Baltimore, Maryland, a city that can be described with many words. A city that is unlike any other – A city with so much hope, yet known for a crab in a bucket mentally. The city of Baltimore has always been known for its abundance of cultural surprises! The city’s atmosphere breathes a variety of exchanges, mixing a little love and a little pain all in one. Sadly, the hurt in the city often outshines the beauty, especially at the expense of the youth. The local media headlines coming out of Baltimore often highlight local conditions related to its high murder rate, depression, trauma, and anger. With the heaviness of life resting on the city, it seems as if happiness is hard to come by.
Many people are even numb to the pain.
That narrative has to stop today. Even with all of the negative connotations, local residents, activists and organizations are creating change within the community. The city has become conscious of the mental health crisis occurring, which relates to the continuous dismay among the residents in the communities around Baltimore City. Many people have been in the front lines of ongoing crime, seeing despair at their front door. Experiencing so much trauma, one could only imagine how discouraged a person could become. And this is a reality for many residents in Baltimore City, where we aim to restore the hope among the population.
In response to the need for mental health and work skills supports, Redesigning Minds PRP Program and Living Classrooms, organizations have partnered together to create effective and innovative solutions for community development and wellness. Redesigning Minds is a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program organization that focuses on restoring community function and the overall well-being of individuals through mental health support services. Their mission is to assist clients in the development of independent living and social skills in order to improve the individual’s ability to make healthy choices. With their plan to improve the livelihood of others; Redesigning Minds, director of recruitment, Brandon Johnson aspires to bring increased awareness and opportunities to Baltimore City. For the past three years, Redesigning Minds has been making a positive impact in the city of Baltimore by offering several services, including mentoring, mental health supports, and leadership opportunities. Redesigning Minds has offered therapy and counseling services to adults, adolescents, and children, in an effort to improve the current state of their mental health. The vigor and compassion of its leadership drives this organization to become one of the most recognized community supports by Baltimore resident by the end of 2022.
“The reason why we have been making great progress is because we genuinely care about each client that walks in the door. Coming from many hardships in life early on, I knew that I wanted to make a difference so others didn’t have to make the same mistakes that I have made. Following the legal troubles I have dealt with, the mistakes that I have made and the loss of my son. I knew that there were millions of other people that were suffering from similar situations so I want to take a stand to give my people a second chance or an extra hand that will guide them through life.”
⁃ Brandon Johnson (father, recruitment director, counselor, etc.)
Another local program supporting progressive efforts in Baltimore City is Living Classrooms, known for their developmental resources for adults and youth. Living Classrooms is a long-term strategic initiative that provides holistic programs and services to residents of all ages living in East Baltimore, specifically their workforce development initiative. Their goal is to encourage and prepare residents of East Baltimore to become gainfully employed in one of the trained areas of IT, medical assistance, construction, and/or retail, following completion of the training program. Living Classrooms is one of Baltimore’s most prominent organizations supporting the personal and professional development of individuals seeking opportunities in the workforce.
With the official partnership between Redesigning Minds and Living Classrooms, we foresee increased job opportunities and placements for participants, leading Baltimore in a positive direction for socioeconomic growth and wellness.
A vital part of this change is dependent upon having impactful community leaders that residents can feel motivated by and confidence in. Redesigning Minds plans to collaborate with Living Classrooms by offering therapy and counseling services that would motivate participants to fulfill their professional goals within the Living Classrooms Workforce Program. Upon completion of the Workforce Program, Living Classrooms program directors anticipate an rise in employed persons. These collaborative efforts support the premise that with an improved skills training and mental wellbeing, citizens will be more prone to successfully achieving their goals. Educating individuals on identifying their triggers and developing coping skills will provide them with the tools to manage their mental health. These efforts are intended to assist in the development more leaders in Baltimore City, who can support others in utilizing conflict resolution to create a safer environment for all in the near future.
Mental health coincides with personal success, which is why Redesigning Minds and Living Classrooms will to work diligently together to offer the proper supports to see these efforts through. We hope to be the catalyst to future collaborations between other local organizations with the same mission to unite and inspire a BETTER BALTIMORE.