New Mental Health Group Reaches Military Community | Local news

A new local mental health group called Mental Health Peer Alliance Central Texas has sprung up in Killeen.

Known as MHPA Central Texas, the group’s mission statement is “to promote authentic friendships and greater mental wellbeing in ourselves and our communities through judgment-free social activities,” said group founder Lorelai Mariah Tariske.

The idea of ​​founding this organization came from Tariske’s time in Okinawa, Japan, while her husband was stationed there.

“It’s a very small island and so a lot of people who move there with the military feel really isolated, especially if they don’t know anyone and they’re an ocean away from their friends and family.” said Tariske.

A friend at the Okinawa base created the first MHPA and Tariske helped organize it whenever she could.

“It certainly served a need there in combating isolation and depression. I saw that need here and I wanted to restart the group to meet that need.”

The group has already held four events in May, although they only started in April.

These events were Therapeutic Thursdays, Tots in Tow and the Seed and Plant Swap. The group plans to do at least two Tots in Tow and two therapeutic Thursdays each month.

“These social activities are centered around what is suggested by the science of psychology and mental wellbeing,” Tariske said. “For example, Tots in Tow is aimed at families or stay-at-home parents with very young children who feel trapped in their home. It’s a great way to get out of the house and make friends, especially if they’re new to the area.”

The group is currently trying to become a non-profit that can be expanded to military communities in the United States. The location in Japan will act as an international sister location for the group.

“The plan is to try and expand into military areas where we see this problem to help the communities that are struggling,” Tariske said.

Join the Mental Health Peer Alliance’s Facebook group to learn more about the MHPA and upcoming events.

Leave a Comment