Most of you know about Interfaith’s most visible program, our food pantry. But did you know that when we were founded in 1947, our first program was The New Directions Counseling Center? For more than 70 years, our clinicians have provided therapy and counseling services to families and individuals.
New Directions serves anyone seeking counseling, but we pride ourselves on being a safety net for the uninsured and underinsured members of our community. Although we accept most traditional insurance policies, 72% of our clients do not have health insurance or cannot afford the co-pays and deductibles required. New Directions makes mental health care accessible to everyone by offering a sliding scale payment system.
One of the ways we fund these necessary programs is through our annual Stop the Stigma 5K event. The 5K shines a spotlight on mental health by getting people talking about mental illness and addiction and encouraging those in need to seek out treatment without feeling shamed.
Mental health is as important as physical health to the well-being of any human being. One of our 2019 5K participants bravely spoke out about her experience battling substance abuse.
"My personal experience is with alcohol. It was a month before my 30th birthday when I knew I needed to get help with my drinking, after years of binge drinking, blackouts, and mornings of shame, regret, depression and anxiety.
I am so fortunate to have a loving family and close friends that supported me from the start, but I realize not everyone has that kind of support. I've found the most important part of both addiction and mental illness is talking about it and receiving the right support and help to recover.
Today I am more at peace than I've ever been because of what sobriety has given me. Not to mention, I can compete in a race and take home a 1st place medal!
Anything is possible when you give people the opportunity and support they need to heal and thrive.”