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Mental Health Update

April 10, 2020
Mental Health Update

MH Update – 4/10/20 – A Wonderful and Compassionate Message from Nadia Allen, MHA Director in Orange County

We received an overwhelming amount of feedback on the video we posted last night with James Corden and the cast of Dear Evan Hansen which I think speaks to the spiritual needs that many of us are seeking during this time of crisis.

Lately, I have been thinking about the uniqueness of the mission of the MHAs and so many of our colleagues in the community. We are completely pragmatic and respond to each crisis situation nimbly and selflessly. At the same time, there is a much larger component to the work. People in our field are also driven by  heart and hope and this is reflected by a compassionate workforce that goes above and beyond for the communities we serve.

The piece below by, Nadia Allen, the Director of the Mental Health Association in Orange County, perfectly captures the spirit of our MHA movement and that of our larger community workforce. We cannot thank you enough for all you do.


Dear MHA Staff, 

We have made it through another week and had no other choice but to continue to adapt to our “new normal”. 

I returned from the grocery store last night, rattled by a scene inconceivable a few weeks ago. My local supermarket had been transformed: extra-long lines, an elderly woman in tears over empty shelves, and a store clerk monitoring the paper aisle to ensure customers were not purchasing more than two boxes of facial tissues…It was the latest reminder of the new world we’re living in.

An extraordinary unraveling is occurring, and no one will be untouched. The social and economic disruptions of this crisis will be deep, broad, and long-lasting. During these unprecedent and frightening times, it is important to emphasize that MHA will continue to be here for you and those we serve as things unfold.

In the face of an overwhelming tidal wave of bad news, alarmism, and finger-pointing, what we need most right now are daily reminders of our better human selves, so that each of us can rise to this challenge.

By now, MHA has countless inspiring and creative community responses to this pandemic. You have responded in so many beautiful ways by stepping up your compassion and people power in this challenging time.

MHA staffs are  taking charge and building resilience, connection, and strength.

MHA provides wrap around safety nets, and we are helping our community prepare and protect themselves.

When so many of us are facing fear and physical isolation, it is essential that we find ways to connect with others and share our collective knowledge of solutions. We must take this precious time to reevaluate, recalibrate and reprioritize.

We must remind ourselves that we’re part of a greater community, and  our larger purpose is to emerge from this crisis with the tools to build a better world.

The virus is exposing the unfairness and vulnerability of the basic systems—economic, health care, information, political—that we rely on to survive, and the individuals we serve are being disproportionately impacted as a result.

MHA has long challenged systems built on inequity and racism.

We are paving the way to better systems that places the well-being of all people first.

I want to end this message on a note of hope. In this crisis, I see new ways “of being” beginning to develop.

Finally, just like me, I imagine you are anxious, and made more so by our necessary physical isolation.

But again, you can’t forget that  you are part of a larger community of people who believe that another, better world is possible and is emerging.  

If we all hold that vision together, we can get there, one day at a time.

Sending warmth and strength to you and your loved ones.

Stay well, healthy and safe.

We are and will continue to be MHA STRONG!

 ****Please make sure to check the link below. It is an inspirational message  from James Corden and the cast of the beautiful Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen****

Nadia Allen

Executive Director

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

73 James P. Kelly Way, Middletown, NY 10940

845.342.2400 ext: 1326 / fax: 845.343.9665

In observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), join Orange County Rape Crisis (a program of MHA Orange) in supporting survivors of sexual violence by wearing TEAL on April 7th for the SAAM Day of Action and Denim on April 29th for Denim Day. Follow our Instagram (@orangecountyrapecrisis) to keep up with events and daily posts and to play along with our SAAM BINGO game!

24/7 Orange County Crisis Call Center 1-800-832-1200 ~ Text 4 Teens: 845-391-1000

    Mental Health Association
            in Orange County, Inc.