Struggles with mental issues do not have to define us

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Recognize & Rise announced the launch of the It Happens – But it Doesn’t Have to Define Us campaign at the May Mental Health Connections partners meeting.

It Happens recognizes the trauma, adversity and chronic stress individuals experience and encourages the community to come together to rise above those experiences and find healing. The goal of the campaign is to help transform Tarrant County into a trauma-informed, resilient community.

“People struggle every single day, and with the year-long pandemic-imposed lockdown, those struggles have impacted our community’s mental health exponentially,” said Virginia Hoff, Mental Health Connection Executive Director. “It Happens – But it Doesn’t Have to Define Us hopes to remove the stigma around mental health and empower people who’ve experienced trauma to tell their stories.”

According to the CDC, 40% of surveyed adults felt adverse mental health or behavioral issues like anxiety, depression and symptoms of trauma- and stressor-related disorders due to the pandemic.

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While the need for mental health services has increased many still feel reluctant to seek help. By connecting the public with crucial mental health services and giving them a space to share their story Recognize & Rise is creating a more trauma-informed community.

The organization plans a public campaign that includes handing out biodegradable helium-filled balloons to acknowledge that everyone struggles and recipients will be invited to symbolically “let go” of something they have been recently challenged by and release the balloon.

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