Emotional and Mental Health Matter - United Way

14 October 2017

Emotional and Mental Health Matter - United Way

Emotional and Mental Health Matter

By Heidi Gullickson, Executive Director, United Way

Brookings Area United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our communities. We support and encourage growth and development in all of these areas through funding and collaboration.  The United Way grants are awarded to a wide variety of programs, some dealing directly with mental and emotional health such as Lutheran Social Services, who provide a wider variety of mental health counselling programs and East Central Behavioral Health, whose mission is to provide comprehensive, integrated behavioral health services that promote personal well-being and quality of life for all.  Many of our grants go to programs that fill a need in the community and impact the process of caring for a person’s general well-being at the same time.  For example:

  • Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program is committed to providing local youth with one-on-one mentoring from loving, responsible adults. Studies prove that preventative intervention by mentoring had a significant impact in reducing symptoms associated with trauma, anxiety and depression.
  • Senior Companions places volunteers with a senior to help prevent or delay long-term care placement, increase the client’s ability to live alone, reduce loneliness and isolation and reduce stress levels thereby increasing overall well-being.
  • Independent Living Choices provides a Peer Support Program that improves emotional health. ILC offers one-on-one peer support with trained peer visitors.
  • Brooking Domestic Abuse Shelter supports the safety and equality and strive to help people regain control over their lives and well-being.
  • Brookings Empowerment Project strives to empower caregivers and individuals with persistent mental illness in our community by providing them with resources and support while they navigate the highly fragmented and inadequately resourced mental health care system, help them to re-integrate themselves back into our community, and empowerthem to not experience the stigma of mental illness. 
  • NAMI provides a Family to Family course to family members of someone with a brain –based disorder. This helps with better understanding and coping skills.
  • Brookings Area United Way promotes the Familywize prescription discount card as a way for all residents to save on medication costs. Mental health medications is important to a healthy lifestyle and this program has saved nearly $5,000 in prescription costs in the last 3 years in Brookings County.
  • Helpline Center, located in Sioux Falls, is available by dialing 211. This simple number will connect callers to information for nonprofits in the area and statewide resources.  Trained operator’s area available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Helpline Center is a resource if you are concerned for a friend or family member’s mental or emotional health, or if someone is having thoughts of suicide – the operators are there for help.  United Way funds support this organization and in 2016, Brookings County residents completed 750 online searches for information and 612 phone calls, 46 of which were suicide related.

For more information, check out brookingsunitedway.org or call 211 for specifics on all United Way funded partners and other community nonprofit programs.