Those who work in the mental health field are getting more support and public promotion by a new grassroots awareness and advocacy campaign.
Helping Each Other is an initiative that launched in November with the goal of facilitating an increased awareness of the tireless efforts and unique challenges that mental health workers are facing during the pandemic, as well as providing them a compilation of resources, support, and advocacy.
“We want to recognize and support the local mental health workforce, front line workers, so to speak, as they strive to meet the growing needs of our community during this time,” said Trevor Jewett, one of the organizers.
Through conversations between Jewett, Michelle Spaulding, and Olivia Laporte, all local mental health therapists, Helping Each Other was envisioned and born. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded throughout the county, the three grew more concerned about how the community’s mental health would be affected — and that of helping professionals like themselves.
“We are currently in an unusual situation where helping professionals and the people they are helping are experiencing many of the same stressors,” said Laporte. “In order to continue to meet the needs of our community, we, as providers, need to be extra vigilant about keeping our tanks full. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say.”
Spaulding added, “This is our way of recognizing our colleagues and shining a light on their efforts. It is also a reminder to all of us that it is not only necessary to take good care of ourselves, but crucial to doing our jobs well.”
Helping Each Other has been honoring mental health professionals in Franklin County over recent weeks, partly through a prize drawing. Helping drive the giveaways were generous donations from Empower Med Spa, Invictus Strength and Conditioning, Massage by Tiffany, The Fitness Zone and Keely Doe, Mystic Waters Day Spa, Elite Body Boutique, Salon Elizabeth, and Vermont Salt Cave. There is also a grand prize, an original oil painting by local artist Jon Young that highlights the theme of the Helping Each Other campaign.
To learn more or to follow the group’s work, visit their Facebook page: Helping Each Other Franklin County VT.