A mental health diagnosis can be stigmatizing and isolating. Founder Drew Horn, W.C., recognized the need for compassionate friendship - as he himself experienced multiple stays in psychiatric facilities. While the Turn-A-Frown-Around Foundation recognizes that friendship is not the sole mean to recovery, it firmly maintains that friendship supplements the recovery process. TAFA also recognizes the value and importance of the lived experience of people in mental health recovery as Forever Friends, volunteers, and leaders in the Mental Health Initiative.
TAFA’s Mental Health Initiative is not a mental health service, nor is it a form of “treatment”. Mental health is an important key to a happy, joyful life. We seek to utilize our lived experiences, and support each other, in providing happiness, joy, and friendship, as well as ending loneliness, wherever these needs may be encountered -to “be the change we want to see in the world.” – Ghandi.
Currently, TAFA’s Mental Health Initiative has been working on building Forever Friend and volunteer groups across communities, which we like to call Smile Stations. What is important to know, and important to the Mental Health Initiative, is that anyone involved is asked to both provide and receive support, happiness, and friendship. We also seek to empower people with lived experience to take an active role in our Mental Health Initiative in a way that provides empowerment and purpose while also meeting the Mission of the Turn-A-Frown-Around Foundation. Empowering those with the lived experience of mental health recovery to become a Forever Friend to others, or a volunteer in other ways, is incredibly rewarding - especially since those who have a first-hand understanding of how loneliness and isolation impacts mental health, wellness, and recovery can provide a special, genuine peer support in alleviating those feelings in others.
We encourage you to learn more about volunteering and to consider the following options!
- Developing Forever Friendships with residents in Mental Health Facilities and Nursing Homes.
- Visiting Mental Health Facilities and Nursing Homes for the purpose of leading groups and activities related to socialization, happiness, and fun!
- Visiting Mental Health Facilities and Nursing Homes for the purpose of providing inspirational and compassionate performances.
- Visiting Psychiatric Hospitals, or Psychiatric Units in Hospitals, to provide a friendly face, comfort, and happiness to peers who are in a difficult place.
- Leadership opportunities which can be discussed on an individual basis provided they are in line with the Mission of the Turn-A-Frown Around Foundation, Inc.
Learn more about volunteering!