As a mental health professional, suicide prevention is a topic that is close to my heart. Recently, we were able to connect with Dr Shenetta Malkia of Empowerment Essence Inc to discuss her work in bullying and suicide prevention based out of Baltimore. As a female business owner that specializes in adult women and trauma, I was eager to hear about Dr Shenetta's background and absorb some of her inspiring energy and drive toward contributing to mental health reform across the United States.
Who is Dr Shenetta Malkia?
Dr. Malkia. is the founding President and Executive Director of Empowerment Essence and a leading clinician and workshop facilitator for community organizations and government agencies. She is seeking innovative ways to grapple a growing problem within communities.
Dr. Shenetta Malkia is widely known throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area, Maryland and nationally. She is a spokesperson and advocate for suicide prevention and anti-bullying programs. Malkia has sat on the MD-SPIN advisory board and MD Governor's Commission for Suicide Prevention from 2014-2019.
As a sought-after speaker, Malika’s voice continues to sound the trumpet for systematic change within schools and social service systems, which often ignores the signs of bullying and suicide. Malkia has been featured on radio, TV, and at community events. She was the key note Speaker for Maryland’s 26th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference, 2014 and continues to lead the survivor’s panels, teach other workshops, and speak nationally and internationally.
To date, Dr. Malkia has touched and empowered thousands of lives. As a survivor of bullying and suicide her passion and purpose in life is a direct result of life experiences, which lead many support systems turning a deaf ear to her cries for help. Unfortunately, there were no programs to assist when she reached out. Instead, she was told by school officials to ignore the bullying by classmates. This lived experience has pushed her to grow Empowerment Essence Inc as a nationwide resource for victims of bullying.
A native of Queens, N.Y., she attended AIU in Atlanta where she studied T.V & film production. She later matriculated to Bowie State University majoring in Business Administration. Dr. Malkia has developed the Bully Free Beautiful Me Conference for young Queens ages 7 to 17. She is also building I Matter – Life Matters Film Productions, which is dedicated to helping others tell their story and bring stories to life to further public awareness in the area of suicide and bullying.
Not only is Dr. Malkia active in the mental health community, but she also holds the title of International Ms. USA 2021. She also holds the former titles of Ms. Baltimore United Sates 2014, Ms. Congeniality United Sates 2014, International Ms. Maryland 2016. Dr. Malkia works additionally as CEO of The PMs Of the City Realty & The PMs of The City property management firm. For her, if it’s not everything mental health, it’s everything real estate!
In addition to her founding and managing Empowerment Essence, Dr. Malkia is also the founder and owner of Malkhia Relations LLC. An organization working in the area TV and Film Production, Management and development of actors and models. Some productions include America’s Got Talent, Things Kids Say and other production in both the Washington Metropolitan area New York.
Today, Malkia remains active in the field of cultural arts and television production. One of her crowning achievements came in 2013 beat death for the 2nd time. Dr Malkia believes that God has much for her to complete. She lives a life of equality, resilience, and strength, reminding all that no matter what you face "You Still Matter" and "Life Still Matters."
What is Empowerment Essence Inc?
Empowerment Essence was developed during Dr. Malkia’s reign as Ms. Maryland United States 2014. This was a must after the death of her beloved friend Gia Allemad and the memories that resurfaced of her own personal attempt. Empowerment Essence Inc an organization dedicated to eradicating bullying and suicide beginning in Maryland & DC communities.
How has your relationship with yourself evolved over the years? How has your mental health played a part in that?
My relationship with myself over the years has been one of discovery. I have had to learn how to have a healthy relationship with myself. Learning to set boundaries and to live again in spite of the traumas, trails, failure, and mistakes. I have had to learn to forgive myself and love myself for real. The good, bad, ugly, "hell nah" and the "aww" moments of my life.
My mental health was a disaster initially because I had zero tools and did not know I needed to take care of my mental well being so I can have a better relationship with myself. Today I am still evolving and still growing into all God has prepared for me
Where does your drive come from?
My drive and passion stem from LOVE. The love that was missing, the love that I have discovered and the love that is empowering me to serve my community.
What advice to you have to young women in their 20s-30s who have experience a traumatic event (or multiple traumatic events) on how to process and push through their hardships?
Healing is needed in many areas of life. Not just the physical but the mental and emotional areas that cause many to suffer.
Life's events sometimes make us question life because we feel as though we do not matter, no one cares or because we have been outcast by our loved ones. It does not stop there...because we also deal with those we thought loved us, society and sometimes even our employers who we give so much too. Many times we many feel abandoned and used up as we give so much and do our best to please everyone and forget ourselves. We move daily going about as if things are normal but feel irregular on the inside because we are empty.
This emotional pain is one of the greatest areas in which we need to identify and open up about so we can work and move through it. It's important that we work and move through it because if we just pass over it and never deal with the root of the pain we won't become cleansed of the emotional and mental anguish that torments so many.
When we don't deal with things beginning at the root we become depressed and sometimes want to give up on ourselves and give up on life. It's easier, so we think, but the truth is it's more painful to never truly understand our feelings. Being able to identify the pain will help our healing.
It's not ok to let it just go unanswered. It's not ok to be left alone with no one to reach your arms out too. You don't have to accept the torment but you can begin to open up and cleanse.
Do you have any last thoughts for those who are considering seeking mental health assistance?
Have you ever felt like you just didn't fit or that you were really alone in a dark place? Have you reached out to others only to be ignored or turned away? This has happened to many because most people don't know how to deal with the pain one is experiencing. Some are too busy because they are trying to mask their own hurt, disappointment and pain, while others just have no emotional connection to things are people.
Getting over it is not as easy as many portray. Emotional pain goes deep but there is hope! The word of God promises that he will heal every area of our lives and restore health to us. He will heal the wounds that go deeper than the dark clay found when digging beneath the earth's surface. He will lift up and call in those who have been outcast. There is hope, healing and promise for all who are hurting. Don't give up for you are needed and matter.
Learn More About Dr Shenetta Malkia
We offer amazing resources at www.empowermentessence.org. To follow and connect with her please follow Empowerment Essence or FB. IG and twitter. You can follow me on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, IG and Tic Toc: Shenetta malkia
Bookings for events: www.dearbokengirl.com