Free mental health support for traumatized Indianapolis community

Crime in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — More than 130 people have been killed in the city so far this year. Violent crime impacts every corner of Indianapolis and thousands of households.

The physical and emotional symptoms can negatively impact people’s daily lives. Fortunately, there are community members ready to help others walk this tough road.

Ta’Hona “Kween” Zackery founded the Kween Project, and used her own experiences to help her community heal.

“All of our services are free,” Zackery said. “They are offered and based on the far east side.”

The Kween Project offers free trauma-informed support to remind people they can move forward after tragedy and pain. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can find her and her team at the Community Alliance of the Far East Side community center offering free services.

“On Saturdays, it’s our open, free to the public, support group where you can come in in a safe space and talk about what you may have been going through,” Zackery said. “Even if you don’t want to talk and you just want to sit, you’re more than welcome to do just that.”

Each Friday in June and the first two Fridays in August, she’s offering a Breaking the Stigma at CAFE from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On Saturdays, she hosts open trauma support from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at CAFE.

For Kween, it’s a way to remind her community they are not alone. They can reach out to her any time on her Facebook page, by calling 317-506-7865 or emailing her at thekweenproject9@gmail.com.

“I am not a licensed therapist, I am not a licensed mental health professional, don’t claim to be and won’t,” Zackery said. “But, I can help you get through that. We can help you get through that.”

The Legacy House of Eskenazi Health is also a free program, thanks to grant funding. It is a resource for anyone impacted by community violence or crime.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in intakes for those experiencing grief and trauma who’ve been a part of those unfortunate events,” Caroline Mathis, Clinical Supervisor, said.

The Legacy House said they always have more room to help.

“We work very hard to not keep people on waitlists and to continue to take on those intakes, and get them set up with free trauma counselors,” Mathis said.

Everyone deals differently with the impacts of trauma. Those providing mental health care just don’t want you to cope alone.

“It can be as simple as engaging in self-care, like five minutes of deep breathing or meditation to help soothe that automatic fight, flight, or fear response that we get after enduring trauma,” Mathis said. “Also reaching out to others and talking about what we’re experiencing can help normalize that and help with the isolation that we feel after that.”

You can schedule an appointment at the Legacy House by calling them directly at 317-880-1472.

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