Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas Announces Launch of “People Like Us” Anti-Stigma Campaign

Campaign Aims to Educate Public on Mental Health Issues and Provide Resources for Help

This week, the Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC) launched the “People Like Us” anti-stigma campaign to help give hope, break the stigma and support recovery for community members living in Prince George’s County and Baltimore . The campaign is made possible through a special two-year, $4M grant from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The integrated campaign focuses on educating the public on how mental illness and substance use disorders disproportionately impact specific populations. Associated stigma and health care coverage disparities are significant factors. The “People Like Us” campaign targets underserved populations including veterans, youth & adolescents, seniors, immigrants and non-native speakers of English, people experiencing homelessness and first responders.  In addition, the campaign aims to provide individuals and families with much needed information and access to free resources, including assistance through the VOA Hope Center. To learn more about the VOA Hope Center, visit  VOA Hope Center | Volunteers of America (voachesapeake.org).

The campaign includes various components such as a monthly webinar series on various wellness topics, a special landing page (www.voa-plus.org) connected to VOACC page, educational videos, targeted social media efforts, public and media relations, community outreach and mutually beneficial partnerships.  Topics for the webinars include Media’s Impact on Mental Health, Substance Use Among Older Adults, Co-Occurring Conditions Among Veterans and other topics of interest.  Joining forces with VOACC to strengthen and reinforce the messages about the importance of addressing stigmas associated with mental wellness include the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Prince George’s County and Unite Us.
“Now more than ever we need to come together to support our community, especially those who need health and mental wellness services,” said Dr. Sheryl Neverson, VOACC Vice President of Maryland Programs .  “This campaign, and the resources at the VOA Hope Center provide an extremely timely and valuable resource for our community.”

About Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas, Inc. is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower self-reliance and inspire hope. As a church without walls, the organization does this through personalized housing, ministry, health, and human services that benefit vulnerable individuals, their families and the community.

The organization has more than 49 programs throughout Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas serving the homeless, individuals with mental illness, individuals with intellectual disabilities, those in need of affordable housing, those in need of supportive services, those recovering from substance use disorders and those involved in community corrections.

VOACC has over 800 staff members and more than 2,000 volunteers. The organization helps over 11,400 individuals and families every year from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas. For more information on VOACC, please go to https://www.voachesapeake.org/