September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, NAMI Vermont is using this month to come together collectively with mental health advocates, organizations, survivors, and community members around the country to raise awareness and have honest conversations around a difficult subject. We want to emphasize the importance of reaching out to those affected by suicide and connecting individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services.
Every year, thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. It is important to ensure that individuals, friends. and families have access to resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI Vermont is here to help!
NAMI Releases Three New Videos in the “Strength Over Silence” Series
Jul 01 2020
Arlington, VA —NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has the goal of raising awareness about mental health care in underrepresented communities. Our culture, beliefs, sexual identity, values, race and language all affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. In fact, cultural differences can influence what treatments, coping mechanisms and supports work for us. It is essential for culture and identity to be a part of the conversation about mental health care.
In the wake of both the pandemic and racial violence, there’s the potential for an increase in the number of people impacted by mental health conditions. NAMI’s Statement on Racism emphasizes that the effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real. While anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background, facing racial discrimination can significantly worsen symptoms. Additionally, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Racism is a public health crisis, and we stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones and experienced trauma.
To help raise awareness, NAMI is releasing the latest installments of the “Strength Over Silence” video series, highlighting three personal stories featuring courage, culture and community. Yulanda Ming Blackson lives with mental illness and shares her story about mental health and faith in the Black community. Poojah Mehta, a NAMI New York Board member, focuses on amplifying the voices of those in underrepresented communities. And Rosemary Ketchum, the first-ever trans woman to get elected in West Virginia, shares her family experience with mental illness and addresses the need for LGBTIQ+ people to have a voice in the mental health movement.
“We want to raise awareness about disparities in the mental health system – and what we can do about them,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of NAMI. “Mental health conditions don’t discriminate, and neither should our mental health system. We are calling for systematic change and improved access to culturally competent care, so no one feels alone in their journey.”
The NAMI community is here to help and provide resources. Together, we can help people from underrepresented populations get the mental health care they need. For additional resources, please visit NAMI’s identity and the cultural dimensions of mental health webpage.
Continuing to do God’s work while we are apart from one another.
Our community food drive was a huge success! We delivered 1,850 pounds of food to Williston Community Food Shelf!
How do we respond to racism? Increase awareness of the history of African Americans in Vermont. Reg Melrose shared the story of Newell Langley, a Vermont farmer and Civil War soldier at Morse Cemetery where he is buried. This community event was well attended in person and on Facebook Live.
“Back to School Bags” were delivered to our 30 Sunday School students! Each bag had a personalized bookmark, mask and some other goodies to start this unique school year off right! We are proud of our students!
Six Merry Mask Makers from our congregation donated 500 handmade masks to the Williston schools for students to have at the start of this new and very different school year.
Several members of the congregation joined in a send off for Dylan before undergoing a procedure in Boston. Even a pandemic cannot stop the love, support, prayers and air hugs we are sending to this family! Dylan Strong!
Each week we host a congregational conversation through Zoom entitled “How We Respond to Racism.” At each session, Thursday night at 4pm and 8pm, we share videos and have an open discussion about how we respond to racism in society and in ourselves.
Members of our church have been volunteering with Williston Central School’s free summer meal program for all kids in town. Three times a week the school hands out about 560 meals. Each bag pictured has 2 breakfasts & 2 lunches for one child.
We have distributed cookies to thank our community leaders for their hard work.
On June 21st at noon, our bell rang out for 8.5 minutes in memory of George Floyd.
Several members of our congregation have been sewing masks for front line workers and those in need.
Our congregation, led by our Missions Committee, continues to provide meals for Dismas House once a month. https://dismasofvt.org/