Mental health advocate raising awareness in her community

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg mental health advocate is working to connect people with resources. In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, she hosted an event inviting the community to learn more.

Asia Tippitt started her organization “Mental Health Matters” during the pandemic, seeing a need for easy access to mental health resources. Now, she is working on reaching more people and trying to start a larger conversation.

“Mental health is important and it’s something that needs to be talked about,” she said. “This is stuff that people are dealing with every day.”

Through her passion project “Mental Health Matters,” she works to help people find the resources they need, including social workers, medicine and psychiatric care.

Tippitt’s passion comes from her own experience

“I’m a mental health survivor, I suffer from mental health, I have family members that suffer from mental health, so it’s very personal for me,” she said.

In May, Tippitt hosted a community event to spread her message: “It’s okay to not be okay.” Her event featured music, food and even a fashion show.

“The safe space, where they are comfortable and they are willing to want to express themselves,” Tippitt described.

For Tippitt, dealing with mental health can be about the smaller things, not just medical help

“I hear that all the time, where it’s like, oh well they want to put me on meds, oh they’re telling me I need to be admitted,” she said, but added she wants to provide more outlets for people.

Tippitt invited several small business owners to her event, and she said their creative process is also part of healing.

“We have [a vendor] over here who handmakes her clothing. That is a form of her coping with whatever struggles she may be dealing with,” she said.

Tippitt’s next step is to find a physical space to house her organization.

“I just want the whole building to be mental health, whether it’s activities, speakers,” she said.

She wants a space to give people an outlet to express their emotions. One piece she has planned: a “rage room” where people can take out their anger.

“All your TVs that don’t work, bring them to me, because I have some angry people and when they get mad, they can go destroy those TVs,” she said, laughing.

She wants a place where she can put her personal motto into practice.

“You respect your energy and you protect your peace at all costs,” she said.

Tippitt is already looking at properties where she could set up that space. Until then, she wants to continue spreading awareness in her community however she can.

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