“One of our tag lines is 'we believe we are better together' and we try to live that every day,” says Holly Howat, executive director for Lafayette’s Beacon Community Connections.
Beacon Community Connections does just that—it builds community through connections –through relationships.
One of the ways Beacon is doing it in the pandemic is through a series of videos, first on trauma for front-line workers, then on collective grief, and a third about going back to school.
The videos idea, explains Howat, started with a series of meetings with other nonprofit organizations. “We kept hearing from social workers and clinicians that mental health is big, gonna’ get bigger. There’s a lot of mental health in our community that we’re not addressing.”
“We just started talking and said, ‘What if we did some short videos that just were informative?’ Everyone was like’ that’s a great idea’.”
Beacon has done three collaborative videos since the mid-June
Trauma among front-line workers with The Family Tree, dealing with collective loss with Hospice of Acadiana, and the one released this past Friday on the start to school with Dr. Paul Friedberg.
“Paul starts off with anxiety: What does it look like in adults? What does it look like in kids?’” explains Howart. “Basically, it goes into ‘how do you talk to your kids about anxiety’?”
The informative videos are available online.
And there’s one other important service provided by Beacon Community Connections involves cutting through red tape: Benefit enrollment--something especially important in the pandemic.
“So, you need help on how to fill out a Snap application, unemployment, Medicaid?” adds Howart. “Give us a call and we’ll help you.”
For Beacon, it’s all about connecting the dots, accessing your needs and finding partners to fulfill those needs.
“That’s what we’ve continued to do since we started Beacon. It’s “who wants to help us on our journey?’ Because we can’t do it by ourselves; no one can do it by ourselves I don’t think.
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