Ready to Help: Message from DBHIDS Commissioner David T. Jones

Philadelphians are impacted to the core of our being, like the rest of the world, by the compilation of traumatic events experienced over the past several months. From the ongoing uncertainty and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic to the justified anger over the murders of George Floyd and many others that has gripped the nation to the violent upheaval and feelings of helplessness that have overtaken many at this time. We all are experiencing some degree of trauma. Moreover, not knowing when we may become overwhelmed by the anxiety and stress that these overlapping circumstances have created—when will it end? But the City of Philadelphia stands ready to help those seeking support at this time. We at the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) understand people who experience traumatic events have an increased risk of developing a range of behavioral health challenges. DBHIDS takes an approach to trauma that builds on resiliency, expands protective factors, takes into account people’s overall wellness, uses a population health approach, and incorporates evidence-based practices to decrease the impact of trauma. We fund innovative programs to connect community members with behavioral health information and reduce stigma. Free quick and anonymous behavioral health screenings are a component of Healthy Minds Philly, a DBHIDS public health strategy to extend services while providing links to [...]

2021-01-04T21:30:05-05:00June 5th, 2020|Community, Racial Equity|

City and Independence Blue Cross Launch #MindPHL Together Campaign to Connect Public to Mental Health Resources

Campaign Aims to Reduce Stigma, Encourage Philadelphians to Seek Help Today Mayor Jim Kenney announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign which builds on national Mental Health Awareness Month. The #mindPHL Together campaign, sponsored by the City of Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross, aims to: Bring an improved community understanding of mental health and well-being; Reduce the stigma associated with needing mental health support; Encourage Philadelphians to seek help for themselves and others; and Offer vital support needed by those impacted by mental health challenges. “Amid the heightened uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental well-being is more important than ever,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “During this unprecedented time, many of us are experiencing loss, anxiety, stress, or overwhelming sadness. I want to remind Philadelphians to be mindful, know you are not alone, and that it’s okay to seek help for these and other symptoms.” The campaign includes a new, easy-to-use website, MindPHLtogether.com, to make mental health resources more readily available to all Philadelphians. The site is a joint effort between the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and Independence Blue Cross. “As our region deals with the COVID-19 epidemic and all its consequences, many people are facing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and isolation. It’s normal to feel that way,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, Independence Blue [...]

2021-01-28T23:07:32-05:00May 4th, 2020|Community|

Finding Peace in the Pandemic

by Laura Vega, DSW, LCSW In these times of intense stress, it is most difficult to find our peace and balance. We are experiencing unprecedented times with daily increases in the number of COVID-19 positive cases and the number of deaths. Color-coded tracking maps magnify the power of the virus’ transmission across our counties, states, and countries. In real time, we receive tweets and notifications of “hot zones” and alerts about increasing rates of transmission. In addition to the threats to our own health and the healthcare system, we are experiencing real economic loss and a hostile political climate. In these times of intense stress, it is most difficult to find our peace and balance. We all struggle with our need for control and predictability in times when the rules are changing daily. We must find our own personal balance of how much news we need to stay informed without inundating ourselves with fear and anxiety. How do we balance the mandate for social distancing with our need for human connection? Accommodate the need to protect our children with the responsibility to provide care and supplies for our aging parents? How do we balance the blessing of working remotely with the demands to teach and care for our children simultaneously? How do we process the loss of lives and panic [...]

2021-01-02T20:20:12-05:00April 28th, 2020|Community, Pandemic|

A Colorful Legacy: A Mural Arts Story

Author: Laure Biron, MSS, LSW, is the Porch Light Program Director for Mural Arts Philadelphia. Also a practicing psychotherapist, she has worked for Mural Arts since 2008, beginning in the Art Education department and working additionally in Restorative Justice, Special Projects, and currently, the Porch Light Program At Mural Arts, we believe that hands-on art-making provides a strong pathway for individual and community healing.  Our Porch Light program, a joint collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, focuses on achieving universal health and wellness among Philadelphians, especially those living with mental health issues or trauma. We do this by providing opportunities to contribute to meaningful works of public art. Alongside the mural-making workshops and paint days that have taken place across our city, a series of important conversations have been crafted for audiences around Philadelphia to talk about what barriers and disparities exist for their health.  How does bias and racism impact the health of our communities, and especially, for men and boys of color?  One shining example comes to mind. Colorful Legacy by Willis "Nomo" Humphrey & Keir Johnston. Photo by Steve Weinik. In 2015 Mural Arts Philadelphia Porch Light Program completed a critical project as part of our Signature Project series in West Philadelphia. Willis "Nomo" Humphrey and Kier Johnston worked [...]

2021-01-02T19:59:38-05:00May 13th, 2019|Community|
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