Before continuing to read, we invite you to close your eyes and take one (or three) deep, intentional, grounding breaths.
July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Month. Mental health stressors affect us all and BIPOC have to also deal with racism, anti-immigration sentiment, xenophobia, and societal inequities. These systems disproportionately have a negative impact on our community members’ earning potential and make accessing housing, food, and financial security unatainable. These factors, along with stigma and the lack of culturally competent mental health practitioners in the area, pose barriers to practicing good mental health for our residents.
To varying degrees, COVID-19 has made life harder for all of us. Everyone has had to make a lot of adjustments to how we function in our day-to-day. Still, NMIC continues to provide our clients in crisis with a wide array of wrap around services that support their wellbeing.
In this Newsletter:
- 12 youth residents earned their high school diplomas in our YouthBuild program.
- Our Mental Health Program is helping community members, like Mateo, improve coping skills and resiliency.
Join us in congratulating our YouthBuild Graduates!
Join us in congratulating our 2021 YouthBuild graduates! Participants completed a five-month paid opportunity designed to support unemployed and out-of-school youth aged 17-24. This intensive program includes high school equivalency classes, career development, and job placement, as well as ongoing job retention and advancement services. Participants also receive trainings in small business ownership, digital literacy, and job readiness (such as resume preparation and practice for interviews).
Reclaiming their education places clients on prosperous paths and increasing educational attainment in our area has a profound impact on our community’s wellness. Research shows that higher levels of education result in increased earning potential and self-esteem. We’re really proud of our graduates. Join us in wishing them well as they embark upon new endeavors.
NMIC’s culturally competent Mental Health Program is changing lives
At NMIC, we understand that mental health can look different for people across different cultures and faiths so we prioritize delivering mental health services that are culturally competent, bilingual, and trauma informed. Accessing care that isn’t these things can further traumatize our community members and reinforce the negative stigma around going to therapy.
When Mateo (name changed to protect anonymity) began weekly individual counseling with our mental health team eight months ago, he was going through an extremely difficult time. Mateo was an essential worker who tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. Along with the isolation, sadness, and stress about not being able to work and the loss of income during quarantine, Mateo was also concerned about domestic violence. His abusive partner jeopardized Mateo’s ability to work by arriving to his places of employment and threatening his immigration status.
Despite the fact that many of these stressors continue to be present in Mateo’s life, he tells us his 45-minute counseling sessions at NMIC give him the space and support to process what he is going through. He’s learned deep breathing strategies, reinforced healthy coping skills, improved his sleep hygiene, and enhanced his communication skills. Because of NMIC’s strategy to address multiple needs, we also connected Mateo to our Immigration Legal Services team and our Domestic Violence Project. Mateo is now receiving ongoing support as he takes the next steps to ensure his safety and continued wellbeing.
Your support enhances our holistic approach to our community’s wellness that provide opportunities for our clients to increase their resiliency and coping skills while tackling other inequities like housing, financial, or food insecurity.
The NMIC Team