Being an advocate means fighting for something bigger than yourself for someone who shouldn’t have to fight alone. When it comes to mental health advocacy, I’m all about voicing your concerns in a productive and strategic way that lends authenticity and compassion to others.

In this post, I’ll talk about the 3 Best Mental Health Advocacy Tips that will transform your life and the lives of those impacted by various types of mental health problems.

As a self-advocate, I learned that my experiences and struggles can be overcome and transformed into a lesson for those still within the challenge, themselves. By using my life as a model for mental health recovery, I shed light on stigmas associated with mental health. I also highlight ways to live despite the challenges that I face daily.

I had the pleasure of putting myself in that role recently, and it was a remarkable experience. Advocating with thousands of others for a cause that affects me and my loved ones, changed the way I view advocacy. It’s not just talking about mental health, but vigorously promoting change and compassion for the community.

Below, you’ll find 3 Mental Health Advocacy tips that will benefit you in your journey to advocacy, change-making, and positive growth.



I have mental health issues and I have major depression. Point Blank. I’m no longer ashamed of discussing it or putting it out in the open. I’ve learned that what I’m dealing with (mental illness) is not me, but just a circumstance that I’m in.

So discussing the topic with friends and family who inquire has become easier for me. I take the time to answer questions about being a mental health advocate. I answer questions about the symptoms of mental illness and how they differ for everyone. I also provide resources for those seeking therapy for depression or getting help for depression.

As an advocate, it’s my responsibility to encourage those in need to seek mental health programs in their locality. By providing positive mental health promotion, I help end the stigma associated with mental health and mood disorders.



By educating yourself on mental health reform, mental health care policy (Mental Health Care Act, and mental health issues regarding discrimination, legislation, you can make a huge impact on your community.

Volunteer to help others after they’ve been discharged from mental health treatment centers. You can support others by helping them find mental health assessment tools, online mental health services, and alternative treatments for depression.

You can be the one to advocate therapy for mental health challenges and depression. Encouraging someone new to the community that the road to depression recovery or mental health recovery, doesn’t have to be a long lonely one.



I’m not a certified mental health counselor, but I’m willing to sit down with those needing a listening ear. Most of the time, that’s all people want, someone to hear them out.

Inpatient mental health treatment has its advantages, but what happens when you are discharged? Develop a plan to succeed and grow from mental illness to mental wellness.

Try not to allow the stress of depression impact you negatively to the point that you isolate yourself from the rest of the world, with fear. Depression stress is the worst kind, keeping you from being productive on your road to mental health recovery.

Self-Advocacy is about setting a game-plan for yourself to avoid having to return to the hospital. It is with your customized mental health recovery model that you can gain perspective on how you can defeat mental illness, the stigmas that come with it, and come out on the other side thriving.


Overall, advocacy is all about making positive change for yourself and others like you. You can learn the system, then put what you learn to use. By educating others on the things you know, you pass that information to those that really need.

By writing letters, attending legislative meetings, voting, and keeping your ear to the wire to learn policy changes and news, you set yourself to be an incredible advocate for mental health.

Tell me how you advocate for mental health. If you have other ideas to advocate, please leave a comment below and share!

Unboxing My #FrostyVoxBox from Influenster

Watch as I unbox and reveal the products I received in my first #frostyvoxbox from Influenster. This was a cool experience and some really great products. This was given to me complimentary from Influenster, a free service that anyone can sign up and join. All products are for testing purposes and I enjoyed it very much.

The following brands were in the #frostyvoxbox:

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover by Rimmel London US @RimmelLondonUS   #Rimmel

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner #Rimmel

NYC New York Color Expert Last Lip Color by New York Color Cosmetics @NYCNewYorkColor #SugarPlum

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea by Celestial Seasonings @CelestialTea #CelestialTea

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED by Boots Beauty USA  @bootsbeautyusa Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED #Get ADVANCED

McCormick Gourmet All Natural Thyme by McCormick Gourmet  #McCormickGourmet

Fruit Vines Bites Strawberry by Fruit Vines @FruitVines #SweetSide

EcoTools Full Volume Styler by EcoTools @ecotools #LoveMyEcoHairBrush

*Again, I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Watch Video Here:


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Soul Logistics Radio Interviews I’esha GaptoothDiva, Author of Flawesome …Because God Don’t Make No Junk!

Back in June 2014, Richmond/Petersburg Radio station Soul Logistics Radio interviewed me about my new book Flawesome …Because God Don’t Make No Junk! The Soul Logistics Team asked me questions inspired from chapters of the book, as we attempted to shed light on the serious issues of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and self-esteem among young people (especially young girls).


Ask Me Anything: 6 Answers to Your Questions about Black Women with Blonde Hair (video)

Just so you know, I constantly deal with naysayers, critics, and conspiracy theorist on a daily basis. I probably deal with these type of people more often than necessary, because my job is to inspire people. Therefore, the majority of the people that I tend to spend time with, are the ones that haven’t yet saw the possibilities. So, I use my God-given talent of motivating them and changing their (closed) minds. However, every once in a while it seems like I’m the one that may need motivation. There is always someone trying to convince me that what I’m doing, wearing, or saying is just too different for them. Lately, the big topic has been my hair color. Apparently, by wearing my hair blonde, I’m doing what most people describe as bold, loud, ghetto, and different. I guess, by being a brown skin African American woman, mother, and wife, blonde hair is a taboo topic among certain groups of people.

Below is a list of questions that some of you have asked me over the past year about my dark skin and blonde hair combination, that I have acknowledged and answered on more than one occasion. Included, you’ll have my answers to the questions. The answers are honest and straight to the point. I don’t feel like I should be fake about my genuine response, so please don’t immediately jump into your feelings. Nevertheless, if you ask certain questions, you’ll get a certain answer; I’m tired of being put into a labeled box for others comfort. So here we go…

GaptoothDiva Blonde Hair Doesn't Mean I Wanna Be White Video

The 6 Questions and Answers about Black Women with Blonde Hair…

 “Are You Trying to Be Like NeNe Leakes ( RHOA)?”

  1. Every Black woman (especially a dark skin or brown skin woman) with Blonde hair does not want to be NeNe Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reality show. The fact that this is the first name that came to your mind, not only shows how limited your actually knowledge of African American role models, it displays that you may have an addiction to reality television.

 “Nobody Told You That Dark (Black) Girls Shouldn’t Wear Blonde Hair?”

  1. Has no one told you that slavery and segregation ended a long time ago? How can someone say that a certain race and skin tone can’t wear a certain hair color? Tell me more about how you have succumb to colorism, and want to regurgitate what some self-hating person has told you, I’m listening.

“Is It True That Only Strippers/Prostitutes/Female Music Artist Who Are Black Wear Blonde Hair?”

  1. No, that’s not true. However, it may be true that ignorant people just say ignorant sh*t. It’s frustrating how I’m, being labeled by the color of my hair. Yet, you would probably be offended if I labeled you by the content of your conversation. If I’m a Stripper/Prostitute/Female Music Artist because of my hair color, than you will be labeled an idiot until you buy me a new box of hair color. Even then, you still may be an idiot because of your close-minded beliefs.

“How Do You Get the Courage To Dye Your Hair Blonde? I Couldn’t Do It!”

  1. Its hair color. It’s not a strategic move in battle that led me to the front lines, chill out. The fact that you only do what is safe, what is approved by your peers, and what you know won’t raise eyebrows, has nothing to do with me. I wear what I want, regardless of these unwritten rules that you live by. I’m not being bold by coloring/bleaching my hair, I’m me. However, why you wouldn’t be able to make the same moves if you so choose to do so? Find out why you are so limited and the reason that you consider a hairstyle a bold move.

“Do You Still Consider Yourself Natural If Your Hair Is Blonde?”

  1. I sure do! Other than bleaching my hair to achieve this awesome hue of golden blonde and 613, I don’t use anything else to achieve the texture. I’m kinky curly, without a relaxer of any kind what’s so ever. No perms, texturizers, or anything. That to me is natural. Color is color. However, altering the texture of your hair is what changes it from natural to “not so natural”. I really don’t care to be labeled in the terms anyway, it’s only for the comfort of other people anyway.

“Do You Want to be White?”

  1. * See the Below video…

Check out This Video: Just Because I’m Blonde Doesn’t Mean I Want to Be White – Black Girl/Natural Hair Problem

★★ Liked the Video? Subscribehttp://bit.ly/GTDchannel  ★★

In this video I discuss the common misconception and myth regarding brown skin (African American) women who dye/bleach their hair (natural, weave, etc.) blonde. Many believe that an African American woman is blonde may not love herself, she’s not happy being African American, and she wants to be White.


I have been natural for several years, often wearing protective styles such as wigs, weaves, and braids. However, during the summer months I enjoy wearing my natural hair whether I cut it or grow it out.


I like the bright blonde hair color with my brown skin.


What I don’t like about my hair, is the attention that it attracts from ignorant people stereotyping me and attempting to label me or put me in a box. Whether my hair is blonde, black, red, or whatever I decide, I am not my hair. My hair is an accessory.


Product I used to achieve this color… (Dark & Lovely Hair Color) Get Luminous Blonde 396 http://bit.ly/DALBlonde here


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So that’s it. LOL

I’m glad I got that off my chest. Being Black and blonde isn’t easy people. Just be yourself and don’t worry about the stereotypes and labels that people try to impose on you. If you love it, then do it. Be you!

Can African American Women Can Wear Blonde Hair In Your Opinion? Is It Only For White or Lighter Skin Women?

Premiere Episode of The GaptoothDiva Show – Celebrating Individuality, Curves and Flaws

The GaptoothDiva show First Episode - celebrating individuality, curves, and flaws October 2nd 2013

This past Wednesday I had the pleasure of debuting my new show on Comcast Public Access TV (Channel 95 Comcast/Verizon 36). This show is taking my movement of inspiration, creative motivation, and flawsomeness straight to your homes directly. This is a local program, but thankfully due to modern technology, we have made it available on YouTube the very next day. Executive Produced by Joe’I Chancellor of the Network Grind, I’m excited to air every Wednesday at 7:30pm EST.

Let me know what you think about the very first episode and make sure you tune in for the first season of The GaptoothDiva Show.

For more information on being a guest or connecting with me or my team, be sure to email me directly.

Episode 1 – Celebrating Individuality, Curves, and Flaws ft. Andrea Bennett (P.H.A.T. Divas Modeling Agency) and Female Impersonator & Hair Stylist Fennix Baldwin aka Mario Lee

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva for more of “The Baddest Creative Motivation”

Also be sure to check out this hilarious commercial I created for “GaptoothDiva’s Smack Right”

What Makes a Great Couple Awesome (Relationship Advice)? Video

GaptoothDiva and @BoonyeRVA relationship advice, how to be an awesome couple video, marriage, love, relationships, rva, married, couple, power couple, boonie and I'esha, big boobs, I'esha Gaptoothdiva

Hubs and I engage in yet another nausea inducing discussion on tips to be that awesome great couple. We only want the best for you and your boo… smile. In this episode, we discuss the top ten tips and tricks to ensure that your relationship is incredible, that way you can focus on the amazing experiences and memories, rather than stupid stuff, like “oh, I forgot to tell you… I’m really gay”. Ok, maybe nothing that deep, but you know what I’m saying.

In this video, we discuss…

1. Communication

2. Laugh and Pray

3. Keep people out your business

4. Compromise but don’t “bitch up”

5. Despite it all, Sex is important

6. Spontaneity means switch it up

7. Push your Partner & Support them

8. Love Thyself & Know Thyself

9. Honesty

10. Setting Expectations

To hear each tip and piece of advice, check out the latest video from Hubs and I, making your relationship real good and feel good. LOL

To have your questions or situations featured and answered, please email me at GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com.

*Taking all submissions.*

Treating Your Partner The Way You Want To Be Treated: Giving 100% in the Relationship (Video)

Treating Your Partner The Way You Want To Be Treated Relationship from gaptoothdiva, marriage, sex, love, couples

Hubs (@BoonyeRVA) & I are back at it again with another video taking points from our own experiences and dishing that real and inspiring relationship advice. We dish it out, because we can take it. There is no perfect couple and relationships have it’s ups and down, therefore what better way to get your tips and tricks from the two people who’ve been together since childhood.

Today’s love advice topic is about treating your significant other the way you want to be treated, NOT  how they treat you. You miss out on important moments for romance, love, compassion, and communication when you live your relationship doing that old “tit-for-tat” nonsense that keep some uninformed couples from progressing and growing into a life-long love.

#1. Discuss it – Tell your partner how you feel and what you expect (this is the time to either agree to disagree or to start finding a solution)

#2. Reiterate – Whatever your issue is, obviously it hasn’t been fixed yet. Find ways to assist in finding a solution, talk about a compromise, either way… it’s a fair warning.

#3. All bets are off – Real Talk! You are too grown for someone to have to tell you something three times like you are a kid. This is a sign of a lack of respect. Don’t trip when the “ish” hits the fan.

Watch the video and leave a comment:

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If you would like us to answer your questions (we’ll shout you out or you can be anonymous), be sure to either contact us via this website or email us directly at GaptoothDiva@hotmail.com 

Follow Hubs on Twitter @BoonyeRVA

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How Do You Treat Your Partner The Way You Want To Be Treated?

Nationz Pageantry System’s Female Impersonators Should Inspire You to Be Greater Than You Ever Thought You Could

GaptoothDiva attends Nationz Pageantry Systems All Red AffairPlain and simple, I was floored. From the beginning to the end, I was captivated and inspired. I know I throw many words out there, but speaking from the heart, Zakia Jameceye made me want to be a better woman… period. It sounds crazy, right? This woman saying that she was inspired to be a better woman by Zakia and a group of professional Female Impersonators, would probably make many of you weary as to what in the world I’m thinking. I don’t care! It’s the truth. The All Red Affair managed to take entertainment to a completely different level and I’ll explain why…

I’ve been to drag shows before, who doesn’t love Godfrey’s brunch on Sundays. Get the mimosa, honey it delicious. However, it’s so much going on during those shows between my plate and the hard-core entertainment; I’m spent just thinking about it. I enjoy it! Nevertheless, last Saturday in a hotel conference room, Zakia and her entertainment family, Nationz Pageantry Systems managed to take me from loving my femininity and myself oh so dearly, to wanting to be straight fierce, ferocious, gracefully elegant, and majestic all at the same time, every second of every day. I know they were performing, but hear me out. These entertainers, Mr. Nationz included managed to take an art form and push the envelope so far, that you have no choice but to be greater than what you are. You have to be there to understand the magnitude of what I’m saying, but allow me to paint a picture I know you’ll get…

If they can be that beautiful, that intriguing, and that spectacular on stage and they weren’t born with all of the amazing things that got them there to that point (you know what I’m saying), then what’s YOUR problem?

GaptoothDiva attends Nationz Pageantry Systems All Red AffairI thought about this deeply as I watched them cascade up and down the aisles casting spells on the audience with their glamour and fierceness, I want to be better. I want to feel better; I want to feel free and uninhibited to captivate just as much minds as they did on stage with my words. I too am a DIVA!

GaptoothDiva attends Nationz Pageantry Systems All Red AffairNow some of you may have your feelings right or wrong about female impersonators and/or drag queens, that’s your right. I support the LGBT community fully and I won’t apologize for that. This isn’t about that. What’s important is that these amazing men and women took art and inspired in the way they know best. I loved every minute of it, the crowd was drunk off excitement and support, and it was the best entertainment showcase of performances and glamour in a while. I appreciate Nationz Pageantry System for inviting me and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

They are currently looking for qualified promoters to produce official preliminaries. Visit www.nationzpageants.com to get more information.

Support their events and check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationzPageantrySystem

Check out this preview of the evening events:


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My Lifestyle: DashA’veri Vintage & Thrifted Redesigns Launches 2/11/2013

I'esha Hornes: GaptoothDiva's Online Vintage & Thrift StoreFighting back tears, I finally just said, “I’m going to do it!”

I love thrifting, I love vintage, and I love DIY and collecting unique items. I love it so much that the Hubs had to ask me to scale back on the haul videos, because he didn’t want me to look like a hoarder with a shopping disorder, his exact words. Lol. Despite having a passion for something, I’m not going to front and pretend I wasn’t scared just a little. Now, don’t trip, because my faith is strong. Nevertheless, like anything you love and appreciate, you want to see it succeed.

I'esha Hornes: GaptoothDiva's Online Vintage & Thrift StoreTherefore, I’ve created DashA’veri, named after my two boys (and my motivations) which is a Vintage and Thrift Shop online, for the bold, creative, quirky, and fierce.  I understand that I’m putting it out there and that you’ll either love it or you won’t, I just hope that the creative side in you, finds something that you want. If you don’t… we do customize and bring YOUR old items back to life as well. So regardless, you can utilize DashA’veri for all your thrifting, vintage, and creative styling needs. It doesn’t just stop with clothing, we are venturing in accessories, and home décor as well. So you can understand why I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. So while I’m still blogging, writing, doing interviews, reviews and more, I will now have an online vintage and thrift shop for you to shop for creative and quirky pieces.

I'esha Hornes: GaptoothDiva's Online Vintage & Thrift Store

I'esha Hornes: GaptoothDiva's Online Vintage & Thrift StoreI love this, though. I can’t deny that this rush of venturing into online retail is making me feel some kind of good. It’s something about being fearless and presenting your secret love to the world to see, to judge, to critique, and/or admire that makes me feel stronger. Whether I want it or not I know some people will hate, but I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to the people who supported me, that understand that I’m trying to promote the way WE think. That everything beautiful is NOT trendy, name brand, or perfect. That fashion is a lifestyle of creativity and individuality, to be beautiful to those that can receive and understand your purpose, not the majority. DashA’veri will represent that. My online store is for those that like wearing something different. The people who enjoy feeling creatively inspired and love color, prints, funky embellishments, etc. My store is for the girl who saw that weird sweater and wanted it, just because. Moreover, the great thing is I keep it cost-effective as well, because we all are trying to make something amazing with little to no way of doing it. By making broke look chic, we throw caution to the wind and dress how we want.

Check out the video from my very first model call/shoot with photographer Amor Jay.  It was awesome!

I can’t wait to debut the store to you all and I look forward to sharing new creations and items with you here, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and everywhere else. I want you to know that your style isn’t constructed out of a bunch of rules and regulations; it’s as limitless as your creativity. DashA’veri is here to support that.

Dash A’veri Vintage & Thrifted Redesigns Launches 2/11/2013

Tune in for the link and more information to come

For more of the Baddest Creative motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva