Mosaics of Mercy: A Hub of Hope and Mental Health Resources
Hello Woodlands had the opportunity to talk with Sherry Burkhard, the Executive Director of Mosaics of Mercy. Mosaics of Mercy is a local nonprofit organization and ministry serving as a hub of hope, resources, and education empowering each journey toward mental well-being.
Four years ago, Mosaics of Mercy started as a group of five people who came together because of personal struggle with mental health, a family member, and/or was a mental health professional. Mosaics of Mercy provided Sherry Burkhard with an opportunity to combine her educational background, experience working with patients at inpatient and outpatient psychiatric facilities, and personal recovery journey to educate on mental health and addiction issues.
As the group started meeting together, they would create mosaics and share their own unique journeys around mental health and addiction recovery. Each person brought different experiences and skills to the table, but they all were committed to sharing their stories of hope and healing to benefit others. In sharing their stories and experiences, the group began to also share and discuss the difficulty of getting help in the system that was currently available. By coming together, connecting, and forming Mosaics of Mercy, they discovered they could find a way to make a difference. Together they could help their loved ones, their community, and others who were feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and alone.
Internally and externally, we all experience things that impact our mental well-being. Physical illness, loss, traumatic events, mental health struggles, addictions, anxiety and depression are a few examples. Mosaics of Mercy is here to help. If you or someone you know is looking for a counselor, virtual support group, and other resources, Mosaics of Mercy offers free and up-to-date resources online. Visit the Mosaics of Mercy Coronavirus page on their website for a list of resources during this time at https://mosaicsofmercy.com/coronavirus/
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mosaics of Mercy was able to offer faith-based art workshops where participants came together and used different mosaic pieces to create beautiful works of art. Members also had the opportunity to speak in community and share valuable information on mental health. Thankfully, Mosaics of Mercy is working on creating mosaics and kits virtually and will be offering online resources. They are also able to continue sharing stories of hope and valuable information with the community while social distancing through their podcast called Hope Pieced Together. In the Hope Pieced Together podcast, Mosaics of Mercy interviews mental health professionals on topics and shares stories of hope and is an excellent resource for our community. Listen to episodes of the podcast on topics such as Coping and Parenting during COVID-19, Protecting your Marriage during Stressing Times, Tackling Suicide, Caring for First Responders, and more at https://mosaicsofmercy.com/hope-pieced-together/
“Many have more time on their hands, things slow down – and some things may rise to the surface.” Sherry also shared that people are not able to use their normal coping mechanisms during this time. “They can’t go to the gym, they can’t gather with friends, they can’t go to their favorite places.”
Mental health is important for everyone. Sherry said to remember that, “We are all struggling right now. We all are being impacted in different ways. We also cope differently. It is important to remember that we are all in this together.”
What can we do during this time for our mental health? Sherry shared the following a few everyday mental health tips with us:
- Gratitude: Come up with 5 things every day that you are grateful for
- Exercise: Get outside a few times a day
- Reach out: Find ways to reach out to a friend or family member; have Zoom coffee with friends, talk on the phone
- Look at Expectations: Be open and flexible of how the day or plans will go. Things may not go as planned, and that’s ok. Shift from an “expectation” (expecting a certain outcome) to an “expectancy” (have faith good will come, release expectations) mindset.
- Find ways to take time for yourself: Even if only 15 minutes! Trade off with spouse to have time for yourself, get up early, spend time alone.
- Create and keep some kind of routine: Have a loose plan to create some kind of normalcy, not a free for all every day. Give yourself grace!
Mosaics of Mercy has recently launched the H.O.P.E. Challenge (Helping Ourselves and Others Pursue Encouragement), a tool that helps us to be intentional about focusing on our blessings and connecting to community during this time period. To take part you will pick an accountability partner to text or email five blessings you find in each day until the end of this Stay At Home period. In return, they will do the same with you. View, download, and print form at https://mosaicsofmercy.com/h-o-p-e-challenge/
Those who message Mosaics of Mercy about how the H.O.P.E. challenge impacted them during this time, will be entered into a drawing for a free mosaic heart and an original H.O.P.E. drawing in a frame.
Are you or someone you know struggling? Learn more about Mosaics of Mercy, how to support their mission, donate a mosaic heart to someone who is struggling, and view and share mental health resources on their website at www.mosaicsofmercy.com.
Thank you to Sherry Burkhard for sharing her time, resources, and about the valuable work Mosaics of Mercy does for our community!