Trained volunteers will help provide support, social solidarity and clinical assistance
BALTIMORE, MD (April 1, 2020) — Councilmembers Zeke Cohen, Kristerfer Burnett and a coalition of community organizations are announcing the April 1 launch of the Baltimore Neighbors Network (BNN). The network is a response to the looming mental health crisis caused by the coronavirus. The network will enlist neighbor volunteers, mental-health ambassadors, and pro bono clinicians to address the epidemic of loneliness and isolation that COVID-19 will create.
Volunteers will make calls to offer support, assess well-being and create critical connections. Neighbors will then be invited to join the Neighbors Network, creating a peer-to-peer system of support. Those that require additional services will be connected to mental health ambassadors and pro bono clinicians.
“During what is arguably the most challenging period in our lifetime, it is more important than ever for Baltimoreans to unite. We face a deadly virus that threatens to tear us apart. In this moment of crisis, we will not turn our backs on our most vulnerable residents,” said Councilman Cohen.
At the Baltimore Community Mediation Center we believe that Baltimore’s greatest asset is our people. That’s why this network of neighbors is so important,” Said Shantay Jackson, executive director of the Baltimore Community Mediation Center.
“The Pro Bono Counseling Project was founded on the idea that volunteers can impact the mental health of communities; it has given us hope in these uncertain times to be part of a community led effort that is founded on the same principle,” said Amy Greensfelder, executive director of the Pro Bono Counseling Project.
Anyone interested in joining the network as a volunteer can sign-up at www.baltimoreneighborsnetwork.org. Volunteers are screened and received training in inclusive listening.
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