BHRS Coastside Clinic Hosts Open House
On Thursday, May 24 BHRS Coastside Outpatient Clinic held an open house reception for the community as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. It was attended by representatives from other Coastside agencies, staff of the primary care clinic housed in the same building, members of the community, clients and their families, and BHRS staff from Pre to Three and Total Wellness.
Attendees were invited to write messages of hope and inspiration responding to a friend, family member, or loved one with a mental health challenge, and post the messages publicly by the reception area. Among the messages of encouragement and support were: “If I can do it, I know you can do it. Don’t give up!”, “Let’s get some coffee,” and “No estas solo.”
The open house included small wall posters about a wide variety of well-known people going public with their own mental health challenges in order to fight the stigma of mental illness, as well as four Photovoice posters created by clients in which each artist took an original photo pertaining to their own recovery and wrote a short message about their recovery process.
“This… seems so cathartic. Very powerful.” said one viewer.
Others found that the posters hit close to home.
“They might be people I know,” said another attendee. “I have things in common with some of these people.”
The experience shaped the way some will interact with others, with one visitor saying they will “be more aware that people have problems and we can’t always see their pain.”
An attendee summed up the sentiment of the day, saying they would “continue to live life to the fullest of [their] heart.”