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The pandemic and its resulting job loss, childcare disruptions, social isolation, and other impacts have taken a toll on Americans’ mental health. So Integrated Project Management (IPM) directed its Integrated Project Mercy activities toward mental health awareness.
“There were so many big issues to deal with in 2020 and 2021, and we wanted to do something to help our loved ones and our communities to be stronger,” says Linda Castle, who co-led the second-quarter philanthropic efforts with Stacy Townsend. Both are Project Management Consultants in IPM’s San Francisco office.
IPM volunteers from the Bay Area joined a virtual 5K walk or in-person hike around Lake Merritt in Oakland. The team, dubbed the Incredibly Positive Minions—another “IPM”—raised $1,125. They donated the funds to the Greater San Francisco chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The non-profit supports those who have lost loved ones to suicide and provides education and awareness programs. The walkers also gave to The Wellness Center at Santa Clara University, which helps students through peer support, violence prevention, recovery programs, and other efforts.
Similarly, IPMers from the Los Angeles, Boston, and New Jersey offices raised donations by walking for the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). Its mission is to provide advocacy, education, support, and awareness so those affected by mental illness can build better lives.
Boston and New Jersey volunteers also hosted NAMI’s “In Our Own Voice” educational programs for IPMers across the company. The online presentations provide a personal perspective about what it’s like to live with a mental health condition. The program aims to change attitudes and assumptions about mental health issues.
In San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Project Mercy team hosted a presentation from the AFSP called “Talk Saves Lives.” The program, empowering people to be active and engaged proponents of hope in their community, included information about suicide, research on prevention, and what people can do to prevent suicide.
To help support children of those with mental health issues, IPMers from the Chicago office recorded videos of themselves reading inspiring stories on behalf of Step Up for Mental Health. The local organization will post the videos for its clients to view. Step Up supports families living with the challenges of mental health disorders through counseling, education and other services.
Chicago volunteers also donated books and journals to Step Up, which will give them to the children it supports.
Along the same vein, Project Mercy volunteers donated backpacks and planner/organizers to the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center. The non-profit, whose broad services include school outreach and family counseling, will provide the school supplies to school-age kids who are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts.
St. Louis IPMers packed health kits that Places for People, a behavioral health agency offering community outreach and treatment services. The kits hold pamphlets and contact information for assistance, plus small gifts such as pens, journals, and granola bars. Places for People will distribute them with the help of churches, hospitals, and community outreach groups.
The team also donated their time and talent by painting picnic tables at the Places for People facility.
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