Ending the stigma around mental health is a key focus of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. This year, The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) is helping break the stigma, educate the community and provide support by sharing information and resources on Instagram and other social media.
Follow @BRCsubstancetreatment on Instagram.
“It’s important we have open conversations about mental health so that we break those stigmas. With everything going on because of the pandemic and quarantine, our team wanted to find a way to really connect with the community,” said Jennifer Stolpe, program manager for BRC’s substance treatment Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). “May is such an important month, and we wanted to let our community know that they are NOT alone.”
Stolpe and the IOP team decided to reach out to other providers in the mental health field. They asked these providers to partner with BRC and contribute information to share on social media.
“Our hope was to start a conversation about all things mental health. To get the best in the field to provide education and answer questions. To make information accessible with no judgment,” Stolpe said. “Most importantly, we want to work together as a community to continue to support and provide resources for those in need.”
Response from community providers exceeded Stolpe’s expectations, who now has a full month of content from BRC sources and other local organizations. Confirmed participants from southeastern Virginia include Genesis Counseling, Safe Harbor Recovery Center, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Recovery for Life, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Alliance on Mental Illness and I Need A Lighthouse.
BRC is sharing relevant content and encouraging conversations on Instagram all month:
Week 1 – Dispelling Myths
Week 2 – Mood Disorder
Week 3 – Trauma/PTSD
Week 4 – Self Care
Besides themed content during the week, on Saturdays, the conversation turns to stigmas about mental health. And on Sundays, a BRC clinician provides substance education for parents and teens.
“We want to get community involvement and participation. I want parents and kids to feel comfortable asking questions and reaching out if they need resources,” Stolpe said. “We also want to shed light on the importance of self-care especially when quarantined. We’re asking for everyone to tag us in pictures of what self-care looks like for them. We’re excited to see what everyone does and how creative people are getting during quarantine.”