R Guide Logo
Issue 31

Speaker's Note

October is here! The leaves are turning brown and yellow on the East Coast, but in true California style it's still pretty warm here in SELA. Not only is it time for a new season, but it's also time for a new R-Guide.

In this month's R-Guide, we highlight how to have a safe Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and the importance of mental health.

How To Have Spooky & Safe SELA Halloween

Halloween last year was lonely as COVID didn't allow for normal trick or treat celebrations. This year might be a little less lonely, but this doesn't change the fact that we need to make safety and health a priority.

First thing is first, if you and loved ones plan to go out to trick or treat, get vaccinated and wear a mask. If you're sick, stay home! California has been doing well at keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control, so we don't want a night of fun to turn us in a wrong direction. Get vaccinated, wear a mask and social distance.


But did you know you can have an awesome Halloween from home? Here's a couple of ideas to celebrate from home:

  1. Have a taste test game of your family's favorite Halloween candies
  2. Pumpkin carving competition
  3. Spooky movie marathon
  4. Rock your costume at your at-home costume fashion show
  5. Turn the volume to max on your Halloween music playlist
  6. Decorate your home
  7. Go apple picking
  8. Find a drive-thru trick or treat event
  9. Host a virtual Halloween party with family and friends
  10. Read about the history of the holiday and how it’s celebrated around the world

Wishing everyone a fun, safe, healthy and spooky Halloween!

Dia de los Muertos

In the last story, #10 suggested: Read about the history of the holiday and how it's celebrated around the world.

So here is a little about a special holiday celebrated across Latin America, but largely in Mexico.

The origins of Dia de los Muertos go far back into Mexican history, almost 3,000 years to rituals that honor the dead in Mesoamerica. The celebration combines indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism, which is a result of the Spanish conquistadores.

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their loved ones who have passed away. This homecoming is filled with food, drinks, and special celebrations of life. It's celebrated from October 31 to November 2. October 31st is Halloween, which based on old tradition the gates of heaven are opened. November 1st is Dia de los Inocentes (Day of the Children) and the spirits of children come home, and November 2nd is Dia de los Muertos where the spirits of adults do the same.

To celebrate those who have passed, families bring foods and gifts to gravesites or to ofrendas (altars) they've built at home. Ofrendas are full of photos, belongings of the passed loved ones, foods, drinks, and so much more.

And probably the most notable tradition of Dia de los Muertos is the calaveras (skulls). Calaveras are a very significant part of the holiday. The calaveras were used during Aztec rituals and were considered trophies during battles. Today, the calaveras have become small beautifully decorated sugar skulls that are placed on the ofrendas during the holiday.

painted skullsstatues on stands

Halloween has become an American favorite, but I hope that you take some time reading about how the holiday may be celebrated around the world.

Mental Health Is Important!

Halloween is fun, but so is protecting your mental health.

In October we celebrate World Mental Health Day.

At first the day aimed at promoting mental health advocacy and education. Since then, the World Federation for Mental Health has created themes to promote each year. For example, 'Living with Schizophrenia' or 'Mental Health in the Workplace' have been previous themes.

So what's the connection between mental health and Halloween? The Halloween season is not only for spooky ghosts and monsters, but it is also a time for increased stigma. Many costumes and attractions feature "psychos, mental patients, and insane asylums" all of which perpetuate stereotypes that mental illness is scary and violent. These stereotypes give life to prejudice and discrimination for children and adults who live with a mental illness.

Here are some ways you can help break mental health stigma this Halloween:

If you celebrate by wearing a costume, think about it. When you're deciding what to dress up as, consider whether the costume will further promote misconceptions or demean those who struggle with mental illness.

Avoid attractions that feed into stereotypes. Resist attractions that feature "mental patients, psychos, freaks, etc". This again invalidates the real experiences of those who suffer with mental illness and keeps alive toxic stereotypes.

Decorate appropriately. This one may seem obvious, but a reminder never hurts. Halloween is spooky, but it should always be kind and fun. Decor should reflect appropriate fall and spooky themes. Ghosts, witches, goblins, zombies, pumpkins, spiderwebs are perfect!

And of course, fighting stigmas is not easy, so do what you can to educate yourself and others.

Who would've thought that Halloween and mental health awareness could be so connected?

Mental health is as important as physical health. Halloween is not only a great time to break mental health stigmas and educate ourselves a little more, but like any other day it is important to know that those who struggle with mental illness are never alone. Ask for help! Visit www.mentalhealth.gov for more information.

Upcoming Events

art talk flyer with event info

safety in a digital world flyer with event info

In Case You Missed It!

Via my Instagram: @rendon63rd


The end of the 2021 #CALeg session

backpack distributorsbackpack contents

Drive-Thru Backpack Giveaway

financial literacy workshop

Watch our most recent financial literacy workshop here: https://fb.watch/8hDHVk1KmM

big check presentationSpeaker with small daughter

SELA End of Summer Festival

Speaker Rendon speaking at podiumSpeaker Rendon with group

CSU Fullerton Arboretum Re-opening

Have an idea or topic for a future R Guide?
Send your suggestions to Julian.Gonzalez@asm.ca.gov!