Mental Health in a Pandemic

Hi y’all! So this episode is my first full length episode on my own. I thought it was a topic that I really needed to talk about in this space, and something that I felt I had a lot to share on. Navigating mental health in a pandemic is something that none of us have ever done before. There are so many unknowns, so much stress, and this elevated sense of fear that puts us in a constant fight or flight aka Trauma.

September is Suicide Prevention Month & I wanted to put this episode out before that ends. Suicide rates are already startlingly high, but some research has started coming out about changes in rates since the pandemic and it’s terrifying. In this episode, I discuss what it’s like to be a therapist during a time when everyone is panicking about he same thing. I talk about struggling with my own anxiety and just general life stressors that cannot be put on hold just because the world is on fire (literally). Listed below are some results of current research that were shared to me by a former professor, Michelle Scott. I talk more about what these stats mean in the podcast episode so make sure to listen!! And don’t forget to take care of yourselves, check on your loved ones, and remember, Talking about suicide is never going to cause someone to be suicidal!!!! Talking about it is important, learn the warning signs so you know when to ask the right questions!!

AMA Network Open examined depression rates pre and post the pandemic among adults and demonstrated a significant increase in diagnosable depression as well as an increase in mild depression as well.

A report released by the Center for Disease Control that found that thoughts of suicide in June alone were twice as high as rates assessed last year.

The Young Minds organization conducted a survey that found that out of 2,000 kids and young adults between 13-25, 44% said their mental health is much worse because of the pandemic, and 40% said it was somewhat worse.

 Over 57% of adolescents receive some kind of mental health care from their school, and about 35% of adolescents say that’s the only mental health care they receive.

The suicide prevention lifeline number if you or someone you know is struggling: 800-273-8255

In the episode you’ll hear me discuss a book stack challenge hosted by two of my friends on instagram, here is the post of my #BooksWorthLivingFor in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, last week.

If you have questions or concerns about anything I’ve discussed in this episode, please feel free to reach out, I’m always happy to have a conversation about these important topics. Don’t forget to take care of yourself always.

Boundaries! with Alex

In this week’s episode of Shelf Acceptance Podcast, I had my amazing friend, Alex from @thebookadvocate & the other half of @thebookstagays. Alex and I are both Social Workers, but do very different jobs! We discussed the diversity in the social work experience and how there are so many different options when it comes to jobs. If you’ve ever wondered what social work really is or what kinds of jobs a social worker might do, Alex & I touched on that in this episode!

As therapists and people who work in the mental health field, sometimes it can be tough to set clear boundaries with friends and family or people who expect us to want to help everyone. We usually do, but it’s nice to be asked before having people dump their problems. Alex & I discuss how we set boundaries and the balance of finding the right way to express our needs while also being kind and not making our loved ones feel like we don’t care! Listen to us discuss why it’s so important for us to set boundaries for ourselves to keep our mental health under control and allow ourselves the time to recharge our energy.

Alex told us about two causes/organization she really cares about, which you can hear her speak about in the episode, or visit the websites below!!

LGBTQ Freedom Fund LGBT Books to Prisoners Books to Prisoners

& If you listen to the whole episode you’ll hear us chat about making a group chat for therapists, so message me if you want to join!!

Dentists! with Kati

Hi All, Episode 3 of Shelf Acceptance Podcast is out now. In this week’s episode, I talk to Kati, from @shelfmadewoman about all things dentist traumas, mental health, suicide awareness, self care & burnout, finding a good therapist, & books we love!

Trauma is a super real thing, and when it comes to trauma in a medical capacity it can be all the more detrimental. Kati & I discussed our traumatic experiences and how that has influenced our ability to go to the dentist. Some things are unavoidable and it can be really hard to face fears when there is a history of trauma involved. Here’s your reminder that it’s okay to ask for help when things are hard. On this episode, I talked about how much of a difference it has made for me to ask my aunt for help in finding a dentist and coming with me to appointments. It seems like little things, that I can do easily, but having that support and just having less steps that need to be taken to get me there makes it much easier to follow through.

As a therapist in therapy, I have spent a lot of time talking about and learning about the importance of self care and the signs of burnout. Kati and I discussed how this is something that is important for everyone, in all careers, and recommended the book, Burnout by Emily Nagoski, PhD & Amelia Nagoski, DMA.

We discussed the importance of therapy and in finding the right therapist for you. As a therapist, I make it a point to normalize the idea of not every therapist being the right fit for each client. The search for a right therapist is just that, a search. In Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, we read about a therapist’s experience in therapy and her pre-conceived notions of why a certain type of therapist may be the right fit for her. In this book, and in this episode we discussed the idea that therapists are people too, and that is sometimes forgotten.

I loved getting to have this conversation with Kati, and I hope you’ll listen and enjoy too! Send me a message to let me know what you think once you’ve listened!


Hi Friends! For this week’s podcast episode I was joined by my beautiful friend, Sam from @staxsonstaxs and The Booksta Gays! We talked all things romance, and together, with some help from recs from my instagram followers, and a lot of input from our friend, Quinn (@theromanticace on instagram), we came up with a list of romance recommendations!

It’s really important to me to read diverse and inclusive books, especially romance, because nothing is ‘one size fits all.’ I want to see all different kinds of romances, I want to read stories that I see myself in, and I want other people to see themselves in books too. Check out our list below, and let me know if you see your favorites on there or if there are any I missed that should be added in! Be sure to listen to the episode to hear more!

Books Discussed on Episode 2 of Shelf Acceptance Podcast

  • Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
  • Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters
  • Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • Take A Hint, Dani Brown & Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  • Not Like the Movies & Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbom
  • Peach Keeper, The Girl Who Chased the Moon & others by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Jasmine Guillory books; The Wedding Date, The Proposal, The Wedding Party, Royal Holiday, & Party of Two
  • The Bromance Book Club & Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J Maas
  • Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
  • Crescent City by Sarah J Maas
Other Romances that Mel has loved or that have been recommended
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
  • Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
  • When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
  • Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday
  • Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

YA Romantic Reads

  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
  • Boy Meets Boy by David Leventhian
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali
  • What If It’s Us by Becky Albertali & Adam Silvera
  • This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kacen Callendar
  • Symptoms of Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra
  • I Wish You the Best by Mason Deaver
  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes
  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  • Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
  • The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
  • Queens of Greek by Jen Wilde
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales