By Bianca Martin,
Special to the AFRO
Above It All Mental Health Program is doing tremendous things with youth in the Baltimore City area. Providing stout mental health support for young girls and women from the ages of 4 – 24, the organization helps participants face past, present, and future obstacles as they navigate their way through life’s many challenges.
“Peer pressure, social media, exposure, and the need for attention are all elements that add to the stress of these girls today,” said Tonia Christopher, direct care counselor for the organization. “Learning how to gain positive social skills, set boundaries, and gain good relationship building skills are needed to help with stress at home and in school. This is a good outlet to help them work on the goals they want to achieve.”
With a mission to “equip families and communities with knowledge, skills, and resources that will serve as a blueprint for their personal and professional growth and stability,” Above It All Mental Health Program went above and beyond this holiday season.
On Dec. 19, the organization teamed up with A Virtuous Touch Salon and Spa, located in Owings, Md. to host “The Christmas Gift of Beauty.” The event celebrated young girls by showering them with a spa day.
The salon provided them with a wonderful day full of pampering and relaxation by bestowing them with a luxury hair day, facials, makeup, manicures, and pedicures right on time for the holidays.
Events such as these are a reminder of how dedicated and committed mentors are mentees across the city.
Throughout the years, the counselors from Above It All Mental Health Program have focused their time and attention on several issues such as grief counseling, behavior management, and coping skills. The program also provides outstanding community services such as computer literacy education, job training, yoga skills, and financial literacy instruction.
Once a week for an hour, teachers, volunteers, and other people willing to give a hand to this uplifting program spend individual and group time teaching basic life skills. They focus on helping the youth to build self-esteem, handle crisis situations, and learn to function and deal with the many issues that come with living within the inner city of Baltimore, MD.
“The sun sets, yet also rises, and each time it does we can start over, smarter and wiser than before,” said Tonia Christopher, of the guidance participants receive in the program. “Time is the greatest of teachers.”
Above It All Mental Health Program has helped them with challenges such as bullying and isolation– especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The counselors work to help young women and girls face the stressors they deal with on a day-to-day basis.
The Christmas Gift of Beauty was an event that will go a long way in helping the participants build their self-esteem.
Christopher thanked the volunteers who assisted with the event at Virtuous Touch Salon and Spa, to include the Thursday Night Crew (TNC) and Sharlette Maple, Trezauna Weems, Tawanna Brown, Nicole Holland, and Pam Hawkins. A special thanks was also sent to Temika Britton, who volunteered and donated gifts.
English Concrete Construction donated the food and beverages, and Cari’s Creations donated gifts to the event as well.
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