City campaign brings mental health resources to vaccine sites

The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) is launching a new public awareness campaign that offers a behavioral health booster for the mind while people are getting their COVID-19 vaccination to protect their bodies.

The campaign, titled Boost Your Mood, brings information on how to easily access mental health services and care directly to people at COVID-19 vaccination sites throughout the city. The campaign brings behavioral health resources — including wellness tips and emergency and non-emergency mental health phone numbers — directly to people through signage and flyers. Those seeking additional support for children, adults, families, and communities also will have the opportunity to access online tools such as expert blogs, a free mental health self-screening, an extensive packet of downloadable information.

“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. “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 every day. 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, we all have experienced a prolonged trauma of stress, anxiety, isolation, and loss. But it’s important to remember: It’s OK to not be OK. You’re not alone. Help is out there.


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