Category Archives: Inspirational

Mental Health Advocate/Best-Selling Author Yassin Hall ‘Overjoyed’ With USVI Introducing Mental Health Legislation

By Arthia Nixon

Atlanta, Georgia… USVI native and mental health advocate Yassin Hall cried tears of joy when she heard that Governor Albert Bryan Jr. recently submitted legislation aimed at reorganizing how mental and behavioral health, including alcohol and substance addiction, are treated under V.I. law. Hall also learned that the students will receive free mental health counseling.

“It finally happened!” Hall tearfully said. “People are finally going to get help and government funding! I had been inundated with calls from people thanking me for not giving up and for continuing to push it to the forefront, stating that they know it made a difference.”

It’s a long-awaited victory for Hall who has been fighting for the government to do something about the mental health for the territory. Years ago as a Mrs. World OLM beauty winner, Hall stated she did not have a role model in her mother who was a violent paranoid schizophrenic.

Hall’s books, ‘Journey Untold: My Mother’s Struggle with Mental Illness’ multi award-winning youth non-fiction, bestseller for more than five conservative years. Her recently released ‘Beyond the Love Curse: The Journey Continues’ has already been nominated for multiple awards and also a  bestseller. Journey Untold is part of the middle school reading curricula in Atlanta, Georgia where she now resides.

“To know that this is happening, to see that they are doing something, it means so much,” said Hall. “I fought so hard and I remember holding a forum and only four people attended including my grandmother and the Honorable Senator Marvin Blyden was in attendance. My grandmother spoke and told stories about my mother that I never knew. She told us that my mother was not crazy, she was sick. So now to know that things are going to be in place to help families, it is a relief.”

Hall said that while schools in the USVI had counselors for academics, they did not have people in place for children’s mental health.

Hall was able to assist in the passing of three major legislative bills, BILL NO. 31-0279 – “The Department of Education shall cause all public school counselors to be trained and certified in grief and stress counseling.”

BILL NO. 32-0084 and 32-0085 – “extending the time a person may be detailed involuntary for mental health treatment”; “mental health emergency commitments by extending the time a person may be detained for treatment.”

These bills in full operation.

The Governor said the Virgin Islands Mental Health, and Disabilities Act will address gaps in services to residents who suffer from behavioral health challenges, mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, alcoholism and drug addiction. There are also plans to establish the territory’s first government-run behavioral health, mental health, developmental disability and alcohol and substance abuse facility.

Hall said she was overjoyed to learn that they were looking to develop residential psychiatric facilities, community-based crisis services, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services with case management, medication-assisted treatment and associated recovery support, detoxification services, and affordable supportive housing.

“I am glad because now that the need is recognized at a government level, funding will be a big help,” said Hall. “A few years ago the CDC tried to assist but word was getting back that there was no mental health issue in the USVI. I even put out videos on social media stating they can’t provide help unless the need is recognized. Some funding was later provided but now this legislature that was proposed, this is going to be life changing. I am just so overjoyed by this news.” “I’m so happy for my beloved community and for the future generations to come!”

Though an Atlanta resident, Hall frequently returns to her hometown, the United States Virgin Islands to continue advocating for mental health. She is also a highly sought after speaker, panelist and who has shared her story with several major platforms.

Exclusive Interview with Cathrine James

Tell us about you…

Cathrine is  the founder of Sensational Living Training and Development, a personal and professional development organization. She is a prolific and dynamic international Speaker, Coach, Trainer and Best Selling Author who helps women and organizations identify obstacles that is keeping them stuck and develop courses of action to enhance self, leadership, communication and revenue. She is committed to helping women business owners and executives fall back in love with their careers and their lives. Cathrine has a unique ability to empower and embolden an audience like none other.  Motivational, inspiration and compassionately disruptive, Cathrine’s tell it like it is attitude is the breath of fresh air that allows her to connect with audiences everywhere. Cathrine’s primary goal is to challenge her audience and client to reach for a better version of themselves every day as she believes everyone can live sensationally.

Cathrine spent more than 25 years in the corporate arena holding various management positions. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Performance Psychology and a certification in Neuro-transformational coaching. She received her B.S. and Certificate for Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Phoenix.  She also holds certifications for Success Coaching, Financial Coaching and counseling women.  Cathrine has studied personal and professional development for 20 years.

In 2018, Cathrine’s book, “The Sensational Woman” became a number one international best seller. She is married with two children and reside in the Los Angeles area.  When not with family, she spends her time creating tools and programs in the areas of personal/professional development, relationships and financial literacy.

Three of Cathrine’s greatest gifts from God include her husband of nearly 25 years and their two adult children.

What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?

Growing up I watched many women struggle to cope with not only their internal pain but also, life in general because of limited beliefs. As a result, I witnessed women stay with and accept the behavior of verbally, mentally and physically abusive men, wait on bi-monthly checks that only afforded them the bare necessities, live in deplorable housing and or choose a job over government assistance but still accept less than equal wages and treatment.

I now know women, both past and present accepted and continue to accept the dishes (life) served to them versus creating their own gourmet dish because they lacked/lack knowledge and they did not believe. They did not believe they could do better; they did not believe better was available for them and they did not believe they were worthy or deserving of better.

My dream is for every woman to question anything in her life that does not serve her greatest self, choose better for herself, change her limiting beliefs to limitless beliefs, and step into the sensational life that she has been promised.

The woman who operates from her higher self is happier, peaceful and centered.  This woman makes for a better wife, mother, employee, friend, business owner, etc. The accomplishment of this dream will benefit the entire world for generations to come.

Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?

As noted above I grew up watching women be treated in a manner that did not resonate with my soul. I knew at a young age the behaviors and actions I saw were unacceptable and frankly the complete opposite of a scripture I’d learned that said we are to live abundantly. I don’t know that anyone inspired me.  I believe this is my purpose and the reason I was created. Prior to accepting my purpose, I was “haunted” by it.  There was always an agitation and nagging inside of me and the spirit was continually speaking and showing me that I was to help women.

What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?

The first challenge I encountered was that of my own limiting beliefs. I didn’t think I was worthy of being used as the vessel to help others, I didn’t think I could make it without my corporate job and I didn’t think people would listen to me. In addition, I’ve encountered time challenges because currently, I’m working full time and running my business. I’ve encountered challenges in my relationships as not everyone understands why I’m doing what I’m doing or why I can no longer do the things we used to do. I’ve also encountered emotional challenges. Building a solid business takes time, a lot of energy and because I’m helping women, I hear a lot of heart wrenching stories. There were days where I wanted to quit because of the weight of it all but I couldn’t and I can’t because women must reach their sensational way of living.

Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?

Both my creator and women, the women I’ve worked with and the women I see all around me inspires me to keep pushing.

Dream as if you will live forever but don’t simply dream take action to ensure your dreams are brought to fruition. Your sensational life awaits you. Your job is to go get it!

Connect with Cathrine by visiting her website at www.cathrine or on social media, IG: @iamcathrinejames

FB: @cathrine james enterprises