Dr. Karla Featured in Article Published by Parents

In August of this year, Dr. Karla was contacted via social media by the amazingly talented journalist Jazmin Towe regarding an article she was working on that focused on the criminalization of Black boys in school….

….. which led the scheduling and engaging in meaningful dialogue about the contextual aspects of the school-to-prison pipeline, trauma, exclusionary discipline, as well as the importance of cultivating brave spaces for Black boys!

On October 12, 2022, Parents officially released the article and Dr. Karla couldn’t be more humbled to have contributed to such a timely article that hopefully will provoke a long overdue conversation.

Thank you Jazmin Towe for such a opportunity to contribute to an exceptionally written article!

Read Article: Black Boys and Criminalization

Acknowledging Labor Day & Advocating For Mental Health!

Labor Day is distinctive among American holidays. It does not derive from major events in American history, the lives of great Americans, or religious traditions; it was created to celebrate the efforts of the American labor movement, the social and economic achievements of workers, and the enobling nature of work itself.

Employers have long played an important role in the development of our health care system, which is rooted in this country’s industrial beginnings. Employers are not only purchasers of health care benefits; they design and solicit benefit models, choose whether (or not) to provide mental health benefits, and determine the administration of those benefits. Educating employers about the importance of investing in mental health benefits has been a major focus as we continue to slog through the pandemic and the need for employers to support employees’ physical and mental health is acute. Persistent stressful conditions associated with the COVID-19 era have serious health and safety consequences in the workplace:

• Exposure to prolonged stress is associated with the development of mental exhaustion, or burnout.

•Mental exhaustion causes physical and emotional symptoms and changes in behavior.

•Burnout is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and suppressed immunity.

Ignoring symptoms of burnout or trying to push through mental exhaustion has emotional and physical consequences. If you can, use Labor Day to take a step back, re-evaluate and then re-engage.

#laborday #workersrights #employmentrights #employerbenefits #collectivebargaining #collectiveagreement #union #laborunion #PandemicMentalHealth #justice #americanlabormovement #socialequity #workplaceequity #workplacewellness #employeehealth #mentalhealthresources #inclusionadvocacy #advocacymatters #advocacyinaction #communitybuilding #workplacehealth #healingfrompandemicstress #pandemichealing #mentalhealthadvocacy #occupationalwellbeing #rest #restorativehealing #healingjustice #traumainformedworkplace #traumainformed

Dr. Karla Is Presenting During The American Mental Health Counselors Association Webinar Series

We are EXCITED to announce that on August 24, 2021 at 3pm EST, Dr. Karla will be presenting “Deconstructing Substance Abuse & Wellness From A Sociocultural Perspective” as a part of the American Mental Health Counselors Association 2021-2022 Webinar Series.

Click on the link below to register!

Registration Link: Deconstructing Substance Abuse & Wellness From A Sociocultural Perspective

Simone Biles is Authentic Self Care & Healing in ACTION!

I can’t help but APPLAUD Simone Biles for CHOOSING SELF and Self-Perservation!

As a society we are so selfish when it comes to placing our expectations on others to perform in spite of the anguish (mentally, emotionally, physically, etc) they may be experiencing. Societal standards require that the human being is overlooked and disregarded, while their talent, skillset, and knowledge is exploited and taken advantage of.

As a society, while we’ve watched Simone Biles achieve greatness in the gymnastic world; it is evident that her greatness has come at a cost.

A cost that includes being victimized sexually by a former/now incarcerated USA Gymnastics Physician and most recently being undervalued by Olympic authorities and judges (which is oppression at its best and racially motivated) as well as the pressure to perform.

I can only imagine that enduring what she has had to endure over the years of her committing herself to perfecting her talent and skillset as a gymnast, has taken a significant toll on her mental health and concept of self.

Mental Health is REAL and does not discriminate based on who we are and/or who others perceive us to be!

I’ve seen a few post where individuals have ridicule Simone Biles for, in their opinion, not fulfilling her contractual obligations to her sponsors and fans (which is complete ignorance); however I do believe that Simone Biles first contractual obligation is to HERSELF and her Health……

…….and I am beyond happy to see that she has developed the Mental Strength and Resilience necessary to make herself her 1st Priority and Choosing to take care of herself.

Simone Biles is the GOAT not only in Gymnastics but for doing what many are fearful of doing….

….removing self from the toxicity!!!!!

Simone Biles is Authentic Self-Care and Healing in ACTION!

Dr. Karla and Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia is hosting a Virtual Walk/Run for Mental Health Awareness

Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia is Proud to announce our Virtual Walk/Run for Mental Health Awareness will be held May 1-31, 2021.

Registration is now open!

Registration Link: Project H.O.P.E. Virtual Walk Run for Mental HealthAwareness

All Monies raised will go towards established Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia Therapeutic Fund..

For more information: Contact Dr. Karla Sapp at (912) 495-8440 or projecthopeofcoastalga@gmail.com

Helping Other People Exist Scholarship for High School Seniors in Liberty County, Georgia

Are you a High School Senior?

Do you reside in Liberty County, Georgia?

Have you been accepted into a College/University in the Fall 2021?

Do you have plans to major in Psychology, Social Work, Human Services, or Education?

If you answered (or know someone who will answer) YES to all of the questions, then this post is for YOU!!!!!!!

Dr. Karla is EXCITED to announce that her newly established Non Profit Organization, Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia, will be awarding a Deserving 2021 High School Senior with a $500.00 Helping Other People Exist Scholarship within the Liberty County Community.

Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia was established to serve as a catalyst for change within communities of Coastal Georgia.

Project H.O.P.E. of Coastal Georgia aims to Promote Mental Health, Education, and Service throughout Coastal Georgia.

For more information on the Helping Other People Exist Scholarship Application and Criteria visit: https://drkarlasapp.com/project-h-o-p-e/helping-other-people-exist-scholarship-for-high-school-seniors/

Helping Other People Exist Electronic Scholarship can be completed using the following link: https://forms.gle/xkVrSqnTFBwhSuhw8

Application Deadline is April 24, 2021.

Copies will be available through School Counselors!

Minorities & Mental Health: A Candid Conversation with Clinicians

Minorities & Mental Health: A Candid Conversation with Clinicians is an event hosted by Dr. Karla Sapp to acknowledge Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

During the conversation Dr. Sapp and her Featured Guest Panelist will discuss the correlation between Minorities and Mental Health, barriers preventing Minorities from receiving Mental Health, the STIGMA surrounding Minorities and Mental Health. Dr. Sapp and her Featured Guest Panelist will also discuss the current events faced by African Americans and its impact on their Mental Health.

Command Your Life

A few year ago, I was presented with a book, by Gretchen Rubin entitled, “The Happiness Project”. I was told by the giver of this book that it had changed his life and that in him knowing how I am always looking for ways to better myself and others, he felt that the book would be great for me to not only read but add to my personal library and share with others.

Now, initially, I was reluctant to even open the book and begin to read, as I had already skimmed the back cover and wasn’t as intrigued; however, after letting sit on my bookcase for a month or so, I made the decision to give it a chance and see what I could learn. As individuals we are so focused on all the things happening around us and allow them to consume us that we never really engage self-discovery. We are easily distracted. We lose our focus on what is important, and to be honest, what is most important is our continued growth. We fail to realize that we can learn from anyone and/or anything, and it is those things that we are experiencing resistance that we eventually learn the most from. With that being said, I opened the book and begin to read.

To my surprise, a few pages in, I was introduced to a concept that intrigued me and found myself considering how I could possibly implement this concept into my daily life. Rubin shared that as she began to engage in identifying her resolutions for the first month of the year (she decided to add more resolutions monthly) she noticed that she had some overarching principles that stood out to her. Let me first address the resolution aspect, before going any further. Typically at the first of the year, we all engage in a process of identifying our New Year’s resolutions. The most common resolutions include: getting a gym membership and working out, eating healthier, losing weight, be a better person, and of course the list could go on and on. These resolutions, we are so quick to make, however, we are even more apt to forget about them within the first few week so the year and start to engage in unhealthy habits that go against the resolutions we made for ourselves.

Having the latter notion, is what really drew me in to Rubin’s discussion of the overarching principles she noticed among her resolutions that resulted in her arriving at her own personal twelve (12) commandments that she stated, “would help me as I was struggle to keep my resolutions” (p. 11). How cool would that be to develop my own personal list of commandments that would help me throughout the year to maintain focus and stay on track towards my goals.

Now we are all aware of the Ten Commandments that God provides us in the Bible, which tells us how we as Christians should behave, however, how many of us have ever took the time to think of how we have the ability to “Command” our own lives, personally and professionally, by developing commandments, our own set of rules, that would empower us to act in a certain manner. Seems trivial, but if taken very seriously, it can be one of the most powerful tools utilized. Of course, we think, who has the time to sit down and come up with commandments. It is just as simple as writing down the grocery lists your to-do list for work. It comes down to how serious you are about taking control over your life.

As I sat and thought about the goals I had for myself, I began to identify commandments that I felt would help me to be successful in maintaining my focus, completing my task, and achieving my goals. I arrived at the following commandments that I felt governs my behavior on daily basis:

Karla’s Commandments

1. Live life with no regrets

2. Wake up early

3. Never set limits on my ability to achieve my goals

4. Laugh out loud, always

5. Remain true to form

6. Find something to believe in and pursue

7. Think positive

8. Engage in random acts of kindness

9. Practice mindfulness

10. Treasure family and friends

11. Express gratitude

12. Be consistent

13. One day at a time

14. Make time for myself

15. Indulge in Natures Beauty

16. Be present

17. Stay humble

18. Always be honest

It is these eighteen (18) commandments that have catapulted me into a new realm of my life. A realm that is characterized by happiness, success, confidence, spirituality, and goal-achievement. I find myself being very intentional about the activities I involve myself in making sure that they are aligned with my commandments. If activities and/or goals do not align with my commandments or at some point veer off course, I immediately re-evaluate my intentions and determine if I need to abandon the activity and/or goal or at least place it in a safe place until such alignment takes place.

Being aware is very important to ensure that such things take place. I try my to have an awareness of self, my activities and/or goals, others, and the environment in which I am in on a daily basis. Without a sense of awareness, I am not able to maintain focus or allow myself to be intentional in all that I am doing. This awareness also allows me to gain a sense of balance and have control over my life.

Having control is what commanding your life is about. Commanding is all about taking charge, and that is what you as an individual must do if you desire to move forward and attain all of your heart desires. So are you ready to take control and command your life? If you are, start today by identifying your personal principles that will help you to begin commanding your life.

If you would like to read Gretchen Rubin’s book, “The Happiness Project”, it can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, and at www.harpercollins.com. Feel free to also follow her daily blog at www.happiness-project.com.

We Must Act……

Systematic racism and police violence have stolen lives of Black Americans from communities across the country.

As clinicians, it is our responsibility to recognize the plight faced by our African American clients and their allies and must fight to correct these injustices. We must invest and stay active in these efforts, especially when they aren’t the focus of the media. The events in recent days, weeks and month have provided another all-too-often reminder of this.

As we work to provide a wide array of services to our African American clients and their allies at the forefront of these issues, I implore you to make a few promises.

First, promise that you will continually uplift and call attention to these injustices. We should not only hear your voice on this issue when it is the focus of the media, but also hear your voice when it is not the focus of the media attention. Promise that you will address and fight for these issues proactively, not reactively.

Promise that you will hold space for African Americans to process their emotions and thoughts as well as empower them.

Promise that you will become familiar with and utilize both multicultural and social justice counseling advocacy interventions.

Lastly, promise that you will promote and collaborate with organizations focused on ending these injustices.

As a fellow clinician, I call on you to hold each other as well as yourself accountable to these promises and our African American clients, their families, and our/their communities.