I am a person in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. For many years, I carried a good deal of anger and resentment so, instead of addressing my issues, I turned to using drugs. Unlike many others, my addiction began in prison. It happened at one of the lowest times in my life, when I lost my father. Here I was, incarcerated and drugs were available, so I turned to the one thing that I always tried to avoid. In trying to mask my pain there were times I didn’t want to live. Depression was evident, but I camouflaged it with drugs. I was overdosing and only through the grace of God was revived every time by someone in my community. Narcan was constantly used to save my life. I was arrested so many times that I started to begin to believe that incarceration was going to be…
What if you had the chance to help someone feel less alone in the world? What if you could help reframe how the world responds to someone’s silent pain?
Over the years, Philadelphia has implemented a number of approaches to strengthen local communities. In particular, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) has implemented multiple programs that reach our neighborhoods— some examples include Mental Health First Aid, Faith and Spiritual Affairs, and Healing Hurt People.
Philadelphia’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program has certified over 5,500 since its inception in Jan. 2012