OPINION – I have seen attitudes toward emotional health change dramatically in the African American community during my 30 years in the Sacramento area. It is no longer considered a weakness to reach out and say “I need some emotional support” during a time of great stress or emotional crisis.
Today, I see a growing acknowledgment that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Understanding that, at times, we can all use some support — and seeking that support — gives us power. Getting help during challenging times makes us strong, not weak.
Life can be hard, and we all may need a “pause” while we get back on track. Sometimes we need a moment of respite from the emotional turmoil we are experiencing. Sometimes we need to step away from our lives and gain a new perspective. Knowing that we all have moments like that, I am proud to tell you about a new resource in Rancho Cordova to serve us in time of need. Turning Point Community Programs has opened a home we call the Abiding Hope Respite House, and it offers that “pause” to all in the African American community and beyond.
What is this respite house? It is a home in the community where I can get short-term support for myself or my loved ones during very difficult times. It is a safe and secure home where my request for assistance will be kept confidential. It is a place where I will be supported by someone from my community who has been through what I am going through. It is close enough that my family and friends can stop by while I get back on my feet. It is a homelike place — without the stresses of home — where I can stay for up to a week while I regain my balance. And there is no cost for this safe haven.
While respite offers a window of short-term support, Turning Point also offers resources for more intense emotional health challenges that need other solutions.
I am asking members of the African American community to remove the stigma associated with seeking mental health support by educating themselves and others about the concept of respite, treatment and Abiding Hope Respite House which makes respite a reality for many in our community.
Teachers, spiritual leaders, elected officials and trusted voices — young and old — please help spread the word about the emotional support available to each and every one of us. You can click on this link: Abiding Hope Respite House for more information.
Al Rowlett is the Chief Operations Officer for Turning Point Community Programs. A Sacramento County resident for 30 years, he is the father of six children including four whom are adopted. Al serves on the Blue Ribbon Commission that is addressing the disproportionate African American child deaths in Sacramento County.