United Way of Broward County's "It's OK to Not be OK" campaign provides the community with mental health resources

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 17:13:32-04

The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can and is having an effect on people’s physical and mental health. But organizations in South Florida like United Way of Broward County are here to help.

“I think people are really struggling with not going to lunch with coworkers they usually go to lunch with or not being able to have family members go over. So the isolation is really increasing in anxiety and depression of individuals,” said Elkin Alfred, Training Manager of DEI Champion at United Way of Broward County.

Elkin is says to help those struggling with anxiety and loneliness… the organization launched a mental health awareness new campaign called “It’s OK to NOT be OK”.

They’ve partnered up with the helpline “211” to provide local services.

“They have experts on the phone available to just talk about crisis, to talk about how you’re feeling. So if you’re not feeling well and maybe you’re having some negative thoughts, 211 has specialists who are able to walk you through your feelings and connect you with the over 3,000 resources they have in their database,” said Elkin.

“It’s a lot of highs and lows throughout the days. Just getting accustomed to spending so much time online,” said college student, Gabriella Carter.

Current student at Princeton University and Broward Youth Coalition leader, Gabriella , says the amount of time she spends online is mentally tiring.

But she knows she’s not the only one struggling and she’s thankful for programs like this one.

“Taking the big step to tell somebody else how you’re feeling. I think that’s one thing that I admire BYC (Broward Youth Coalition) for because this was the first time I had candid conversations about topic I didn’t talk about in my own home in terms of feelings or dealing with depression and anxiety,” said Gabriella.

“The work that we do in this space around diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism can be hard emotionally. So for those of us who are practitioners in that space, I encourage you to do what you can do to stay well and sometimes it’s OK to take a step back to disengage so you can be well,” added Elkin.

If you’re in need of help in Broward County, there are two ways you can reach someone who can help. You can dial 211 from your phone or visit