Mental Health Coalition hires ED, promotes movement 

The Teton Valley Mental Health Coalition has something to celebrate this Mental Health Awareness Month; the nonprofit just hired Carrie Mowrey as its first part-time executive director.

Mowrey is making her return to the local nonprofit world after completing her first year in a 24-month masters in social work program at the University of Wyoming. She started work on May 11, just a day after finishing a semester final paper.

Mowrey explained that the MHC has functioned since its founding in 2009 as a group of professional volunteers, but the coalition now has enough work outside of counseling that it needs a staff person to handle that load. She has served as the executive director of the Community Foundation of Teton Valley and the programs director of the Education Foundation.

“I’m thrilled to step up,” she said. “I love nonprofits and the work they do and I’m extremely interested in community mental health. This is an exceptional opportunity in my new professional field and I’m really excited to dive in.”

Mowrey said the coalition hasn’t seen a dramatic increase in client numbers yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the board has discussed the possibility at length, and counselors are prepared for the mental health concerns that may arise from economic hardship.

All of the counselors have transitioned to telehealth and online appointments. The MHC provides six free sessions to anyone in need; to find a counselor visit tetonvalleymentalhealth.com.

“I know the board would like to expand its programs and offerings, and they want to continue to address emerging community needs in the valley,” Mowrey said.

The board members of the MHC were bummed to have to cancel their spin-a-thon, the exercise disco fundraiser that debuted last year, but the organization is still celebrating the power of movement by holding an online contest this week.

Teri Hoyle, board member and owner of Anytime Fitness, said, “It was such a blast last year and people were really looking forward to it, so we thought we’d do something similar even if it’s just online.”

Community members are invited to show how they move to improve their mental health by posting comments, pictures, and videos to the MHC Facebook and Instagram page and by using the hashtag #tvmoves. There will be daily random prize drawings from Monday to Friday and a grand prize for best entry on Saturday, May 16. Businesses including Anytime Fitness, Teton Rock Gym, Barefoot Pilates, Mountain Town Car Wash, Teton Valley Auto, Spin Cave, local restaurants, and masseuse Jen Weilacher have donated prizes.

The movement challenge isn’t a fundraiser, although participants are welcome to donate to the Community Foundation of Teton Valley or the MHC.

“It’s more about reminding people we’re here, promoting mental health, and encouraging everyone to be creative and have fun,” Hoyle said. “We want people to show how they move, what they do for activities, whether it’s hiking, floating, golfing, family time—whatever they do to get exercise and be mindful.”

To participate visit the MHC Facebook page.

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