In A Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2022, President Biden opens with these words:
“Each May we raise awareness about the importance of mental health and its impact on the well-being of all Americans, including children, adults, families, and communities across our Nation. We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans. We stand in solidarity with those who are experiencing mental health conditions, renewing our commitment to providing them with the support they need and deserve.”
Addressing, in particular, the extreme mental health challenges experienced by our youth and communities of color throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — including heightened levels of isolation, depression, learning loss, eating disorders, and suicide — the White House notes that, “Despite these disturbing trends, less than half of Americans struggling with mental illness receive the treatment they need — even fewer within Black and Brown communities.” To gain further insight on why, and the actions being proposed by the government to tackle these inequities, we invite you to read the full proclamation here.
Coping With Mental Health During The COVID-19 Pandemic In Coatesville
The residents of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, struggle disproportionately, in comparison to Chester County as a whole, with health and economic disparities. Like other communities in the United States, we are in the midst of an unprecedented mental health crisis. Sadly, this crisis has been exacerbated in the Greater Coatesville Area by the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Community anxiety has risen due to the recent closures of the Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals, with limited access to physical and mental health care for those without means. Still, help is out there if you know where to find it.
Mental Health Support Organizations In The Coatesville Community
At the Alliance for Health Equity, we are striving to advance a more equitable, resilient, and healthy community for our neighbors. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month and the current situation, we would like to call attention to the various resources and mental health support organizations in the Coatesville community via the Chester County Government website and others. CHESCO’s full list of mental health resources can be found here.
- If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis, call the Valley Creek Crisis Center at 610-280-3270. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are free to the residents of Chester County.
- If you are feeling lonely, depressed, or anxious and just want to talk, call Chester County’s warm line at 1-866-846-2722. Available Monday through Friday from 8AM to 10PM, and weekends 10AM to 10PM, this line is manned by trained individuals in recovery.
- The Child Guidance Resource Center is a family-focused, nonprofit mental health service offering accessible care in the Coatesville area. For questions or to schedule a local consultation, call 610-383-5635.
- The National Institute of Mental Health also offers holistic tips on caring for your mental health at home on a regular basis, which can be accessed here.
The New 988 Hotline
In February, US Representative Chrissy Houlahan announced that Chester County was awarded $300,000 in funding by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. This money will be used to support a new 988 hotline, which will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist people with any behavioral health crisis. The 988 Hotline is part of a recent, nationwide effort established by Congress to streamline access and services for those who are suicidal, in emotional distress, or facing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. The Chester County 988 Hotline is expected to launch in July, 2022. For more information, click here.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Chester County Hospital offers free virtual wellness classes, and there will be several mental health events this month. Mental Health First Aid USA training will take place on Friday, May 20, from 8:30AM to 3PM. This free, evidence-based public education program will be provided in partnership with West Chester University. By attending, you will gain the skills needed to help another person who is struggling with a mental health or substance use concern or crisis. You will also learn how to reach out and provide initial support to someone and help connect them to appropriate care. To register, or to find out about other offerings, email CCHWellness@pennmedicine.upenn.edu, visit ChesterCountyHospital.org/Wellness, or call 610.738.2300.
The Collaborative Innovation Fund
The Alliance for Health Equity is pleased to launch a new round of funding: The Collaborative Innovation Fund. We are assessing partnerships with nonprofit and grassroots organizations to direct new and ongoing programs or services towards improving emotional support and well-being (mental health) in Coatesville. By working together, sharing resources, and being innovative in the way programs can assist mental health specifically, we will have the opportunity to provide a greater impact on mental health in our area. To learn more about The Collaborative Innovation Fund, visit our website.
The Alliance for Health Equity (formerly Brandywine Health Foundation) is a philanthropic organization striving to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. We pursue our mission by providing grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students that address health and economic disparities and social justice. We also build partnership programs and give voice to those often left out of community solution building to improve the overall health of their communities. 100% of contributions go directly to those in need.