Local nonprofit organization Connection is the Cure hosted a suicide, addiction and mental health awareness event on Jan. 17.
With words of affirmation adorning the entire event, Connection is the Cure featured local resource booths, free gifts, improv acts, challenges, giveaways, five guest speakers and a free musical guest, Ben Fuller.
September Frogley, the founder of Connection is the Cure, started the nonprofit organization after losing her brother to suicide last May.
“Looking back over our life, it was so eye-opening to be next to him during the ups and downs of addiction and his mental health, and not being able to find resources,” Frogley said. “All the things our eyes were opened to as a family, I think, really pushed us after we lost him to help other families not feel so alone and helpless during these times.”
Frogley explained that the goal of the event is to educate the public about community resources and encourage those who are struggling to reach out. She also offered some advice for college students.
“As you are choosing a college, be proactive and take action beforehand. Check out what mental health resources your school has, so if you start to struggle, then you will know ahead of time what’s available,” Frogley said.
Connection is the Cure featured many informative booths for local support systems such as Recovery Dharma, Victory Recovery, So Good! Inc. and BroncoBOLD.
Josh Reiker, a representative of the Recovery Dharma group, explained how their program works by utilizing mindfulness to aid in addiction recovery. Reiker offered advice to those who are battling addiction.
“Build social connections that are healthy and supportive and try to find a way to enjoy everyday,” Reiker said.
Reiker also touched on how to support a loved one who is struggling with their mental health.
“Show compassion, try to understand their stories, and let them find a way to recover that works for them,” Reiker said.
BroncoBOLD, a club and organization at Boise State University, also attended Connection is the Cure.
Boise State students Joey Benson (junior), Rori Chartier (senior) and Sierra Land (junior) volunteered and represented BroncoBOLD.
“Don’t be afraid to seek help if needed. And definitely be kind to yourself and [take] breaks when you need to,” Benson said.
The Treasure Valley community, as well as the Boise State community, are accessible and eager to help anyone suffering with mental health issues or addiction.
“We still have a long way to come, but we are making awesome progress,” Frogley said.
The topic of bringing awareness to mental illness has become a more open point of conversation in recent years. There are still many people who are struggling with mental illness who need resources and someone to lean on.
Connection is the Cure will continue to educate the public and assist those in need. Frogley expressed her goal to organize another event for the 2024 spring semester, but said nothing is set in stone yet.