The Catalyst Community of the Stand Together Foundation is a group of like-minded social entrepreneurs from nonprofit organizations across the U.S. who come together to “disrupt” in order to achieve equity and parity and, ultimately, end the cycle of poverty. The theory being we can “do more good, together.”
A social entrepreneur is loosely described as someone who pursues innovative ideas to solve community problems. And while the term disruptor may stir visions of civil unrest/disobedience and rub some people the wrong way, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. The Foundation defines a disruptor as someone who is “changing the way we think about, talk about and tackle poverty in America.” Basically, they are the nonprofit organizations or groups in your local areas who have boots on the ground to address societal issues and who are getting their hands dirty to transform communities and make the biggest, positive impact possible.
Poverty and Mental Health
Give an Hour is no stranger to being a disruptor in the field of mental health and we relish the opportunity to participate and do our part to effect change on a larger scale. At first glance, the connection to poverty might not seem obvious; however, mental health touches people in so many ways – as does poverty. Whether it’s homelessness, the criminal justice system or other economic mobility issues, mental health and well-being is a common thread.
Some of the barriers to mental health care connected to poverty are:
- the cost of care
- insurance – whether it is not enough or lack of
- stigma associated with mental health
- lack of cultural competency within the field of mental health professionals
According to Dr. Trina Clayeux, CEO of Give an Hour, an important aspect of being a Catalyst is starting the work with the person who has the most proximity to the issue from their lived experience because that is where we will find the solutions. “We have to focus on the person. Listen to what individuals have to say. Ensure they are heard, seen, valued and respected.”
Doing the Work
Critical to our success is listening to those we serve and understanding their needs, and connecting people to communities. Give an Hour reviews the data we are collecting and analyzes it on a more granular level that allows us to better tailor our program decisions and develop useful resources, which don’t necessarily have to be clinical. “Addressing mental health is not a one-size-fits-all solution,” says Clayeux.
“We are in a space where millions of people need mental health care and resources are lacking,” Clayeux continued. “So it’s up to us and other like-minded organizations to create innovative solutions to society’s most pressing issues.”
Disrupting conditions that don’t allow people to thrive and creating the space for opportunities to develop so people and communities can flourish are important to the work of the Catalyst Community and Give an Hour looks forward to doing our part to cultivate happier, healthier and more resilient people and communities.