May is Mental Health Awareness Month – and a couple of local women have started an initiative to get people talking more about mental health and end negative stigmas.
Jessica Pape and Stefanie Dingbaum are cousins – Pape serves as the Area Director for Heartland Youth for Christ and Dingbaum works as a School Social Worker with Keystone AEA and West Delaware. They say we need to get to a point in our community where mental health is talked about just as much as our physical health. Pape says in their jobs, they both hear from local teens who struggle with where to find help or who to talk to.
Pape says they received a grant through the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County to start a program. The Delaware County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s vision is to create a healthier community by eliminating suicides and connecting community members – especially teens – to the services available to them. But Dingbaum says they need the community’s support to help make this happen.
Pape says they’re just trying to get the word out right now, but the coalition will hold their first meeting later this summer in Manchester.
If you’re interested in being a part of this work or being on the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Coalition, you can reach out to Jessica Pape at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stefanie Dingbaum at email@example.com.