Steel Smiling Graduates 2nd Cohort of Beams to Bridges Participants | Democratizing Mental Health, Creating Community Mental Health Advocates

Aug 5, 2022

Beams to Bridges [BTB] equips Black adults with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to serve as Community Mental Health Advocates. While matriculating through this experience, cohort members receive group peer support, mental health resources, behavioral health treatment, workforce development stipends, and social service connections. Topics covered include but are not limited to: substance misuse, overcoming anxiety, trauma-informed care, mental health first aid, combatting depression, crisis response, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, case management, active listening.

On Friday, July 29th, the second cohort of the program graduated! There are 12 more Community Mental Health Advocates working to destigmatize mental health and democratize information and treatment in their neighborhoods! Congratulations!

Meet the Grads

About the Organization in Residence Model

Steel Smiling is an Organization in Residence of Neighborhood Allies. The Organization-in-Residence initiative is an innovative pilot program co-created by Neighborhood Allies and Steel Smiling. Through this partnership, Steel Smiling is sharing the organizational infrastructure, resources and social, human and political capital of Neighborhood Allies, who is serving as mentor or “incubating” entity. At the end of the three-year Residency, both entities will collaboratively assess Steel Smiling’s interest and preparedness to launch as a stand-alone 501c3 or remain affiliated with Neighborhood Allies in some capacity. Through this partnership, we are working to mitigate the racial inequities that often prevent nonprofits of color from serving their community members to their highest potential. At the core of this model is the intention to disrupt inequitable patterns of investment and resourcing when it comes to building capacity for Black-led, Black-focused nonprofits and other non-profits of color in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Region.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA