Resource directory update
By Grace McNeal, MHA-A intern
Resource directories are helpful tools designed to assist individuals by providing informative information and useful resources based on their needs. MHA-A has been working hard to develop a thorough and accurate directory for use of the community. So far, the directory includes a vast amount of information from national resources to community resources, with various categories for both. These categories include information pertaining to children services, domestic violence, housing, mental health services, parental/guardian services, support groups, and much more. For each category people can find an abundance of various agencies and their contact information, websites for further reading, and national hotlines. The directory engages all areas of the community, and is constantly expanding with new information. It truly is a diverse and valuable resource as there is significant information that many individuals in the community can resort to in times of hardship. Since beginning my internship with MHA-A, I have learned about the many unique resources our community offers and how the directory is an asset that many people should utilize.
One of the most beneficial advantages of the directory is the diverse resources it provides. From legal information to mental health specialists to financial services, the directory has something for everyone. I’ve spent significant time researching and confirming information so the people in our community can easily find accessible resources. I find it crucial for people to have the ability and resources to help themselves when facing difficult situations, and the directory is a perfect example of a great resource with valuable information. Another reason why the resource directory is such an important resource to our community is for the fact that it gives people a sense of comfortableness when addressing their needs and concerns. Mental health stigma is a serious threat to the mental health community, and by having a resource directory that allows individuals peace of mind that their information will not be broadcast, is essential in overcoming this stigma. Many people find it difficult to ask for help, especially when they believe that others will perceive them as weak or vulnerable. However, the directory can help eliminate this mindset by giving people the resources they need to take care of themselves and to take initiative in overcoming challenges they face.
When I took on this project of helping create a resource directory for MHA-A, I did not recognize the correlation between the directory and mental health stigma. As a matter of fact, I had set aside extra time for my passion project, which focuses on overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health, because I did not designate the resource directory with this project. However, as I worked on finding and evaluating resources, I gradually began to see how the directory ties in with crushing mental health stigma. Initially, I choose this project to provide the community with valuable resources, but now my goal is to provide resources that encourage the community to acquire ambition to conquer obstacles in their daily lives. There are so many wonderful resources within the directory that are targeted to help individuals in various situations, and I hope that by having the directory available to everyone it will make an inevitable difference in overcoming the stigma of mental health.