East Texas nonprofit brings awareness to mental health through free little library
Every May, millions join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas family has created a “little library” at their home to bring mental health resources within reach for their community.
We are halfway through mental health awareness month, which opens conversations usually sparked by younger generations. These conversations are sometimes hindered by a sense of embarassment, though.
The East Texas nonprofit Tiny Evie Rocks is trying to normalize talking about mental health, reminding everyone that this affects all ages.
Michael and Jessica Domingos founded the group to bring awareness to mental illness after they lost their 12-year-old daughter, Evie, to suicide four years ago, this month. Evie struggled with depression brought on by anxiety at a young age.
“Even though we loved her, we helped her, and we just kind of realized that there is so much knowledge out there,” Jessica said. “Of course, we can’t go backward, but we can give people knowledge going forward and help other people prevent suicide.”
The community rallied around them and supported them throughout the process. Now, they want to make an impact on the community in a positive way.
They currently have a free little library outside their home at 319 E. 1st Street in Tyler. The little library is dedicated to mental health, and the books are for all ages. Besides books, it also offers puzzles, coloring books, journals, stress relief toys and sensory items. They include a special gift in the books that is connected to the family’s mission.
“Bookmarks, that we created to remind people that your story is not over and keep going,” Jessica said.
The little library also includes cards that have multiple resources, from tips for finding local help to life-saving guides.
Alongside the library, there is an art exchange that is dedicated to their daughter, who was an artist. People can come and leave a piece of art or take a piece of art with them.
Right now, they’re providing workshops that prepare caregivers to provide life-assisting suicide first-aid intervention.
“Being strong is about opening up about your feelings and getting help,” said Michael, “so if we can just share and remove the stigma and get people to feel comfortable talking about their feelings, providing the resources of assistant training, then I feel like all together we can truly make a difference in East Texas.”
Find out more about Tiny Evie Rocks by visiting their website.
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