Looking for support during this pandemic? A new mental health community supports, inspires and connects people during these challenging times

(BPT) – This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences. We are living in an unprecedented time, where everyone’s mental health is being put to the test. Recent research has shown that stress and worry related to the pandemic have had a negative impact on mental health, taking an emotional toll on 53% of adults in the U.S., and for individuals with mental illness, whose conditions often tend to be isolating, the anxiety and increased isolation resulting from these serious times can intensify.

To support people during this trying time, Neurocrine Biosciences and Boston-based Me2/Orchestra, the world’s only known classical music organization created for people with mental illness and the people that support them, have launched Monumental Moments™, a new community platform and charitable initiative that aims to foster a spirit of togetherness and provide support for people in the mental health community — along with those in the general public — who have experienced a heightened sense of anxiety and stress during this challenging year of social distancing and unrest.

“Music can lift our spirits, bring us together and empower us during the hardest of times,” said Ronald Braunstein, Me2/Orchestra founder. “The creation of this score for Monumental Moments enables us to channel our emotions and connect with the broad community of people who are feeling the impact of this extraordinary year. The score emphasizes moments of discovery, determination, and joy. We hope that it will inspire people to share how they are dealing with the daily stress and challenges of the past year to achieve their own ‘monumental moment’ and help people realize that we are all going through this unusual time together.”

Monumental Moments creates an opportunity for people to share their personal moments of success, big or small, in caring for their mental health during this difficult time by posting on social media using the hashtag #MonumentalMoments. The program’s microsite, MonumentalMoments.com, serves as the platform where people can learn more about the initiative, how they can participate, and be connected to a variety of mental health resources.

“During this time of isolation and tragedy, it’s vital that no one feels alone in their mental health struggle. NAMI is proud to be part of the Monumental Moments initiative aimed at providing support through a community platform for people dealing with mental health concerns of varying degrees,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. “The platform aims to amplify the positive success stories of lived experience with the hope that others will find solace and encouragement and stay socially connected while remaining physically distant due to the pandemic. We can work together to help create a community where no one feels alone in their struggle.”

As part of Monumental Moments, Me2/Orchestra has created the first-of-its-kind musical score inspired by the real-life experiences of its members. The virtual performance of the original score brings to life the emotional impact this year has had on many and symbolizes the Monumental Moments movement. It features nearly 100 of its members aged 20 to 80 from around the world — 50% of whom are living with a mental health condition — and can be viewed on MonumentalMoments.com.

Like most of us, Philadelphia native Jeff S. is learning his new normal of social distancing and isolation while also managing his schizophrenia and tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD is an involuntary movement disorder associated with prolonged use of antipsychotics, commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. While he found many ways to manage both conditions before the pandemic, he shares how he is staying grounded during this time. “I’ve always been a fan of listening to folk music. One of my favorite songwriters has a home series on YouTube that I look forward to, the music brings me a lot of comfort and helps to calm me,” said Jeff.

The Monumental Moments initiative encourages others to share how they are coping during this time by posting public messages on social media using the hashtag #MonumentalMoments which will help support people living with mental health conditions, including those also living with TD. On behalf of posts shared, Neurocrine Biosciences will be making donations to mental health organizations as part of its commitment to support people living with mental illness.

Visit the website MonumentalMoments.com to learn more about how to get involved.

This article was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. Jeff was compensated by Neurocrine Biosciences to share his story. © 2020 Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CP-TD-US-0701 11/2020