Nothing has gone quite as expected this year, and back-to-school season is keeping to that trend. Thousands of New Yorkers are preparing for an uncertain school year and many of our community members are facing additional challenges made worse by the COVID pandemic. Thanks to your tireless work and that of our staff, leadership, and partners, NMIC has been able to rise to meet our community’s needs.
In this newsletter, you’ll learn about:
- Why we’re raising $5,000 for direct services targeted towards low-income parents in our community
- How culturally sensitive mental health services make a difference
- When our Education & Career Services team will go back to school
- How many families our Food Pantry has impacted
Parenting through a pandemic is challenging
The parents in Upper Manhattan and the South and West Bronx are very familiar with managing back to school amid crises. In the past, that crisis might have been domestic violence, housing insecurity, financial difficulties, immigration concerns, or a combination of them. Now, our clients are grappling with these crises and the many ways COVID-19 has exacerbated them to create new ones. Many ally organizations are rising to meet the need for school supplies. That’s why this back to school season, we’re raising $5,000 to help families address their other urgent needs, so they can get back to planning their school year. Donations of any amounts are welcomed.
$40 provides 12 meals.
$75 covers one mental health intake session.
$150 gives someone access to our benefits screening and application assistance.
We only have a few more weeks to meet our goal. Will you help us?
Fighting mental health stigma, one counseling session at a time
When Mario* requested remote counseling services from NMIC’s Connections to Care Program (C2C), he was dealing with pre-existing severe insomnia and anxiety made worse by the current health crisis. We provided him with mental health services delivered in Spanish and for the first time in 15 years Mario has been able to have a good night’s sleep.
Mario’s story reminds us that as collective trauma, COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone in different ways. For some, it has brought up old wounds, while others have never struggled this much with their mental health. This National Suicide Prevention Week, we thought we’d remember and remind you that:
- Taking care of mental health is essential!
- Asking for help doesn’t make you weak.
- It’s OK to admit you can’t do something alone.
- You don’t have to do it alone, even if you can.
Many of our clients struggle with access to mental health care. They are less likely to have financial resources to afford visits, it is more difficult to find providers that speak their language, and they need to work past cultural stigmas surrounding mental health care. Our C2C program makes ground-breaking impact because it addresses all those barriers and connects hundreds of people to care.
*Name has been changed to protect anonymity.
We’re going back to school
NMIC’s Education & Career Services team is going back to school! Please help us spread the news that we’re recruiting for our fall cycle of adult education courses. Our classes are completely free and offer flexible scheduling, including morning, evening, and self-paced lessons. We’re anticipating that classes will be totally remote but will keep you posted if in-person learning opportunities become available.
So, if you are (or know someone who is) a New York resident, at least 17-years-old, and want to:
- Get your high school equivalency diploma (GED)
- Learn or practice English
- Prepare for your citizenship exam
We’ve got classes for you! Sheltering-in-place doesn’t have to be about “self-improvement,” but it can be. Jumpstart your new future. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Food Pantry update
COVID-19 has brought a never-before-seen level of economic devastation to our community. With it came a need to address the growing food insecurity our clients are facing. Because of your support we have distributed over 30,000 lbs. of food to almost 600 different households. And, we’ve added additional pantry days to meet increased demand.
Every family deserves safety and security. Thank you for helping us as we try to remove the barriers that keep the families in our community from achieving that.
Yours in Solidarity,