Shackling the Sick | Opossums | + More! 🌬️

This is the Masawa Minute, a snippet of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing. 


1. 🎧🏹 Is Conflict Inevitable?

This podcast series, hosted by Polly Young-Eisendrath and Eleanor Johnson, examines if conflict is inevitable by investigating various facets of human nature, including psychology, art, relationships, and belonging. It’s fascinating that conflict and mental illness share a number of root causes. [Thanks, Sara!]

ENEMIES: From War to Wisdom


2. 🍌😻 Opossums!

Sometimes we need something cute and random.  Have you ever wondered how an opossum eats bananas? Us too! Here’s a short clip of a passel of opossums consuming the fruit, and it’s certainly smile-inducing. Yes, a group of opossums is a passel, and, yes, opossums and possums are two different animals. Opossums are North America’s only native marsupial, and possums live in Australia, Oceania, and China.

Opossums Enjoying Their Bananas


3. 🏳️‍🌈⚖️ Official Inclusion Reduces Suicide

Sometimes we forget about the impact that inclusive and supportive public policy can have. This Upworthy article highlights a recent study that found that the suicide rate in the US among LGBTQ youth dropped 14% after gay marriage was legalized. A different study in Sweden and Denmark found that there was a 46% drop in suicide for couples in same-sex marriages. [Thanks, Taly!]

What other public policy changes could catalyze mental wellness? Maybe something like “Mentalcare for All?” 🙂  

Legalizing gay marriage has caused a dramatic drop in LGBT suicide rates


4. ⛓️🇬🇭 Shackling the Sick

These images are repulsive, angering, and saddening.  And the text screams of desperation and a lack of alternatives. Shackling or caging people with mental health issues not only violates international human rights and disability law, it violates basic human order. Intentions be damned, this systemic failure is unacceptable.

‘All we can offer is the chain’: the scandal of Ghana’s shackled sick


5.  ☀️🌷 R.I.P. Leila Janah

This is a touching tribute to Leila Janah from Claudine Emeott of the Salesforce Impact Fund. Leila was a pioneer in the impact world, founding Samasource which gives low-income workers in developing countries access to work in the tech economy.  Her story of determination and triumph in the face of continuous adversity is humbling. She sadly passed away in late January 2020. 

Samasource: A Tribute to Leila Janah, and Why We Invested


6. Masawa Update ✨

The recent reporting in the Guardian about the shackled sick in Ghana has really hit a nerve. We’re pissed off, and even more determined to use all approaches necessary to bring the silent epidemic that is mental illness to light. Breathe. We’re taking many breaths. 

The ChangeNOW Summit in Paris last week was great; we met with a number of entrepreneurs, funders, and co-investors. The headlining theme was climate change but an underlying theme was self-care. With so much anger, determination, and action, we can’t lose sight of the importance of inner work and self-care. You can’t maximize results if you’re not maximized, yourself…


7. In Closing 🕯️✌️

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Give someone a big hug today + take care of each other! 🤗😘 

The Masawa Minute

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