Olathe resident Kinzie Taylor exhibits the basket of treats she delivered to an area hearth station as an act of kindness.
Given all the dire predictions and sobering information about COVID-19, it may not be shocking that psychological well being points within the Johnson County neighborhood have been on the rise.
Aside Not Alone, a brand new program from the Associates of Johnson County Psychological Well being, goals to mitigate the will increase in despair and anxiousness persons are feeling.
This system encourages random acts of kindness and self-expression via artwork. The county is encouraging individuals to share tales and pictures utilizing the hashtag #ApartNotAlone on Fb, Instagram and Twitter.
“Artwork is therapeutic. It’s very therapeutic for people,” stated Starzette Palmer, a board member for the Associates of Johnson County Psychological Well being. “You might have completely different mediums. Perhaps I’m portray. Perhaps I’m dancing. Perhaps I’m listening to music. As we get tied up with life and jobs, we overlook in regards to the little issues we are able to do to heal ourselves.”
One drawback with the terminology of the lockdown is asking the technique “social distancing,” stated Tim DeWeese, director of Johnson County Psychological Well being.
“We have to discuss bodily distancing ourselves. We’re social, emotional creatures, and we’d like connections,” he stated.
The concept for this system got here from Shana Burgess, director of prevention and neighborhood relations at Johnson County Psychological Well being.
“One of many issues she’s continued to see is that crises like these convey the very best out in individuals. It may typically present the worst in individuals,” DeWeese stated.
“She noticed all of those acts of kindness and help. The notion was, ‘How can we promote that, versus being stressed about all of the unfavorable issues this pandemic has thrust upon us?’ ”
DeWeese hopes the marketing campaign promotes a way of neighborhood all through the county.
“Nobody’s ever lived via a world pandemic earlier than,” he stated. “To ensure that us to get via this, we should be collectively. We have to help each other.”
One act of kindness he’s seen shared through the hashtag was some youthful women making a basket of treats and delivering it to an area hearth station.
“I really feel like civility has been all however absent from our society. This is a chance to vary that. It’s a possibility to indicate grace,” DeWeese stated. “After I see issues like that, it jogs my memory that there’s a whole lot of hope. That’s, fairly frankly, what is required in our nation and our society: much more hope.”
He’s seen an increase in instances of common anxiousness and despair in purchasers of the psychological well being heart. Within the first seven weeks of the pandemic lockdowns, DeWeese stated there have been at the very least eight suicides in Johnson County.
“The longer this goes on, I’m afraid we’re going to see an elevated want for psychological well being companies,” DeWeese stated.
The psychological well being heart has continued to function, each just about, on the telephone and for in-person purchasers when essential. To succeed in the 24-hour disaster line, name 913-268-0156.
— to www.kansascity.com