LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — A local Loudoun nonprofit, Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, is celebrating 65 years serving community members with access to mental health programs and assistance.
65 years ago, parents and community members were trying to figure out how to help children who suffered from mental illnesses without institutionalizing them. They made ham sandwiches and baked desserts to raise money for help. With the money they raised, they were able to bring the first child psychiatrist from Walter Reed to the county to treat the children.
Today, Friends of Loudoun has grown to help people of all demographics and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their flagship program, A Place to Call Home, helps some residents stay in their homes by providing them with a monthly check for up to six months.
“We’ve had people write to us and tell us that we have literally kept them in their homes, kept them from couch surfing,” said President of Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, Katrina Cole.
Due to the pandemic, Friends of Loudoun has developed ways to reach more people through virtual sessions. Their goal is to help larger populations and erase the stigmas behind mental illness.
“The stigma is still so active because people are so afraid to admit they have a mental illness and they’re scared to death to seek treatment,” said Cole.
Now more than ever Friends of Loudoun needs donations and encouragement since they missed both of their largest fundraisers this year.
“Maybe just sending us a word of encouragement, that kind of thing helps. Just to know that we’re reaching people and they understand what we’re doing,” expressed Cole.
All funds donated to Friends of Loudoun stay within the county, to support our family, friends and neighbors. To donate, click here.
For the second year in a row, Friend of Loudoun was selected as a finalist for nonprofit of the year by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented to the winner on November 13.