AUGUSTA, Ga. – Mental health has become a big priority for many over the past year. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when people highlight the importance of self-care.
We introduce you to one woman who says she wants to help her community heal.
“What does it mean to take care of yourself what does it mean to pour into yourself?”
For Onnie Poe, an advocate for mental health, it’s a daily mission she has to affirm.
“I truly try to fill in gaps and just do whatever needs to be done,” she said. “We don’t have enough people meeting individuals where they are, and I want to change that. I want to have a very open dialogue about mental health.”
She says most people suffer in isolation, so she wants to normalize addressing your feelings giving people a platform to release bottled emotions.
“It’s okay to be where you are and it’s okay to not be okay when you’re not okay,” she explained. “I wouldn’t even ask a person what’s wrong with you. I would say, ‘tell me what’s going on,’ because wrong put the connotation that I’m the bad person.”
Onnie says that’s why she is so involved in her community. It’s not just about making a difference to those who are hurting but building those around her.
“I tell my daughter every morning, ‘Good morning beautiful… shine bright’… That’s affirming,” she said.
For her, it’s all about embracing your unique situation and understanding your purpose in life.
“I am responsible for the energy I bring into the room, and I own mine. And if I could encourage everyone else to own theirs, then I think my purpose in life would be fulfilled,” she said.
Mrs. Poe is using many platforms to give back to the community like her organizations Filling in the Gap, Chapter 41 project, and Release.