GREENSBORO, N.C. — Everyone, in every community and across every culture can experience a mental health emergency, but statistics show people in certain cultures deal with barriers and stigmas regarding access to mental health resources.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services reported suicide as the second leading cause of death of African Americans between the ages of 15 to 24.
July is minority mental health month, and it highlights the struggles people of different ethnicities face.
Peace of Hope Foundation is an organization committed to removing those barriers for people in Guilford County.
The founder Tiffany Fox is a nurse by trade. She said her profession allowed her to see the gaps in mental health and the people who fall through the cracks.
“Transportation is a barrier, insurance is a barrier as well as faith in the black community,” Fox said. “Prayer works and we still need therapy, also systems have failed us in the past. There are not a lot of therapists that look like us.”
In Peace of Hopes' nine years of providing crisis intervention services, they've found many mental health agencies in Guilford County are full.
To bridge those gaps the non-profit goes out into the community to provide mental health education, awareness and treatment.
“We go into the home we go in the schools. We also have our voice of hope program where it's our training program,” Fox said. “We're in local schools, churches and shelters teaching about mental health and starting those conversations.”
The training and monthly workshops they offer businesses are to ensure their employees have healthy minds.
“Any barriers or any gaps they're seeing in performance. I've had some presidents call me because with the pandemic people are coming back to wor and how to deal with that," Fox said. 'So it all depends on what they need. And I do an assessment.”
A part of their foundation goes beyond mental illness and moves into mental wellness and promotes being healthy beings.
Their life skills classes and peer support groups are yielding those results.
“We partnered with one of the local shelters. And we did case management for them and 100% of families in our program did not return to homelessness so it's amazing what support can do when people don't feel like they're by themselves.
Peace of Hope is currently running its lets E.A.T campaign.
E.A.T is an acronym for education awareness and treatment.
The goal of the fundraising campaign is to make mental health wellness just as normal as physical wellness by offering accessible and consistent services.
“Our 2023 goal is to offer free therapy to the community because we understand the need is great,” Fox said.
To support the campaign click here. For more information on their services call 336-327-8010 or visit their office downtown Greensboro: 121 S Elm St #2, Greensboro, NC 27401.