JUST US Inc.
Introducing our new charitable, non-profit organization, JUST US
I’ve been growing my mental health therapy practice steadily since 2018 when I first left hospital social work and hung out my shingle to start a one-woman mental health therapy practice. I was determined to reduce stigma and increase access to mental health therapy.
I have continually pushed for change in the culture and perception around mental health by demystifying mental health treatment and filling the gaps in the system that I saw every day as a social worker in the public sector.
Everyone’s mental health is a continuum that requires support at times, just like any other health issue. I want to make going to a therapist as normal as going to a dentist - so that the doors are wide open for everyone to get the help they need to reduce mental suffering and maintain wellness in their life. Individual mental wellness means healthier families and, in turn, a better society overall.
Fast forward to 2022 - our team has grown to 21 therapists & 5 counselling interns who treat a wide range of mental health concerns for individuals of ALL ages, couples of all types, and families. We treat mental health differently - we make going to therapy normal for everyone. Mental health care and physical health care need to be equal. In fact, our brain controls our body and there is no health without mental health. And we all struggle at times.
In our effort to reduce the barriers to mental health care, we have been offering multiple programs - at many cost levels (including FREE) - since 2019. We don't turn anyone away.
But we can't grow and improve these programs alone.
We have had some very generous financial support but not nearly enough to sustain and grow our low-cost and free therapy programs to meet the growing needs of our community.
To date, we have provided over 3600 free and low-cost sessions but we cannot keep up with the demand. With the support of JUST US, our new charitable, non-profit organization, we expand and grow our Low-cost and Free Friday programs, hire additional therapists, serve many more people in need and focus on spreading our advocacy message more widely - There is No US & THEM.
Why JUST US?
We called our non-profit “JUST US” because when it comes to mental health, there is no US & THEM. We ALL Struggle! There is JUST US, all experiencing mental health issues at times. Experiencing mental health struggles is normal - and it needs to be normalized!
I’ve been appointed CEO of JUST US and we will be governed by a board of directors to steer the organization. JUST US will be able to advocate, strategize, fundraise and vastly increase our ability to keep up with the demands of the community for our low-cost and free mental health programs, so they can continue to meet the growing need.
There is No US & THEM, our mental health anti-stigma campaign, was introduced recently. It brings our vision and mission to life, helps reduce stigma and aims to bring awareness to our message: #WeAllStruggle (yes, every one of us)
When you categorize people who struggle with mental illness as THEM, it feeds into the stigma and the “othering” of people with mental health difficulties. In reality, there is JUST US. Everyone is affected by mental illness. And no one should be defined by their mental Illness.
Our vision...that mental health care is valued, understood, accepted, and accessible to all people. Our mission...to enhance the health and lives of all individuals, couples, and families through barrier-free and proactive mental health care services.
We offer group therapy and workshops on a range of issues including PTSD for First Responders, Anxiety & Stress Management, Self-Esteem, Supporting Employee Mental Health and Support for Parents.
You can read more about our interns, our programs and how you can help!
You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.
Call me if you have any questions!
Laura Gatien BA, BSW, MSW, RSW