forgot an automatic debit and your checking account is about to go into overdraft right at the holidays and there isn't any more money for at least another 2 weeks. This can come with rapid breathing, sweating, irritability/cursing.

  • Stage 4: Crisis is a full meltdown that can look like screaming and crying, being ready to fight, intense overwhelm. It's a lot!


In the short term, though upsetting, survival mechanisms are useful and crisis events can be managed. But, chronic activation of the stress response in people and communities is dangerous, destabilizing, and impairs health. In our final Friday call of 2023, we are leaving you with resources! Learn with us as we finish our Caring for the Caregiver series.

Featured Speaker:



Casey Phillips: Welcome  everybody to the Friday space. We started with things that scare you and then we shifted over to my rendition of the Littles on Saturday morning. But nonetheless it is the end of the year. And at the end of the year there's a lot of emotions or from fatigue. No emotions left in some of our bodies. And I just want to make sure and, just acknowledge the fact that many of you on this call right now I can see specifically a few of y'all come to mind that I know that you've been pushing really hard. You've made a lot of change in the community this year. May a lot of changes personally as well. And if you feel a little gassed at the end of the road, just know that there's a lot of folks that feel that way. And and I'm not saying that you need count your blessings and, but I do encourage everyone that if you are feeling gassed around this time of year and the holidays are a complicated time around the year for a lot of us just always remember do feel gratitude. For the things that have gone well, celebrate your wins as an organization, as a personal leader and celebrate others and go out and just keep being really wonderful humans in the world. And and you'll find your balance point. I hope that you can restore. And I see that That Fletcher, Dr. Bell is he is finishing off the year strong with his one rude shirt. I appreciate that. And Mr. Bell, you got any words of wisdom at the end of this year for us? 

Flitcher Bell: No, I'll just like to commend everybody on this call and other like minded people who are out there, as you say, doing the things to help those who are less fortunate and those who do not have the resources that we have. We had a great event. Yesterday at the One Stop Homeless Center we were able to help some homeless people get resumes, get them registered, get them cell phones and things of that nation. It's just work like that, continued work with the community that's going to keep us going toward what the ultimate goal is trying to become the true One Rouge as we attest we want to be. 

Casey: Right on, man. Appreciate that. Love that. Thank you, Dr. Bell. Appreciate you. Pepper.  So before we  dive right in, you got any other divergence, I said, to bring us to the end of the year or you want to jump right in?  

Pepper Roussel: No, just yeah, we, as you all know, we are doing caring for the caregiver. I'm trying to give y'all some resources to get through the holidays. My personal resource in this moment is  Is Manny on? My personal resource is Peppermint Creamer to go in my coffee, and he's called me a heathen because of it. But, you know what? I am living my truth, and this is just what's happening now. So thank you all for being here on this Friday morning. We are going to be, like I said, sharing and learning about the  The resources that are available to you so that you can pass them on to your people so that you can use them for yourself. And then we'll spend some time sharing community announcements. It's a regular Friday. First up, ta da,  is Beth Morgan. Beth.  Beth, if you wouldn't mind sharing with us who you are, what you do, and what we need to know. We'd appreciate it.  

Beth Morgan: Sure thing. So I'm Beth Morgan. I work for the office of behavioral health for the state been there about 2 years. I am not a clinician. I know y'all wanted all the answers this morning, but I'm going to tell you, I'm not a clinician. I've been with the state for over 20 years started in higher ed. Moved into the office of juvenile justice where I was for about 15 or 16 years and about 2 years ago, moved over to the office of behavioral health to help out with a program called my choice, but we're looking at getting some of Louisiana has the most folks with SMI living in nursing home. So we're looking at getting some community supports up for those folks, so they can be more. Independent within a community and not be housed in a nursing home. So that's the effort. So this is where the crisis work comes out of, but I do want to start with a tip because and I do want to explain my morning. I've been up since 5:30 even though I'm a state worker, I took off 3 hours this morning because. I am the angel tree sponsor at my church, St. Thomas more Catholic church. I just loaded 700 gifts onto a truck with Christian street furniture that are going to volunteers of America and St. Francis Xavier school this morning. So I'm going to talk to y'all a little bit this morning, then I'm going to jump off because I like to go see the kids get their gifts and I'm at that's what fills my cup. And that's one of the things I think that when we talk about crisis and stress that we got to remember to take the time to fill our own cup. We often are giving to so many people and if we don't take the time to fill our own cup, we crash. So I do have a sheet and pepper. I'm going to turn off my video. I don't know if you can pop that up or I can pop it up. The thing I emailed you late last night.  I can do it. I think I have it.

Pepper: Let me see. Oh, I can't screen share. Hold on a second. Let me see if I can find something. 

Beth: Okay, if you let me share, I can do it. 

Casey: Beth, you're catching Pepper in a moment of weakness because we actually don't do screen shares on the Fridays. 

Beth: We don't have to. I can just, if she has it, I will go over it. How about that? Oh, look, there we go. Oh, she is feeling generous. She is and I'm sorry I'm making her life hard,  but it's something she can email to you guys after. I just wanted you to have the information handy. Yeah, I'll have pepper email it to you pepper because you have it. Yeah, I can't figure it out. 

Pepper: Yeah, and I'm pulling up the wrong things, trying to monitor the chat and to actually see what's on my screen because sometimes, it's not for human consumption. 

Beth: Totally understand. So I'm, I guess what I wanted to start with where it was what the national guidelines for behavioral health crisis care are, you saw this movement a few years ago where we realized we had so many folks showing up in emergency department showing it calling the police because they were in a mental health crisis and we know the police are very good. Law enforcement's very good at certain things, emergency departments. Or the place to go for an emergency, but there may be not the most ideal space to go for someone in crisis. So what we started, these are efforts that took forever to build. But what SAMHSA came out for the states to guide them with is what they call a crisis continuum and that crisis continuum  that they believe is ideal. They want, you should make it unique to each community because everybody's unique, but the ideal 3 pieces that you need in that crisis continuum or someone to talk to  someone to respond.  And a place to go  and crisis is self defined. We can't decide what my crisis is. 1 day may not be peppers tomorrow. What something that someone who is homeless is experiencing as a crisis. I will never know. To start off with the idea is that crisis is self defined and what we move through. And what we're trying to do in Louisiana is come up with that spectrum of those 3 items. And so for the last, since 2022, we've had 3 major efforts in moving that direction. And the 1st part is that someone to talk to, and that is 988. And I'm sure you've all seen some billboards by now on what 988 is, but. In July of 2022, the National Suicide Hotline, which used to be a 10 digit number, just like every other 1 800 number or 888 number, turned nationwide to 988,  just like 911. This is a number for people to call when they need to talk about something that's going on in their lives. Of course, we did introduce text and chat also to that. And the slide, the sheet that pepper will give you all the information on how to get into chats online, but it's 24, 7, 365 folks answering the phone just to talk through what's going on in your life.The first thing they're going to do is run a suicide assessment and make sure that person is not in immediate danger and doesn't need 911 called or help. And honestly, I think some people don't call because they believe the police are going to knock down their door. But the reality is 3 percent in Louisiana, 3 percent of the calls end up in law enforcement going out usually for a welfare check. Just to make sure that person's all right, so that's that 1st, someone to talk to, you can visit the LDH website and on the sheet pepper is going to send you. It's going to have that to learn a lot more about 988 and learn about how it's spread out across the state in Baton Rouge in the. Southern part of the state, we have via link, who is a call center provider. They do 211 as well as a couple of other lines that answers all the 988 calls that come in for the area codes for the southern part of the state. And then up in the northern part of the state, we have the Louisiana association of compulsive gambling that runs the 988 hotlines up there. So when folks call, they're going to get somebody from Louisiana who understands their culture, understands what they're talking about. They're not going to get a national hotline. That's just going to give them a prescripted speech. They're going to get somebody that's there to listen. I encourage you to follow 988 and search not as followed, not LDH on Instagram, Facebook, and all those things. And you'll be able to start getting a lot of the little reminders about 988 that come out. We have a big social media campaign on 988 right now. We just. kicked it off at Bayou Classic, which was great. We geotargeted everybody who was at the game, had over 75, 000 touches and through Facebook and instagram and twitter during that weekend, trying to get out to the folks that need to know that this lawn is available and there for them. The 2nd piece is that someone to respond and we are so lucky in Baton Rouge. This is the only region in the state where we have all 3 pieces. I'm just going to say that straight up right now. And that's someone to respond is in essence mobile crisis response. Mobile crisis response is when. Someone calls the line. They can call 988. They could call their Medicare, Medicaid behavioral health specialist, or they can call the provider directly. And I have the number and on that sheet that pepper is going to send you  and explain the crisis they're in and folks, a licensed counselor and a peer specialist will come to you where you are and help you work through that crisis. So the idea is that anywhere in our region 2 catchment area, which is I don't know how many you're familiar with the LDH regions, but that's not only East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, the Felicianas,  will go out, visit with you, stabilize you, if You need to go to the hospital. If you need more help, they will help to do that and help to get you there and get that set up for you. And basically just sit with you and talk right now in Louisiana, the bridge center for hope or I international that's operating. It is operating a mobile crisis team from Monday through Friday, 8 a. m. to 4 30 PM. So that's how you would get. I know everybody knows where the bridge center is. It's that. Big, beautiful building right across from Baton Rouge, mid city, general mid city but they can, they will send a team out to you and get you help.  And that 3rd piece, which is that place to go is the bridge center. There are a couple of models for what we call behavioral health crisis care. And what that is it's a walk in center. It's pretty much what the bridge center is. It's a walk in center. Where you can go in, you can spend up to 23 hours figuring out what's going on and what your next steps are. The Bridge Center for Hope, R. I. International also runs that. They run that 24, 7, 365. So you can walk in at any time in Baton Rouge. We're lucky. We have a millage that supports that program as well as the Medicaid funds. They bring in for folks  over 21 that are Medicaid eligible that come in to visit for either behavioral crisis care Our mobile crisis response. Right now, we also have limited funds, state funds that we're giving them for the non Medicaid  population. They are pretty much operating for 18 and over out of that facility. What we're expanding in the spring, what the state is expanding for Medicaid youth. 21 and younger or 20 and younger, we are going to expand mobile crisis. We don't have a provider selected for that yet. It may be bridge center. It may be someone else, but that will be a new crisis service where they will even go into the schools to help. In the times of crisis, we're looking for linkages with our foster families also and giving them support because we know that it is a crisis when a child is moved into a foster home when they're removed from one home and put into another. We want to be there when they get there, make sure that they're okay, and give them a plan for mental health support. The other 2 pieces that follow up mobile crisis, and I'm sorry, I'm going longer than 5 minutes that are going following up mobile crisis and behavioral health crisis care or. CBCS, which is a community based services. So a follow up for 15 days after that initial interaction, be it through mobile crisis or the walk in center where we call or go see you and make sure that you're okay until you can get hooked up with your normal, a new provider or a new service to help you cope with the mental health situation you got going on in extreme cases. The bridge center is also running what we call crisis stabilization, which is a short term bed based service for crisis.  Some people call it crisis respite. So you, once you go through 1 of the initial services of mobile crisis, or B. H. C. walk in. And they deem that you need some extra time with them. You can be moved over to the crisis stabilization part of the facility where it's a longer term to work out again, those supports that you need in the community to get you home and get you safe and keep everybody happy. Those, I'm going to shut down my screen that I was reading from and I'm going to turn on my video again because I have one monitor this morning and just, I know that was a lot of information, but just open it up to if anybody has any questions. 

Pepper: Oh yeah, we got questions. Okay. First and foremost requests for you to drop your contact information in the chat. I have put the one pager in the chat. I will throw it in there once more for those who either haven't seen it or came on after I put it in there. Essentially, there are so many things that are going on. Just wanting to understand, how is there any sort of special requirement for me to participate? Do I need insurance? Do I need a referral? Do I need somebody to show up and make sure that, when I, when you do the suicide assessment that I am not going to harm myself what's my process, what do I do?

Beth: 988 is the first step if you want to just call and talk to somebody. And that, that's a little separate. They will refer some folks to mobile crisis if they want it, but a lot of times the folks that are calling 988 just want to talk. And, that's fine. We just want to make sure that they're okay. They're safe and talk to them for a while. Give them some resources to go to. In the future, they're maybe not ready at this point to come forward and do things. We're doing a lot of studies on Y. P. There's some stigma around mental health. There's a lot of stigma around mental health and seeking treatment. So it's sometimes that 1st step to get people interested and engaged.  As far as mobile crisis and BHTC and the bridge center go, like I said, y'all are unique here in Baton Rouge. The bridge center is funded by a local millage. So it really does not. I think right now the only requirement is 18 and over. I don't think they're taking anybody younger than 18. They're not taking kids right now. So really, the only requirement is you walk in and you will get a service. There is a no wrong door or policy there. Like I said, the state funds, the Medicaid funds that come into play here, yes. We do want or we do need those folks to be right now, 21 and older. They need to be associated with a Medicaid plan, one of the managed care plans if they are going to, there's other pots of money, but to qualify for that pot of money. And also the third is it's got to be a voluntary thing, right? So this is not an involuntary drop somebody off at the back door. If you have involuntary admissions, you still need to go to the emergency room. You still may need to call the police. But this is for that level before it. And our hope is that we'll divert folks away from that emergency department usage. Right now in Baton Rouge PD and the Sheriff's Office have a close relationship with R.I. International, and I wish one of them was on today because they could explain it better to you, but they drop off a lot of folks that they encounter that they realize are in mental health crisis and maybe not in a criminal situation, right? They just want to get them some help. So they have a special back door where they will, if the person's voluntary and willing to go try at R.I., they will drop them off there. It's a lot faster for them. The ED takes them an hour. At RI, it's about 10 minutes. They come in, they do a little process, a little paperwork with the person they're dropping off in RI,  and they leave the person there to hopefully find the access and the resources that they need. Yeah, that's our three things right now. Over 21 or over 18. Over 21, if you're Medicaid, but doesn't matter. Like I said, in Baton Rouge, there's funds voluntary. Sometimes they take involuntary folks to move them to voluntary, right? They go and talk to him and mobile crisis. And then they end up saying, hey, I will. I want to go get some help. That's all they need is a little bit of information on what's next because they're scared, they need to know what the next steps are and what's going to happen. And the managed care plans, if you're with a managed care plan, like I said, it would be paid by Medicaid. But we're very lucky in Baton Rouge. We are the only city in Baton Rouge in Louisiana that has that full spectrum of services coming from one provider. And we're very lucky and very fortunate for that.  Folks. Friends, families, you can also call 988. You can call mobile crisis. You can explain. It doesn't have to be that individual calling out. we Are doing a big campaign with pediatricians and doctors and rural health clinics, those regular Medicaid providers of physical services to let them know that this is out there. Because folks call their office and say, I'm, Struggling and often they don't have an appointment for a month or they don't have. But, now this is instead of go to the emergency department. If you feel like you're in danger, you can say now go to mobile call mobile crisis call 988. These are other resources that don't draw people to emergency.  

Pepper: So do they. And I hate to ask stupid questions, but I do it a lot. So here we are. If I am in crisis, right? So it probably is going to take me something pretty extreme to actually get to that point on the continuum, right? Of actual mental crisis. If I have somebody to talk to, and I show up, you guys are caring for me, can I leave when I feel like I'm ready? Or do you just keep me there? 

Beth: No, it's all voluntary services. So the walk in can be up to 23 hours, right? I set up and. So you may be in three hours. You may have been assessed, may have given some referrals. We may have sent you to some housing folks and connected you with some other people with some food stamps that, it's a variety of services with the mental health services. You may have been given a new prescription cause Hey, maybe your prescription ran out and you couldn't get medication, so there is a nurse practitioner that can prescribe medication. So if medication is missing And move up. You may have substance use issues, correct? You may have to go on to detox or other situations so they can help you get to those. This is meant for folks with mental health, but we often know that there are co occurring disorders and they may present as a substance use issue and move into a mental health issue so they can help you reach that next step. Through substance use. Yeah, it's totally voluntary. So we have, I think the average stay at the bridge center right now is right at 16 hours. So you have some folks that come in for 2 or 3 hours and you have some folks that stay for 23 and go into crisis stabilization or go to a substance use treatment center at that or I helped them find a bed and move into at that point. If the assessment shows that's where they need to go and they want to go. 

Pepper: Okay, so there's a question in the chat. Is there a place for the youth like under 18?  

Beth: Not yet.  Okay, that's what's coming in the spring. We're going to roll out mobile. There are inpatient psychiatric units for youth, but there's no crisis walk in yet. And so what we're going to start with the youth is mobile crisis, because we find nationwide, kids can't drive right kids. The mobile crisis unit will likely go out and to the schools and into the homes and service there and can refer on from there. If there's inpatients like needs or needs  that need to be, if it's a suicide situation and can move on from there. I anticipate what we did right now. We're in the middle of. RFA and statewide for providers for those that mobile crisis service and CBCS, which is the 15 day follow up touch in, make sure they're okay make sure mom's. Okay. So we get into that 1st appointment, because we never have that appointment the next day. We call we make an appointment. It's a week away. It's 2 weeks away. So those 2 services will be starting in April right now. We're reviewing applications for providers and we do have 1 for Baton Rouge. I think we have more than 1 for Baton Rouge and region 2. so hopefully in April, we'll get them trained up. And ready to serve kids that doesn't cool.

Pepper: And so there's a follow up. Can under 18 call 988. 

Beth: Yes. They sure can, they can call, they can text, they can chat. We find that the younger kids like to chat the most and that's on that sheet. So I put the, how do you get to the website to chat? The, and you'll look, if you look in the 988 page, we also have a dashboard where you can search by region and see who's calling and you'll notice the last button on that dashboard is demographics, which is age insurance, all those things. And the folks that give us those demographics is a very small number.  Compared to the total number of that call, because we don't push folks to give us that information when they're calling. It's about talking. It's not about where are you? Who are you? Unless they think they're really in danger. Like I said, it's only been 3 percent of the calls and over 2 years. Now, it's a very small percentage of call. It's usually just talking to someone and getting it out there and finding out about resources. Yes, certainly kids. Teenagers, we have a big push right now on the back of we passed a law last year in the legislative session that every kid, school kid on the back of their ID has a 988 sticker. That was so they know how to call. They know the numbers there and where to get help.  And I'm sorry, I got my oh.  Xavier's got their gifts.  Yay! That's my text. 

Pepper: Very good.  You mentioned that this is an all volunteer organization and I know we've got some big hearts in the Zoom room. Is there a way that folks, how would you go about volunteering and is it necessary to know text, texting acronyms?  

Beth: So this is not an all volunteer actually the, they, I'm sorry I must've misspoke there. The the VIA link and LACG are running the lines. But I am sure that RI International may have the Bridge Center for Hope, may have some opportunities for volunteers. I know they are always. Always trying to reach out to the community and find different ways to tie in especially for just referrals, just the sheer fact that you folks are probably reaching out and touching everyday folks that need these services. And just to be able to call over there, Sean Hughes, who runs the the the bridge center is a fabulous resource. She is a local girl, even though R. I. International is not a local company, they're a national company. But they have a lot of local Baton Rouge folks working in there. Just reaching out to them. I'd imagine they've got some opportunities for you guys. So I would start there. 

Pepper: Fantastic. There's also are y'all connected to the national council for mental well, being. 

Beth: Yes, they I'm not have to head out 3 minutes because I got to run up the street. Yes, we are. We have so this effort started. It's been a years long effort where we're working with Nami. We're working with a lot of different mental health organizations. We had a statewide. Stakeholder group that probably started studying this in 2018 and coming up with what's the fit? What do we need first? Because there's tons of models. There's co responder models with the police. There's, I see healing circles, there's a lot of different things that are going on in this area of mental health, especially mental health with teenagers and with children. There's a lot of best practices that are out there. So this was the intro into it. And the idea being that in the next year or so, what we're going to have in Louisiana is what we call a crisis hub, which is another phone number that anybody can call much like 988, where you call to talk, but the crisis hub will be more about dispatching you to services and connecting you to services. Things like local healing circles or other programs that you may have, even some of your programs for homeless and housing, healthy, helping, they will all be part of that hub. So when folks call in with a mental health issue, but also other issues that they need that need attention, that hub can try to connect those folks to that service. Kind of like 211 does. 211 gives out a lot of information, but they don't do a lot of warm transfers, right? And we like warm transfers. We like to be able to say, you need to talk to so and here, stay on the line. I'm going to call them. And give them the story so they don't have to repeat the story that they just gave us. And, just connect the dots for them. Because I think that's another thing that we see is people get fatigued. They have to tell their story over and over again, every time. And, it gets exhausting. I have a mother who's got dementia. And I feel like with every provider, I got to retell the story, I reach, I gotta go through it again. And it's traumatizing for me and it's stressful. And we want to have person centered care where 1 person can call, talk to somebody or family member and get all the information they need to reach out to other folks to get them the help they need.  

Pepper: That is outstanding. So yeah, you are just about time. Manny, pick me. And any other questions before Beth  leaves us?  

Beth: We do have some data coming out, I see. So that'll be coming out mid year this year. 

Pepper: Okay. 1 last question. So how are you working with 211 to coordinate now that we are telling people 211 will do the same thing? 

Beth: I do need yoga massage.I need a manicure. I just ripped my nails. So 211, via link is running a lot of the 211 is multiple operators across Louisiana. I think some of them are run by,  the link others are run by video. Hey, I want to say video. A runs a few of them. It's 211. We're all of our providers are registered with 211. So if somebody calls 211, they will get a referral to them. They just won't get the warm transfer. We are going to be working once we get the crisis have up with not only  211,219,988 and see how all these call lines fit together right now. It is a little disjointed. We're just trying to get our name in every pot. And capture as many folks as we can that need help.But that will come later on in the year when we get the crisis hub will be the true coordination and 911 is really important. We need to make sure that there are some folks that are calling 911 that maybe our mobile crisis team can push out and the police don't have to go or they can go with the police. Rather than transport somebody in the back of a police car, they're going to be. In another car, not shackled, not behind a gate, those types of things. So we will be looking at those connections throughout the year. So I'd love to keep everyone's information. My email's in there. It's Reach out, I can put you on our listserv, which tells a lot about that. But also just keep in touch do a lot in Baton Rouge, and I'd love to know more about what each and every one of you does and see how you can fit into the puzzle. That is our. Louisiana crisis response system.  

Pepper: Thank you so much, Beth.

Beth: Thank you. And I'm so sorry I have to jump off. I just I need to go do this and I will see y'all soon have a happy holiday.  You as well. Thank you. All right. 

Pepper: Keeping in the spirit of sharing information, we are gonna open up the zoom room.  To all of you to share with us what it is, what resources that you might have available  what things we might be able to share with each other before and for the holidays in order to start the new year off right and in this one well. 

Manny Patole: So I can go first because I'm peeling off for another thing real quick. Just once again, offering some of the services through from NYU around data and questions and stuff. We're expanding our  programs to having a network. So if you have a big question that you're trying to ask or trying to get answered, there are other ways besides the capstone programs being to engage these students having them  submit a question for a hackathon or have some folks like work on a specific question that you have or project where you need some data help on. So I put some information in the chat and if you're interested for your organization please let me know trying to get the our students a real world practical experience. Not only. On the questions themselves, but working with communities to and then the second one was about parenting your parents. So it's a huge conversation something I've been dealing with now for the last 10 years and something that's not often talked about. Have a great weekend, folks, and I'll talk to you soon.

Pepper: Bye,  Manny. Bye, Manny.  Yeah, Tina, I saw you doing your little I've been there dance. Pat's iPhone. Was that you? 

Pat LeDuff: Yeah, that's me. That's me. Scottsdale community development corporation and kadav We're continuing to build capacity within our families we are shooting them over to 2 1 1 and we do need that warm transfer, but we actually find the resources that we can support the families and so we build houses for first time Homebuyers. And one of our main focus would be to make sure that our families are stable which helps with truancy and any services that they need. We reach out and do warm transfers so that we can get them what they need. Not, no, not quite sure if it's time for announcements yet, but we are doing our Christmas lighting on Sunday. Start gathering at five o'clock and Resources will be out there on the grounds to include food and whatever they need. Merry Christmas to everybody. 

Pepper: No, it wasn't time for announcements. However, who can we connect you to? If you're starting your program, besides people who want a house I just want a house. And I'm happy to have one for free if you're giving them away. 

Pat: No, no free houses. But LHC still offers up to 50, 000 for first time home buyers. And there are some soft seconds and some assistance with down payment. Lots of resources that are available out there. It's just the soft transfer that will allow agencies to walk them. And I've heard some people say we don't hand hold, but that's what we do, right? We don't just turn them loose. We hand hold them into the process until they get exactly what they need.  And that's Scotlandville CDC. That'd be Pat LaDuff, 225 964 7824.  

Pepper: As we're going through the holidays and we're talking about caring for the caregiver, providing services, making sure that folks are connected to the resources that they need. How long does this process take? And I ask specifically because, sometimes I really just don't want to go to somebody else's house. For holiday dinner, and so if I had my own, then I could eat at my own table. How long would I need to start preparing? Is this a year long thing? Is it six months?

Pat: It could be a year. It could be a year. It could be two years, but it could be two to five years, right? Because it's dependent upon where you are with your credit. YoU have to be credit worthy because you will be getting a loan. But we have Habitat for Humanity.  And then we also have can't think of the other agency. But there's other agencies that actually work in conjunction with what we do to make sure that we put the family where they can most be helped, if they're really interested in doing this. 

Pepper: kay, one. So that's like an early question. Who do we need to connect you to? What sort of organization to who in our zoom room is on your hit list to chat with because we can break you off into a room and y'all can have a conversation.  

Pat: That's interesting. So we actually just need the referrals at this time. We need anybody. Who's actually building the houses. There's a section three where you have to have so many hours of contractors.  Are willing to use people from the community low income that the same requirement for the people we're trying to serve, they put some of that requirement on the actual contractors. And a lot of contractors don't want to be bothered with that. So who's in the room that's interested in building houses in areas like that, because it's not just building the houses. There's a lot of monitoring, making sure you capture the hours. Because all of that is HUD requirement,  if you have housing that when they come to us, we can send them directly to you as a warm transfer, and you will find them somewhere to live the homeless or need that light bill paid, need that water bill paid. Those are the people that we want to connect with. 

Pepper: I have  no real interest in building a house. However, I am happy to bake some cookies and serve some lemonade, and we can hang out on the front porch. 

Casey: Hey Pepper, do you mind if I jump in for a second? To go back on topic?  Oh, yeah. 

Pepper: Sorry. I do get distracted. Carry on. 

Casey: No, it's quite okay. And by the way, Pat, thank you for sharing that and love you for everything that you do in our community. All that you do. Back to the mental health thing. There's a couple of things that I've observed in this space. And, I'll speak both personally and I would love to find out if there's people on this call. that know of resources, because again, that's one of the points of today's call is to share more resources with people. First of all, I know that, a lot of times there's a lot of people who are doing this work and people have a tendency just to hone in on a couple of people and they're the figureheads for certain movements and cities and stuff like that, but it's well deserved because she's also nationally recognized. There's an incredible human in this city named Tanja Miles. That I have not seen someone who can navigate in this city, especially during times of crisis like she can, and not everybody has access to TANJA, and I think that's the one thing, like calling 211 is one thing, but there needs to be more vocal people around mental health that are connectors and that are out in the community that these community coordinator or quarterbacks that will be in Medicaid offices that can connect people to different services. But that's the thing, right? There's not a lot of trusted sources to be able to do this and this lifts up the other thing and Beth hit on it. There's a lot of shame. around seeking mental health crisis help. They're just, it's a weird thing. There's like shame in it. If it's inside your family or a friend or a colleague, I've had to do all three of those over the years. And in the music industry in particular, with substance abuse also intertwined in that some really scary moments with people. And I feel like it's really hard for people to.  If you love someone to find the resources for those people, because I can tell you in the city of Baton Rouge, there are not enough facilities to help people in crisis here. Just to be very clear, the Bridge Center is amazing. It has a limited amount of beds, right? And there is, so if anybody knows of more of these resources, like I know there's Regions Behavioral. There is the Taw Center, which Tia lifted up. If anybody knows of mental health facilities and actual places to go when people are in crisis voluntarily. Or semi voluntarily. It would be amazing if y'all could lift those up in the chat or come off mute and speak those to existence. 

Tia Fields: I wanted to jump in on that one, Casey. I also shared that HealthyBR is a great dot com is a powerful resource for anything related to substance abuse treatment or mental health. It has a database where you can put in your address and it will allow you to see What providers provide what type of services as it relates to your mental health challenges. I know previously before I was in this capacity, I served as a substance abuse counselor as well as a mental health specialist. So I'm always advocating for talking to someone. And sometimes the need is immediate, sometimes just pick up the phone and calling 211 doesn't just, it's not enough. You need to be actually assessed and break down the barriers to see if there are some other. Underlying things that need to be addressed. So I encourage everyone to visit the behavioral health site that B. R. has put up in. Utilize that to your advantage. 

Casey: That's a great resource. Thank you, Tia, for that, because I always think of fresh food access with Healthy VR, because if our work would go get healthy and I forget about the holistic resources there. Thank you for that. Reverend Anderson. Good morning. 

Reverend Anderson: Good morning. And I apologize for being late. I wanted to weigh in because I wear multiple hats in the mental health arena. One is that I am the chair of the Children and Youth program committee for the Louisiana Behavioral Health Advisory Council. To say we have very few resources for children is a huge problem statewide. But the other piece that I wear, and I think a lot of people here know that as well, is I'm the community advocate for the 19th JDC Recovery Court. And one of the roles I take on is trying to marry the needs. Folk who are in active recovery and coming out of that system so that they are embraced by the village. And so I wanted to share just a couple of tools. 988 matters  988 matters. We often use the word crises. But that's not an accurate word. A lot of times it is people coming off medication, people cycling, people having a situational event like the holidays are horrible for a lot of times for people in recovery. And so it is known events coming up and oftentimes the way our system in Louisiana works is when we perceive people to be in crises. We make a call and we think we're getting mental health services when, in fact, we're getting policing services  and the emergency protective order system might put you in an emergency room for 72 hours might not. So 1 of the tools I do want to. Absolutely. Uplift is a 988 system. The second one I want to uplift is not everybody, but many people because of the Medicaid expansion actually have a primary care physician. And oftentimes we treat behavioral health as if it isn't health care. And it is in fact health care. And so 1 of the tools in the toolbox is particularly at seasons like this, making sure people are up to date with their medications that they have connected with their current provider that the tools in their toolbox.  Are sufficient to get them through a particular season  and making sure the network around them understands. What their tools are. So what I mean by that, for instance, is that  Alcoholics Anonymous during the holiday season. Runs 24 hours, 7 days a week, they have meetings on the hour because of the crises that people in recovery have. So those are those kind of tools that when there's no discussion before something happens, oftentimes people use tools that are inappropriate. To the actual situation, and oftentimes we treat things as a crisis when they were very predictable and have occurred before. And we simply haven't done the preparation, the disaster planning, if you will. So I just wanted to share that and also point something out that there's this illusion somehow that there's a magic tool somewhere. There isn't. Sticking somebody in a cage isn't going to give them services. And so I do want to encourage people to do that preparation with loved ones that struggle with behavioral health, but also to treat it as a health care issue. That's part of the shaming process is that we treat it as if people are having a personal flaw. That they're not having a health situation, but we would never let somebody have a heart attack and not call. The doctor and so I do want to put that out there as well. And with that being said. Thank you.  

Casey: Yeah, thank you. And for all that you do, and that's a good way of putting it. I just want to lift up a couple of things and Pepper, I'll come back over to you. Thanks for the space and jumping in. There is it's way more complicated than people make it sound like, right? If you're, if you are bringing someone to one of these facilities, my friends, as voluntary, that can quickly become involuntary. There is all all kind of words and certain triggers where doctors then will hold people and stuff. And that is to me when I've observed that system, especially in, from Los Angeles, 10 years ago to now, what I've noticed is it feels like payday loan predatory kind of vibes, right? Like they're making more money when people are in beds. It's just like the prison industry. It's yeah, I'll say it. I'll say it. Is the motivation really to help people? Of course. Do I think that people who are dedicating their lives to helping people in crisis and mental health, do I think that they, most of them, if not 99 percent of them do it from a place of compassion? Of course I do. I'm talking about the systems. I'm not talking about the people. People are forced to run systems and the people who are CEOs of treatment facilities aren't working there at 11 30 at night when your loved one has to go in. The second thing is, and I'll speak from my own personal experience again, the, it's been, almost two decades since I drank, and I put it in, I put that down and behind me post Katrina, but folks, if you have people in your life, that, are in recovery for drug or alcohol for drugs and alcohol, be very conscious of the setting that you are creating for them to walk in. Next. heavily relied on indulgence. We talked about the food AA last week or two weeks ago, but just be thinking about the setting that you're creating when people are day drinking, starting at 9:30, 10 o'clock in the morning Chardonnay and wine apparently is okay. And that they meet that energy when they walk into your household. It makes it very difficult during the holidays, especially if people are morning losses. So again, that's not, I don't need that space. So if you asked me to come over to your house. I actually go and buy wine and bring it to people. I am down the road, but there's a lot of people who are fresh in that. And and I'm just be conscious of that. And then lastly, don't pressure people to show up to your damn holiday party. There might be a reason that people don't want to hang out and it has nothing to do with you. And they said, respect their space and give people that space. And if people are in crisis, don't just give them a website. And it's a great website, Tia, so no shade. Don't just send them the website of HealthyBR. Offer to show up with them if they have to go and be admitted into somewhere and be their person. That they can that they could call from the facility and keep an eye on them and take on that responsibility. So I hope nobody has to go through that during this during this holiday season. I'm sorry for getting very somber, when it comes to it, but that's just that's what we're here to do is talk about mental health around the holidays and beyond. So Pepper, thanks for again, for creating the space and I will turn it back over to you. 

Pepper: Not at all. Thank you for lifting that up. Marcella, I know you're out there somewhere. You'd mentioned in the chat that there are exacerbated issues for for immigrants, for people who don't speak the language, who may not have insurances. Help me, are there any resources that come through Lori that we might be able to point people to? And 988 has very specific names. No. 

Marcela Hernandez: So that is a very complicated topic, and especially for me as a social worker. And like a big FYI, I personally only know one clinical mental health provider who speaks Spanish in town.  Everybody else that I know don't do clinical social work. We do The type of social work that I do more like community outreach or management or it's just different types of social work in the counseling world as well. So it's very difficult. And for those who are providers that speak other languages, they only accept the private insurances.  Sometimes don't even medicate. So back in the days when I was a case manager, that was probably the greatest issue that I confronted as a social worker, as a case manager. And I had and I'm a, I'm give you an example. I had a lady who had a severe anxiety and PTSD because of. What happened back in her country and she was suffering from a chronic depression and there was nowhere in town where I could refer her because the services that I was, sending and being sent and referred, they either. Will not speak the language, or they will not do pro bono services for this lady. And there was a time that I actually had to send her to the ER, because of the severity of the depression. And she was sent there, she was placed in a psychiatric hospital with no insurance, with no knowing the language or understanding about everything that was told to her. So that created even more anxiety. She was there for about 4 days without knowing and really understanding the protocol and understanding everything that was happening around her. So when it comes to immigrants, it's even more complicated. It's even more complicated when it's We don't speak the language when you're in a system that is already fearful. It is a place that is, is  just like Casey was saying just a minute ago. It's a place that not everybody wants to be confined. So it's something already complicated just imagine for someone who doesn't speak the language who don't have insurance  and to be honest now at this point I don't even think she was ever able to pay for the hospital or for the services that she received and she was not even able to return for follow up appointments and this is just like one example of the many people that we deal with when in terms of children for example we When they have serious issues behavioral issues, there's nowhere to refer this kiddos,  and even that I've worked really hard with the school system trying to find places, when you don't have insurance or when you don't speak the language, that's a whole nother issue that you have added to everything that you guys are mentioning today here. To answer to your question. Resources are very limited. I have come up with some ideas before to send to have people doing a virtual visits outside of Baton Rouge.  Some providers are in New Orleans. And before I.  Refer people outside of Louisiana because I could not find providers that could offer the services that they needed with those very extremely limited resources and huge challenges that some of our community members face. 

Pepper: Thank you so much, Marcella.  Thank you for bringing us back to center and reminding us that our new neighbors have the same problems, but new problems, the same problems with the added complication of not being able to communicate, and that's that is speaking. That is understanding. Sometimes it's wild.  Jen, I'm trying to catch up with the notes that you've dropped in the chat. Would you just give me the cliff notes version of that, please. 

Jen Lydic-Tewell: Yeah so I, somebody may have already mentioned it, but families helping families is a great resource for kids and finding other things. Disability resources for kids and just supports they have a quite a list. And I've worked with them personally for my kid. And then  which is adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families. They have 24 7 free virtual meetings. It's 12 steps. It's not or but it is 12 steps, but it's a great support and it's free. There's no screening. You're not going to be taken off to the hospital.  And then liberating Jasper has some virtual support groups, which are just great in general. But again, and I know those 2 things aren't local, but they are accessible, which is why I put in there.  

Pepper: Thank you. Sorry I was. Just copying something from the Firefox, the browser, Reverend Anderson. 

Reverend Anderson: I just wanted to lift up a particularly difficult topic during the holidays, which is we were talking in the chat a little bit about grief, but families who have lost somebody to suicide. Often that is such a touchy issue and I happen to know for a fact that somebody once had a family member who told them to their face in a setting. Your kid went to hell, right?  That  there is a lot of work that can be done in families prior to bringing them together to say, Hey, We have some ground rules, and we have some boundaries  and oftentimes we do that worst case scenario, which is we put unresolved families with issues in a room. And then we add alcohol and our drugs to that mix. And then we're somewhat surprised when it becomes toxic. But the truth is in lots of families, it can be everything from divorce. It can be somebody cheated somebody for money. And we tend to think holidays smooth those things over. And like I said, suicide is 1 where I know, unfortunately, in a lot of communities. It is treated in a very  painful and disrespectful way. And in addition to going through grief.  People often feel like they cannot get support from their family and their networks, and I think that's one where people really need to become educated. About how that process works, and we're actually blessed in Baton Rouge because we have the American Federation of Suicide Prevention, and they have courses and training and people who will come out and work with somebody to actually educate them on. Appropriate models of addressing suicide and also suicide ideations that often rear their heads during the holidays, 

Tia: Not to switch gears. But I do have a question for those who share this space as a community servants. How do we as the people who are always giving, how do we, how can we be in a space of not being shameful to ask for help or to just be very direct and saying that, this is hard for us. Like everybody is, dealing with certain things in our lives, but  the capacity that we have given throughout the year is towards the end of the year. I know that I'm personally dealing with some level of burnout. So I want to hear from the group on As a collective, how can we advocate for ourselves? Not just advocate because we do this all year advocating for and speaking for other people, but how can we just.  Be more vocal about the things that we need and how we can refill ourselves during this holiday season. 

Pepper: Yeah, I got nothing. That's how I'm in this mess. 

Casey: Yeah, I was gonna say I was like, I just want to make sure to come off mute here is that you are asking a question to an audience that I believe asked themselves that quite a bit. And I just encourage people again on the heels of what I just said, but I used to go with my friends to lock Coretta on government street, like once a month on Friday afternoons. And from three to five, it would just be with people who were in this industry or entrepreneurs, they would drink margaritas and just complain. And just complain and I would still just hold the space for people a little small thing that I do with my beautiful goddess and the people on our team. We did one this morning. Give everybody two minutes a day to complain that they need it. And don't interrupt them,  right? Just let them say their thing, and it's, and if they need help, they'll ask for it. Or just put into our little our names in Zoom that the soul crushing and fulfilling work that we do leaves us with nothing left to give at the end of the year, and I hope that I will be able, we'll be able to pull ourselves off the ground to see you again on January 3rd, right? That could be like a little subtle one. Yeah, that's a little subtle one. Is that helped you? If I just say it, what some people are thinking? Yeah. Rodneyna, how do you feel?  You feel good? You feel full of life and energy?  

Rodneyna Hart: Aren't I always? No. So something that I do for myself is I try to make space for my people. I recharge with people. It is the. thing that does that for me. And life gets in the way so often. So I have tried to be intentional about just having downtime with people I care about. I'm not always great at that. Pepper, I'm looking at you.  And connecting as much as I want to. But You can't pour from a dry well, right? You have to replenish yourself. You have to have time. You have to make time for yourself. Maybe it's this time of year, right after the burnout, like I happen to be facing my 40th birthday on the 3rd of January, which I'm excited about because I've never done that before. It's brand new thing. But in that, I Have been taking stock and kind of looking at where things are and what could be  but yeah, I try not to rely on depressants like alcohol to fix moods. I try to just do things that I know are good for me. Budget also dictates how much good I can do. If you convene with nature and that makes you feel good, if you watch great movies, if you like, whatever you know is good for your soul. Make room for that. It's vitally important because if we don't do those kinds of things for ourselves, we're not going to be here. Period. Full stop. And we're not going to be able to be there for our people.  I've got a lot of things in my life that causes challenges, very difficult job disabled husband,  Family. Everybody has so understanding what you need. And, just to, to overshare I'm going to hire someone to do like a deep clean of my house. That is a thing that will make my whole world better.  And I can't do it often.  I've got to try this. And, because you can build these physical manifestations of your emotions, of your Lack of time,  how you prioritize your life is really important. And especially, the doers, the people who are putting the work in. It's difficult to maintain a lot of those things that we take for granted. So instead of, being. Beating myself up and being like, why can't I just make time for blah, blah, blah. I'm like, no, this is a need. This is a thing that will help me and my mood and my life and all of my surroundings. And it's very important. So that's a thing I'm prioritizing. But that's just me. And I hope that everyone can find the way to replenish themselves. Take stock of yourself, what gives you real joy and do that, eek out some time because, I've lost friends, I've lost loved ones, and I don't want to lose anybody else either by loss of life or just distance. I love y'all. And I love our community. And it's so important to ensure that you have that time for yourself. And that's it. 

Casey: That was just beautiful. And you beautiful human love you long time friends. I appreciate you sharing that and, that also, that just reminds me of how much we do in, it just said recharge with others, right? Like sometimes it's just random holiday party people that you meet and Miss Nat's on the line right now. And I got to tell y'all, I had nothing left in my body when I showed up at the bakery project holiday party. I was. spent and I met her for the first time. And I felt like I was walking out on clouds, right? Because she was just such a nice person. I got to see Kendra, and like these little, although I didn't get to spend as much time with Kendra as I would like to other people can bring that joy, especially when they're not asking you to do anything. And, I see Caitlin on the line right now. Honestly, like one of the, one of the most interesting kickbacks that I had the whole year was in Birmingham, Alabama. At a pretty I don't know, just normal restaurant with Caitlin and Lisa from Breda and just walking around the streets of Birmingham, not knowing where we were going, just like little moments of joy, my friends, little moments of joy. So instead of community announcements, and you can do that if you want, if you just want to come off mute and add any of your thoughts to build on this conversation or moments of joy from this year. Let's just open it up and just come off mute. Tina, go ahead.  

Tina Ufford: I just have some, four weird things that I saw somebody else who was  professing their calendar, obsession slash challenges. All of us that have the mega full schedule and rely on multiple calendars and need to share calendars with other people and all of that kind of stuff. I'll read them so I don't mess them up. Most months, have four weeks. So she was suggesting these four, and I know that so many of us are like creatives and we, as soon as something becomes monotonous in any way, we're bored, we drop it, we forget it. Or if something's working really well and we're feeling better and we forget why we're feeling better, we like let things drop off because we're feeling better  and we are not reaching out for help and we don't, we let our. Practice of whatever go because we're feeling better and we forget that we were ever feeling bad and we forget how we got to feeling better right now. So I just thought these were cool in your monthly planning. If these sounds silly, don't do them, in your monthly planning, a day of self care, whatever that means for you, a day of family and friends, a day of no plans.  And even if it's half a day, yeah, that's usually what mine are Like the first part of the day and an inner child day  That was the one that got me. I was like, wait, what?  But just seeing the words inner child on a random day in my month  I might move it. I might move those four things around throughout the month but rodnina was saying like the prioritization of your life  I'm a person that almost needs to schedule eating, have it on the calendar, literally and making time for your people, lunch with people is sometimes the only reason I eat in the middle of the day. Cause I'm meeting with someone and we're getting food together and we're talking about whatever, needs to get done. I just thought those four, just having a little thing that says those words, self care, family, chill, no plans, and the inner child, just sprinkled throughout your month, helped. It helped this month cause this month sucks for me and so does November and having those little  glimmers. And paying attention to those glimmers, like Casey was saying, any little shred of goodness in these months  is worth your time and attention and maybe even writing it down or sharing with someone. So I love it that we're having this conversation.  

Casey: Thank you, Tina. And the inner child part just made me think about riding my big wheels on the sidewalk of Goodwood Boulevard growing up. And then I started thinking about how big that dang big wheel would have to be with my 6'4 frame now. And that brought me joy. So thank you, Tina. Jasmine, what you got?  

Jasmine: So things that I do to take care of myself. I forgive myself. I forgive myself daily and I don't let Other  people's lack of forgiveness for my mistakes or what have you. I don't let, I don't allow people to project that one to me because most of the time it's really about them. So I just don't allow it. I forgive myself for making mistakes. I practice acceptance. I accept that we can only do a few things. I accept that I can only do a few things.And so I do my best every day. And then I go back to forgive myself for the things I didn't get to on my to do list. I focus on working really hard for four hours. Because I don't know, y'all, there's there's a science to us, really. And if we accept that we are human beings and being superhuman  can be detrimental to your mental health or trying to be superhuman. Some of those things are you just have to have balance. So I just, I practice accepting that, you can only do a few things well, and I'm okay with that. I  find joy in small things. I take lots of pictures of clouds. I actually on my phone, I know, right? Y'all it is such a thing. Ask SK because I have friends that will share pictures of clouds with me when they travel, I have pictures of clouds from all over the world. And. I categorize my pictures. And so I have a folder of clouds and it's around 1300 pictures now. So it's serious for me. I will actually stop on the side of the road. If I'm captured by it, so I take yeah, I find joy in small things. I meditate while working. And I actually learned, I know we'll have to talk another time about how I got to that point, but I can meditate while working. I can meditate while having hard conversations. I can meditate while  talking to someone who is overwhelming me. I am an empath. And I'm a cancer, so I need to go in my shell sometimes, even though I'm an extrovert and you can't always do that, especially in this work and it can become very overwhelming. So I can be smiling at you  and actually meditating at the same time.  And then lastly I hype. And work on my bucket list. I want to get my pilot's license and I want to master archery. And so I am actively working on getting to that. Oh, I actually want also on my bucket list is to travel the continent of Africa for 10 years. But work at the same time. I know Tina, but it's great for my mental health to focus on. those things. So that's what I do. 

Casey: Thank you for all of that. And, not to pick one of those things out. But if I during our 10 a. m. meeting, you and I are about to have if all of a sudden I see you drop in Lotus position and go like this, I will take the visual cue to go ahead and break my.

Jasmine: You won't. You won't see it.

Casey: I love that. I appreciate you. That was so fun. Kendra, I saw you on camera for a second. I didn't know if you were just saying hello or if you wanted to come off mute, but I wanted to give you that space.

Kendra Hendricks: Hello.

Casey: Hi. Okay, cool. There's the off mute there.

Pepper: No. So you missed your chance, you missed your chance to talk out gumbo and fried fish and all sorts of things at the Christmas party. So now that ship is sailed. You just get the hello.  

Casey: It's fair. All right. Anybody else? Anything to share at all? Anybody either on if you're on video or not? Reverend Anderson. There you go.  

Reverend Anderson: I was just going to mention because 2 of my favorite people on this call and they helped me with this is the idea that adults should have playmates. And I've always been blessed to have them. And so when I need to play, Dr. Bell is one of my favorite people to play with. And Marcella is one of my favorite people to play with. And I honestly don't know why adults don't have playmates. And people that you giggle and laugh and be somewhat inappropriate with and all those kind of things. And that it's not situational.  And that is, for me, one of the joys. I tell people all the time, all of I have grandchildren and I have puppies. And literally, if you wanted to get me off point about anything, you could just bring either one of those topics up and I would just move 100 percent into those spaces. And there are people in this world. And Dr. Bell is 1 of them that  he's a friend. And I think sometimes we discount having friends as adults, people, you can play with people when you walk in the room and you see them, that there's going to be the opportunity to just have fun. And I, as most of a lot of the work I do, unfortunately involves death  and you got to have people who are funny and know how to make a joke and sometimes they just take you out of your space.  And I can't say how much so those 2 individuals have meant to me because of that. Right on. I love that. 

Casey: Marcella,  your name has been spoken. 

Marcela: No, that is so nice. I love Reverend Anderson. Thank you. I feel the same, but no, I just, and I hate closing up like this, but I do want to say Let's be very mindful. And I mentioned this at one of the calls at Reverend Anderson weekly call. Let's be mindful that a lot of our immigrant and refugee families are here. And this is definitely not a time to celebrate for them. They are very far away from their families and possibly will never ever see their mothers, their fathers, their siblings because of the conflict that it's happening in their countries because of different reasons. Perhaps the war, perhaps they, their family died and they had to leave behind everything. I just wanted to resonate to what Reverend Anderson was mentioning and what you guys were saying in the beginning, how do we approach holidays is not how everybody else's is approaching it as well. And there's a lot of people here with a lot of sadness that go through the holiday seasons they don't never stop working. wE have a lot of our construction workers that are out there, never stop working have their families very far away. And I just wanted to bring this as a solidarity. If you see someone, if you know someone that have their families away. Just have that extra kindness in your heart. And then also, if you have your family here, be appreciative, be very appreciative of your friends and your family that you have, because many of us, including me, have our families very far away from us. Just wanted to say that. Thank you.  

Casey: Thank you, Marcella.  

Pepper: Jinx. I don't think that's a bad place to stop. It is indeed the holiday season. And so those of you who are doing.  Giveaways and presents and things like that. Please just go ahead and drop those in the chat. Those of you who are doing volunteer work and know of places where people can go and help out, understanding fully that people need to eat all the other days of the year, please drop that in the chat. And for those of you who are just going to spend some time reflecting, learning how to meditate while you're talking to people please.  Share that information as well. I can only say thank you very much for being with me on the journey through 2023. I really appreciate spending my Fridays and you allowing me to spend Fridays with you. I have connected with some of you on  Facebook and the.  Biggest thing that I do online every year is 30 days of gratitude through November. And I highly encourage folks  to do something similar, even if it's not on social media. Because it gives me an opportunity to share little things that do actually get me through. When Reverend Anderson was talking about finding somebody who is inappropriate and  I thought to myself, Oh, I'm that person. Always inappropriate. 

Casey: And my Christmas wish for you, and my gratitude for you, my Christmas wish for you today, Pepper, is two huge gallons of ice cream at the end of your day. That is, I am sending it to you. I hope that you have a wonderful night tonight, Pepper. Thank you for a great year, Pepper, and Helena, and Ann, and Tia, and everybody on the One Rouge team. Thank you for an incredible year. And yes, we are taking a few Fridays off because obviously Patrick is got his pilot license and he will be flying around the world, delivering presents to all the children. So thank y'all so much for a wonderful 2023 Pepper. It's, is it the last thing, is it the same bat channel in the bad time? It did anything change with the calendar invite that anybody needs to know with the changeover? 

Pepper: Listen, there has been so many changes with the new invitations. There was opting in, there was opting out. There was and if we're going to call it a surprise, it's a gift. When it arrives,  you can be surprised too.

Casey: Yes. We will see everybody on January 5th.  We'll be seeing everybody on January 5th, the first Friday of the year. Please tune in if you would like to, and if you were still on mental holiday, then take that space and Pepper  sign us out, my friend, let's do this and everybody have a wonderful start to the next year. 

Pepper: Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season, no matter what or whether you celebrate. I hope that you are spending time with people you love and who love you right back, whatever form that is. We will see you on January the 5th. Same bat time, same bat channel.  Peace, love, and order. Cool beans. Cool beans, Virta.

Casey: Cool beans. One more year, guys. Cool beans. Cool beans. I think we closed the year last year with that, too.



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