“All Brains Belong” community health challenge

Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 9:13 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - How much damage did the pandemic do to Vermonters mental and emotional health? Melissa Houser of the non profit “All Brains Belong” said “Despite like there not being a default brain, a lot of the things in society are offered in a default way. Like one size fits all for healthcare, education, employment.”

Houser started her non profit “All Brains Belong Vermont” in the midst of the pandemic to bring together and promote the well being of people with all types of neurological and behavioral disorders. Because of the stress brought on by Covid, Houser wanted to find a way to have open conversations about mental health issues for everyone to participate in.

“This is about integrating the principles of what our organization does into the rest of the community,” said Houser.

The organization is calling this event their community health education fair. The day offered a drive-in clinic for kids that might need to fidget with toys while getting their vaccine. They also had a wife variety of vendors that specialized in mental health practices. During the fair, there were a number of speakers talking about how to stay safe in school, how to prevent bullying, and of course, mental health.

“Nobody really wants to talk about being bullied or the bullier. Its difficult for both sides,” said Adrienne Gil of Montpelier.

Adrienne Gil said someone close to her had a horrible experience in middle school because she was bullied, and she is here today to try and talk about how to solve this issue in schools.

“It’s a really hard conversation to have and to bring it our into the public, and to be vulnerable to let people know. But my daughter thought it was extremely important to have this conversation,” commented Gil.

Houser says the organizations’ goal by having this open conversation is to get people to re-imagine systems in our society to have more awareness of how other people might react to them, Matt Mulligan said he was diagnosed with a learning disability at age 40 and now he knows his differences are okay.

“There’s so many systems in the world that tell people who are neurodivergent, or different in some way that they need to be fixed,” said Mulligan from Barre.

“All Brains Belong” hopes this event can inspire more conversations in our communities about people with different issues for the future.