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Mind Over Matter: Mental Health Resource Center

Organized by: Allison Abedin

Allison's Photo

THE STORY:

My name is Allison Augustat-Abedin and I am a 43 year old single mother who is very familiar with mental health illnesses that affect many members of my family and also several friends. I have struggled with depression myself and also have a child who has ADHD and has had it for years. We have worked hard to deal with these issues within my family and have grown lot in the process. The unique struggles we have faced have strengthened our family and we are very close. I have been so blessed to have a lot of support through friends and family and am stronger for facing these problems head on and learning to address them in a healthy manner and we all have learned to take care of each other and love one another that much more because of these hurdles. This is why my endeavor to create and develop Mind Over Matter is one I am so dedicated to achieve. It hits close to home and there have been many times over the course of living and dealing with these unique conditions that I thought and dreamed of having a place to go to find many different services available to us and also a place that offered caring support for my entire family as we dealt with these struggles. I am also blessed to have had two wonderful children. A daughter who would be 21 now and a son who will soon be 15. My daughter passed away tragically at the age of 18 and she struggled with a mental health condition much of her life. It is in her memory I have created The Alexandra Augustat-Hunter Foundation and Mind Over Matter: A Mental Health Resource Center in hopes that I am able to help many people within our community learn to face and deal with their own personal mental health conditions. If I can help just one person, all of this will be worth it. My daughter meant the world to us and we move ahead now with turning my dream into a reality. We have much work that lies ahead as we develop and make Mind Over Matter a reality. We are asking for donations at this time so that we may move ahead with making Mind Over Matter open and ready to assist members of our community that desperately need our services. The funds raised here will be spent on many different things. we are currently seeking for a home for our organization. This is the most important and most costly expense we are facing at this time. A large part of funds raised will go towards paying the rent on our new facility. Also, funds contributed here will go towards supplies for our center. For everything from food for the kitchen, to office furniture and beds for the shelter along with all the necessary items that we may not receive through donations. These include a wide variety of household supplies, items needed for the daycare we plan to have for working parent's children who stay in our shelter and also dog runs and cat kennels so that families who stay with us will be allowed to keep their pets at the shelter as well. While we are asking for cash donations, if you have any items you would like to donate to the center please contact me at allisonabe34@gmail.com and we will make arrangements to pick them up or for you to drop off./ Our mission here at Mind Over Matter: A Mental Health Resource Center by The Alexandra Augustat-Hunter Foundation is to provide a safe, informative and caring environment in which who have mental health conditions and their support network of family friends and caregivers can come and receive a wide variety of services and referrals along with assistance in daily living. We strive to empower our clients so that they are able to live independently and healthfully despite their mental health issues. We do this through caring methods of assisting with the procurement of basic needs, educating and developing living skills to maintain a healthy home environment and strong physical, mental and spiritual health. By empowering our clients to be independent and serf-sufficient, they strengthen their self-image and self-worth and work hard to meet personal goals and conquer obstacles in their lives. We plan to be equipped to meet emergency housing needs of our clients when facing home displacement situations by developing and then providing temporary emergency shelter giving our clients the keys to developing a plan of action and then following that plan to success and solving these issues. Mind Over Matter is a non-profit resource center for people who battle mental health issued and those who love and support them. Friends, family, employers, caregivers, all are welcome to use our services. My intention and goal in creating Mind Over Matter is to have one place a person can come to for a wide variety of services. We plan to have a temporary shelter for those who are displaced and have an immediate emergency need to acquire emergency temporary shelter. We will provide a 30 to 60 day stay in our shelter as long as the clients utilize our services and referrals and formulate a path to reach goals and work towards acquiring permanent housing so that they may transition out of our facility into their own home at the end of their stay. We will be working in close relations with housing resources such as HUD and Section 8, assisted living communities and communities dedicated to disabled and elderly residents. One of our most important services offered is that of a daily hot lunch, free to whomever would like to break bread at our table. This is served at 12 noon, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year, without fail! Not only do we intend on nurturing the mind, but also the body. Also, I feel that by providing a meal to the community every day will help facilitate new friendships and help create strong bonds within our community. For our clients who require more assistance with food needs at home, we will have staff trained to assist clients through the application process of obtaining SNAP (food stamp) benefits. We will also have a food pantry with donated food items available for clients to come twice each month to supplement their household grocery and household items. Mind Over Matter recognizes the need for clothing with many people in our community. We are accepting donations of gently used clothing of all kinds and sizes. There is a high demand for school uniforms, so we will be holding a school uniform drive annually to increase the amount of uniforms that will be available to clients and client’s children who will be needing these uniforms to attend local schools. Along with uniforms, the drive will be collecting school supplies also available to client’s children so that they may be fully prepared to attend school at the start of the year. Business wear for both men and women, winter coats and even prom dresses will be items that will be in high demand so we will be holding special clothing drives in order to be able to provide these much needed and wanted items to our client’s and their families. Along with our counseling services and appointments with local psychiatrists who will volunteer hours every month to see clients and oversee their psychiatric and medication needs, we will have staff members who are trained and very knowledgeable of medical and mental health insurance options available to our clients. They will be able to inform clients of their options and then guide them through the registration process in order to receive insurance policies for themselves and also their families to cover their medical and psychological needs outside of our center. Mind Over Matter will be offering many different counseling services to fit the needs of all of our clients. We will have both individual and group counseling sessions available provided by local psychologists from our community. Also, our center will hold regular AA, NA, Al-Anon and Ale-Teen meetings open to those who would like to attend these 12-step meetings. There will be so many different things we will be able to assist our clients with, but as with most small businesses and non-profits, we will be starting small and hope to see steady growth as we forge ahead in the pursuit of assisting community members who are working hard to achieve personal growth and overcome their personal hurdles in their mental health. We hope to reach many people in need and are dedicated to providing a place where they can step into a bright and cheerful center where they will be welcome with a big smile and open arms and the aim to assist each and every client specially tuned to their individual wants, needs and personal goals. Our fund raising goal is $150,000 in 90 days. It seems like such a big amount but if everyone makes a donation to this cause, we will see this number get closer and closer to reality. Mind Over Matter is a necessity to our community as it will help so many people learn to take care of themselves and address their mental health needs so that they may be strong and productive residents of Lafayette, LA! I ask you now to please share our campaign with everyone you know through your Twitter feed, on Facebook and through your email! You may even copy the link here and post it on your web page so that many people are made aware of our efforts and can help us make Mind Over Matter a reality! We will soon be offering rewards at different donation levels when we receive our reward items which should be arriving soon!

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Organized by

Allison Abedin

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