A Fearless Leader
When I hopped on a Zoom call with Debbie Carter this evening, I learned she had just finished her workday with her life coach business. From there she had made the mental switch to tell me about her separate nonprofit called 2LIVE Daily. If the superhuman status of running both a business and a nonprofit isn’t enough for you, Debbie also has an anthology book coming out next month. And she has another series on the way.
Debbie (who also goes by Debbie LeSean as a life coach), started 2LIVE Daily just under two years ago. Based out of Richmond, she started 2LIVE Daily as a means to support the African American community. With her background in psychology and counseling, Debbie saw the tremendous need for people to talk more openly about mental health issues. We often know of the toll mental illness can take on a person. That said we rarely remember the impact it makes on their loved ones. That is why Debbie felt motivated to provide resources for the people who live with and are close to people suffering from mental illness. Rather than serving people who have mental illness, 2LIVE Daily helps the people who live with them.
How Her Process Works
These resources provide education and awareness to the African American community surrounding mental health. Before the pandemic hit, 2LIVE Daily did Mental Health 101’s. This involved a professional holding free events with education and tools needed for community members. “It’s time we talk about these things to better inform people of the resources needed, when you aren’t able to make the best decisions for the people in your home,” Debbie explains.
In our current world, Debbie takes calls from people who have a variety of questions. They say their loved one has been diagnosed. What does that mean? What can they do? Where can they go? These calls now come from far outside of Richmond, expanding to Washington D.C., Maryland, the Carolinas, and Mississippi.
In these conversations, Debbie serves as the middleman to find the right resources for her person. She sets the tone to ease her callers’ minds, and does the research to connect her callers to the appropriate agencies, professionals, and people. She will provide the comfort needed, do the follow-up, and ensure the callers get the information they so deserve.
Our 2020 Reality Check
While this pandemic has made her reach expand far beyond Richmond, it has also heightened the need for these services. Because of COVID,” Debbie says “a lot of people struggle. And a lot of people struggle in silence.”
A lot of times, the problem in our current climate involves a simple task that comes with great stigma. Debbie explains that when you throw your mask on and drive to your local pharmacy, asking about your loved one’s reactions to their prescribed medication, that is one of the most common obstacles she sees among the African American community. She warns that these interactions make it even harder for people to talk about it in their communities, worsening that stigma.
On Multiple Channels
It’s not just the 48in48 website that 2LIVE Daily has an online presence. She also communicates through Facebook Lives on a regular basis. Additionally, she has a Facebook group called The EmpowHERment Room that ensures women are emotionally healthy and thriving. Her Instagram and Facebook pages also remain valuable resources.
A bright future ahead
Despite the many obstacles 2020 has thrown her way, Debbie has big plans for 2LIVE Daily. For those who want to help, there lie many opportunities. She is thrilled to onboard interns and tech-savvy volunteers too. 2LIVE Daily also seeks grant writers to help get more funding and expand the nonprofit’s outreach. On top of all of these ways to help, Debbie also envisions more literature and brochures through mass mailings, which the pandemic has currently stalled.
While the Mental Health 101 classes had to go on hold, she is ready to take it to the virtual space as well. These classes identify the signs of self-harm and unhealthy habits in loved ones, while briefing participants of mental health terminology. Debbie is still looking for a licensed mental health professional to facilitate these events via Zoom to help continue that education.