Mental Health Collaborative plans several initiatives

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Ever since its inception, Mental Health Collaborative has been on a mission. Through education and awareness, the Hopkinton nonprofit has been working diligently to decrease the stigma of mental illness while keeping conversations on the matter open and ongoing.

“We believe that a foundational education about mental health is a right and need of everyone, so we provide training in mental health literacy to communities, schools and corporations,” explained MHC founder and executive director Abbie Rosenberg. “We hope that by doing this, stigma decreases and more people get proper treatment and support.”

The pandemic has forced MHC to think outside the box to keep its efforts moving forward.

That hasn’t deterred the organization from its mission one bit. In fact, MHC has several upcoming initiatives involving everything from training sessions to holiday gift giving.
In November, MHC will offer mental health literacy training sessions led by Rosenberg and former Hopkinton Youth and Family Services director Denise Hildreth — both licensed mental health clinicians.

The training sessions will touch on multiple issues related to mental health such as decreasing the stigma, utilizing the right language, understanding the impact the pandemic is having on mental health, and learning when and where to get help.

The first two-part session — open to anyone with interest — will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Thursday, Nov. 19 (7 p.m. both days). A virtual link will be sent once individuals register on MHC’s website.

The organization previously held these training sessions, which are purposely kept small to keep things engaging. MHC hopes to offer the sessions regularly beginning in 2021.

With the holiday season approaching, MHC is launching a gift giving program, selling beautifully created individualized self-care packages. Each package will include a personalized note to the recipient. The initiative is meant to spread some cheer during such a difficult and stressful time for many.

“We’ve had a huge amount of interest in the self-care packages,” Rosenberg said. “Each recipient’s package will be as personalized as possible.”

Three sponsors are supporting the care package initiative: Archambault Construction of Holliston, Phipps Insurance of Hopkinton, and Winthrop Wealth of Westborough.

“We’re always looking for more sponsors to offset our programming and sustain our organization,” Rosenberg noted.

Anyone interested in more information about the care package initiative — including volunteering to help or sponsor — can email Ali Balster at ali@mentalhealthcollaborative.org.

Speaking of giving, MHC’s Giving Tuesday is slated for Dec. 1 via Zoom. The point of this get-together is to give people the opportunity to learn more about the organization and offer a taste of the education that MHC provides. Check the website in November for specifics.

Pandemic or not, MHC’s other programs are ongoing, including its efforts to bring mental health education into the curriculum at local schools, as well as offering its seminars to companies.

The MHC’s Youth Advisory Board, a group of young adults from all over, also continues to meet virtually to discuss relatable mental health issues and spread the word through social media.

“MHC’s executive board has been all hands-on deck priding themselves on keeping the community spirit of giving back that surrounds Hopkinton,” Rosenberg said.
For more information about MHC, go to mentalhealthcollaborative.org.

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