Local nonprofit hosted 2nd annual mental health forum Saturday

The forum revolved around mental health impacts on relationships
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 10:14 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Mental health on relationships. That was the topic at a local forum on Saturday where people can learn how to be more involved with their partner and not so involved with their own mind.

For the second year in a row, an organization shows the community the importance of taking care of their mental health.

This year, nonprofit MENtality Unchained hosted a forum that focuses on how mental health and past traumas can directly impact relationships and take a toll on families.

“Can you imagine two people coming from two different backgrounds, coming into a relationship, what they bring into the relationship,” asked Psychotherapist Kevin Thomas.

Thomas is with MENtality Unchained, a nonprofit which hosted a the forum titled, “The Family Reunion: The Impact of Mental health.”

“I wanted to bridge the gap between understanding what the traumas are and how it’s impacting the family,” Thomas said.

As part of this event, Thomas invited his close friends who are either single or in a relationship to participate in a panel discussion. Audience members got to hear real stories, real struggles and real breakthroughs.

“Just to really talk about their relationships and how their traumas and anything they had in the past kind of impacted their relationships,” Thomas said.

Two of Saturday’s panelists, Rebecca and Justin Francis say they’re a big supporter of therapy in their relationship.

“Communication they say is one of the main reasons why divorce happens, so I think therapy, openness is definitely great,” said MENtality Unchained panelist Justin Francis

“When we go to therapy, we go to separately and then we go together right so then you’re solving the mitigating the internals of yourself and healing past traumas and then coming together,” said MENtality Unchained panelist Rebecca Francis

Thomas says it’s important to educate the community on what mental health is and how to break the stigmas associated with it.

“Bringing Rockford together through mental health is important because it helps people to deal with, manage their relationships,” Thomas said.

MENtality Unchained offers several services to the community including keynote speaking, individual therapy and marriage and family therapy.

If you or anyone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, call or text 988, which is a suicide and crisis lifeline that offers 24/7 service.