WORCESTER, Mass. - A group of area nonprofits joined forces to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month Saturday afternoon.
Fresh Start is a mental health agency creating and implementing mental health programs in the criminal justice and educational system.
508 Forever Young aims to provide children from all over Worcester and the surrounding areas with the necessities to be ready to go back to school.
The nonprofits promoted good mental health while also cleaning up downtown Worcester.
"Mental health is very important,” Fresh Start CEO Derrick Kiser said. “Due to the stigma, a lot of people lack the information and knowledge of really what's going on. So if you see somebody out there that's feeling bad and needs your support, reach out to an agency or reach out to help them and let them know that it's ok to ask for help."
"Mental health awareness is serious and needs to be addressed and again if you know anybody who is dealing with any kind of traumatic experiences or any kind of health concerns or anything like that, like he said just ask,” president of 508 Forever Young Woodrow Adams, Jr. said. “There is plenty of support out here in the community of Worcester."
"When we come together like this, it helps us defeat that stigma,” District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr. said. “We have different stigmas, whether it be opioid addiction, whether it be mental health. These are the things that we have to discuss. The more we discuss them, the more people tell their stories, the more we're going to melt away that stigma."
People were also able to get a COVID-19 shot at the walk-in mobile equity clinic at the Worcester Common.
Volunteers at the event were joined by members of Good Chemistry's team for the cleanup effort in downtown Worcester.
This was the first of six Saturday cleanups around the city.