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The Kim Foundation Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month
May is always a busy, important month for The Kim Foundation given our mission and programming. However, this May The Kim Foundation team expanded our past efforts, and reached even more of the community with the important message of mental health promotion.
All of the efforts were important, but one of my favorite and most impactful initiatives was the Take What You Need boards that were distributed to 45 schools for students and staff. Schools displayed the boards throughout the month that provided encouraging, positive, hopeful messages that could be picked up when a little positivity throughout the day was needed. Youth and volunteers created these inspiring messages and images around hope, laughter, positivity, and support, and they were well received by all the school communities who participated. A huge shout out to Sidney Howard, one of our newest team members for coordinating this, and all our Mental Health Awareness Month initiatives!
We also hosted our first ever community give back night at Kendra Scott at Village Pointe. Their team welcomed us with open arms and were so great with our supporters and their families. People walked away with some new jewelry too, which is always fun, but it was a wonderful night reaching a new audience and promoting the importance of mental wellness for all. The following night the Storm Chasers featured The Kim Foundation as the community organization of the night. The Kim Foundation team members were on air and at the ballpark promoting mental wellness, and even threw out the first pitch! We are truly grateful to businesses and organizations throughout the community that embrace the importance of helping us share this message.
On the Project Harmony campus, we worked with our partner organizations to promote staff mental health and offer some respite from the workday with a yoga class! We also offered more Take What You Need Boards throughout campus, and journal prompts to provide guided reflection as staff work to strengthen their mental health.
Digitally, which has been a significant focus for us in the past, people were able to get to know The Kim Foundation team a bit better through features on social media where team members shared their self-care practices. We also ran a Check-in Challenge that anyone could participate in by checking in on themselves and others, while participating in a variety of wellness activities. These check-ins centered on the individual, their workplace, loved ones, neighborhood, and community. While this activity was featured in May, it is a wonderful practice to continue throughout the year. Which is a great reminder that while May is the month designated to mental health awareness, we need to continue education and promotion of mental wellness every day of the year. We all have mental health, and the importance of normalizing this reality through healthy promotion and practices is so important. Join The Kim Foundation as we continue our work to raise awareness around mental health and assist community members connect to the help they need at the time they need it. For more information on our programs or community services, please visit www.thekimfoundation.org.
Julia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation
Julia Hebenstreit is the Executive Director of The Kim Foundation. She received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation since 2011, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves on the Executive Committee for Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, as the 2015 Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, BHECN Advisory Committee, RESPECT Advisory Board, Connections Advisory Board and the Project Propel Planning Group.