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Weighted blankets, which range from 5 to 30 pounds, have been used by special needs educators and occupational therapists since the late 1990s, but have become mainstream in the last few years. The dominant theory is that weighted blankets provide deep pressure stimulation, triggering feelings of relaxation and of being calm.

With progress in efforts for COVID-19 vaccines and predictions for when the population will receive them, there seems to be a light at the end of the long, harrowing pandemic tunnel. However, as the physical risks are better managed with vaccines, what will likely still remain is the impact of the pandemic weighing on the collective psyche.

Between the global pandemic, the fight for racial equality and polarizing politics, 2020 has put a strain on many people’s mental health. For Black women, that strain is often constant, but rarely talked about, until now. A St. Louis filmmaker is sharing stories of struggle and breakthrough inspired by her own battle with depression.