May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
“You have to practice what you preach! After many years serving the OCD and Anxiety community at OCD Jacksonville, my heart started telling me to start my nonprofit, JACK Mental Health. But, of course, I was terrified. I was flooded with intrusive thoughts of failure, incompetence, and unworthiness. I was riddled with anxiety, and the irony was not lost on me that I was suffering from the problem I sought to help with through my nonprofit.
Everyone has intrusive thoughts, but for some individuals, they get stuck. The key to overcoming intrusive thoughts is to observe them for what they are and accept that they are there. But, you must refuse to allow them to dictate how you live your life. Through the Fearless Collection, we have created accurate and helpful messaging on how to overcome anxiety. The most common thread is that you have to face your fears. I simply could not allow my fear to win.
And I kept reminding myself….
What if = Fear
Even If = Faith
I am now happy to report that JACK Mental Health Advocacy just celebrated our first anniversary, wildly exceeding every expectation I had. We are blessed with an incredible team and generous donors that understand the mental health challenges the world is facing. However, the consistent, generous support, creativity, and encouragement from Natural Life have put wind in our sails. They give back compassionately to those who struggle with mental health challenges in ways rarely seen or appreciated.
This year, we sponsored the first Behavior Therapy Training Institute taught in Spanish to train clinicians in Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). We have sponsored Maternal Mental Health Initiatives and LGBTQ mental health programming at The Lighthouse and donated to Project Heal for co-occurring eating disorders. We provided 24 scholarships to clinicians and OCD sufferers to attend ERP School. JACK MHA is sending four people to the IOCDF conference in San Francisco this summer and is beginning plans to train military clinicians in ERP. We have just launched an art program with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville to address adolescent stress. Most thrilling, we have launched an Access to Care program with clinicians nationwide. This will help bring care to the uninsured or those who lack the funds for evidence-based care for OCD.
We have also been honored to have articles published nationally. Please see our website to read our articles and blogs. I will speak at The Faith and Mental Health Conference and the IOCDF Conference in San Francisco, and I’m currently serving on the OCD and The Brain team with UC London and the Parent Academy with the IOCDF.
And yes, I still get anxious and fearful! But I do it afraid, and then I watch in awe as blessings flow. Like this current FEARLESS journal says…
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do your fears.”
Founder & President of JACK Mental Health Advocacy
Kim helped inspire the FEARLESS Collection
A phone call from Kim Vincenty about “doing something together to help", was the start of the FEARLESS Collection. We created this collection to help educate, empower, and reduce the stigma of anxiety disorders, the most common mental illness in the United States affecting 40 million people. A percent of proceeds from the FEARLESS Giveback Collection supports JACK Mental Health Advocacy.