October 31, 2019

Hundreds of community members gather for 2019 Mental Health Film Festival

Thank you for a memorable Mental Health Film Festival!

We are overwhelmed and grateful to the hundreds of community members who attended our 2019 Mental Health Film Festival.

At the event, attendees heard from Maryland Sen. Guy Guzzone, watched films sharing moving stories, heard from local experts and paused to reflect on how we can continue to build awareness and compassion. Attendees also pledged to be Emotional Support Humans for their loved ones and shared fun photobooth pictures to share with friends.

We know that mental health is an enormous challenge in our community. This is why the Horizon Foundation has made a major commitment in recent years to improve mental health services in our community and to encourage people to get the help they need. In addition to hosting this film festival:

  • We are providing over $500,000 to the Howard County Public School System to expand school-based mental health services;
  • We are supporting early intervention programming in Head Start classrooms;
  • We are providing free mental health trainings to the community through partners like Grassroots;
  • We are working with primary care offices to better coordinate mental health services; and
  • We are encouraging community members to be there for people in their lives who may be struggling; through our Emotional Support Human Etiquette campaign.

Together, we must continue to bring this issue out of the shadows, be there for each other and provide hope.

See photos from the event on Facebook>>

Register for a mental health training

Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to help people connect to the help they need. FREE mental health trainings are provided through Grassroots, including Mental Health First Aid, ASIST and Question-Persuade-Refer, a suicide intervention training. Additional training dates and offerings are also offered through other community groups (costs may apply).

View upcoming trainings offered by Grassroots>>

View a list of countywide trainings compiled by the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition (pdf)>>


Apply for a mental health outreach grant – Deadline extended to 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 4!

Does your organization want to help spread mental health awareness? Apply for grant funding of $600-$30,000 by our extended deadline – 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 4. The Foundation is seeking organizational partners to help encourage and normalize help-seeking behavior related to mental health, address social and cultural stigmas that could prevent people from getting the help they need and further help parents learn about and take advantage of school-based mental health services in schools where they exist. PTAs, community associations, faith groups and other local nonprofits are encouraged to apply – it only takes a few minutes! Questions? Contact Rashel Taylor, community engagement associate, at rtaylor@thehorizonfoundation.org.

See the RFP and apply by 9 a.m. Nov. 4>>

Learn more about Emotional Support Humans in Newsweek and Health Affairs

Did you sign the Emotional Support Human pledge wall? Curious to learn more about the Emotional Support Human Etiquette campaign? Visit our website to see tips on how you can be an Emotional Support Human to the people in your life who are struggling. And check out our campaign in the news with a story in Newsweek and a guest blog written by Horizon Foundation CEO Nikki Highsmith Vernick in the Health Affairs Grantwatch blog on “Why We Are Building a Community of Emotional Support Humans.”

Visit supporthuman.org>>

Read about our campaign in Newsweek>>

Read the Health Affairs blog post>>

Watch the films at home

The films that were featured in the festival are available for viewing online or via streaming services (subscriptions/payments may be required). For more information, please click the film name below:

Get involved

If you’d like to get more involved in the Horizon Foundation’s work on mental health, please reach out to Rashel Taylor, community engagement associate, at rtaylor@thehorizonfoundation.org.

Special thanks to our partners, speakers, board, grantees and volunteers

We could not have done this event without our partners.

Thank you to Sen. Guy Guzzone, Jeanne Kennedy, Dr. Jeff Bostic, Dr. Lisa Cooper-Lucas, Dr. Sharon Hoover, Jeanne Schaeberle, Dr. Lisa Loury Lomas, Debbie Meyer, Anne Waller, Quiana Wade, Aggie Wojdon, Tara DeCapite, Amanda Ganoe, Kami Wagner, Joe Merritt, Ashlyn McNeely, Seema Reza, Lisa Terry, Jen Vaughn, Horizon Councils, Horizon Foundation Trustees, The Links, Incorporated, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, NAMI Howard County, Howard County Public School System, Alpha Achievers, Community Building Art Works and the Howard County Office of Veterans and Military Families.

Thank you to our mental health outreach grantees: Alpha Foundation of Howard County, A-OK Mentoring, Bet Chaverim Congregation, Bollman Bridge Elementary, Bonnie Branch Middle PTA, Bryant Woods Elementary, Building Families for Children Inc., Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County, Clarksville Middle School PTA, Clemens Crossing Elementary PTA, Community Action Council of Howard County, Conexiones Inc., Cradlerock Elementary School, Dunloggin Middle PTA, Equity4HC, Every Kid Can Cook, Fulton Elementary PTA, Hammond Elementary School PTA, Hammond Middle School PTA, Hanover Hills Elementary, HC DrugFree, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, Howard County Autism Society, Howard County Office of Children and Families, Howard County Public School System, Howard High School, Laurel Woods Elementary School, Lisbon Elementary PTA, Manor Woods Elementary PTA, Marriotts Ridge High PTA, Maryland Coalition of Families, Mt. Hebron High PTA, Oakland Mills Middle PTA, Oakland Mills High PTA, Patuxent Valley Middle PTA, Pointers Run Elementary, Running Brook Elementary, Stevens Forest Elementary PTA, Thomas Viaduct PTA and Wilde Lake High PTA.