A non-profit organization for Mental Health went public today to inspire hope and provide information on the resources available to improve mental health. Mind Health Connect has been under the radar for quite some time now assisting individuals in need and providing information on mental health resources. They have also been advocating throughout the country on the importance of mental health facilities and initiatives. According to Martine King, co-founder of Mind Health Connect, much has been done prior to them going public.
Martine King, Co-Founder, Mind Health Connect: “We’ve been around for at least seven or eight years, I think we were formalized about two years ago but whatever chance we get to do workshops earlier this year we were in Corozal we worked with teachers talking about mental wellness and how to be well. We also for example will be at Om Shanti’s Yoga Festival where we give information about where to get help, let’s have the difficult conversations, do you have questions let’s deal with the stigma because there is a lot of stigma for example that a person who is mentally unwell is weak or crazy and that’s not the case. So whatever chance we get, if it’s mental health fairs or if you need us to come in to your office to talk about mental wellness just let us know and we’d be more than happy to do that.”
Sahar Vasquez, Co-Founder, Mind Health Connect: “Martine is really I guess she’s the brain child of this, she started it and I kind of jumped on with her because we noticed the lack of help and lack of support for people with mental illness. I have mental illness and I noticed that in my country there is a lot of stigma, I was ashamed for years to tell anyone that I was mentally ill and there isn’t enough help. We have a lot of people dying from mental illness , a lot of people suffering in silence because they don’t know where to go, who to go to or are afraid to say anything because of the stigma. So for me that is what has gotten me involved in Mind Health Connect and has really I guess brought me closer and helped me as an individual to speak out and to try and help as many people as I can.”
Love News also spoke with Sahar Vasquez, co-founder of Mind Health Connect, who told us what the organization will be doing in the near future.
Sahar Vasquez, Co-Founder, Mind Health Connect: We’re working with the Mental Health Association and we’re working very closely with them and as well as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education we all want to be one team and to get on board and to work together and we also as an NGO we want to raise funds to get money to build facilities because that’s what we’re lacking and we also worked very closely with Ms.Kim Simplis Barrow the Special Envoy; she has done a lot to help us. She has she was able to take us to the UN this year which was great for our exposure but in all we want to collaborate with everyone and at the end of the day what we need is resource centers, places for people to go and to get help. What they can find on that website is where to get help, the names of counselors, the different types of mental illnesses, self help, so a variety of things is what they can find and that’s kind of how we’re operating at the moment on the website. On the website you can also find out phases so our first phase after this launch is we want to go around the country of Belize and educate offices, schools, wherever on what mental illness is, how we deal with it, how we deal with our colleagues etc.”
For those who are curious about the organization or want to learn more about mental health you can visit their website at mindhealthconnect.com.