“At DBHIDS, we are committed to reducing the stigma of seeking mental health and substance use treatment services,” DBHIDS Commissioner Jill Bowen, Ph.D., said in a statement. “As hopes rise with expanded efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, we recognize the impact on mental wellness and the importance of raising awareness about the need to take care of your behavioral health.”
While the campaign is most visible at vaccination sites, the message — that it’s OK to not be OK in these difficult times and that help is out there — extends beyond COVID-19 and speaks to the multiple layers of trauma impacting Philadelphians everyday. The past year of overwhelming stress and anxiety is not limited to the isolation and toll associated with the coronavirus. It also includes the growth of poverty as jobs disappeared and businesses shuttered. It includes parents turning their homes into schoolhouses while trying to make ends meet. And it includes months of civil unrest in the city, along with the plague of increased gun violence, the ongoing overdose crisis, and more.
In the year since COVID arrived in Philadelphia, many have experienced a prolonged trauma of stress, anxiety, isolation, and loss. But it’s important to remember you’re not alone and help is available.