Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital and the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network will host a socially-distanced celebration for Middle Valley families, featuring therapy horses and other activities to combat the isolation brought on by COVID-19, this Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Middle Valley Elementary, 1609 Thrasher Pike in Hixson.
Officials said, "The 'Pop Up for Hope' event series emerged from a desire to help those who are socially isolated and struggling with the secondary mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of these events is simple: to spread hope and happiness and reduce isolation during a time where many are self-quarantining at home and experiencing more stress."
Sponsored by Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital, Parkridge Valley, the Robinson Team with Keller Williams Realty, Cherith Edwards with Mortgage Investors Group, Team Purcell with Remax Renaissance, Village Behavioral Health and CIT Connect, the next event will be held Friday at Middle Valley Elementary, one of the designated Hamilton County Schools food pick up sites that serves hundreds of families in need of food. The event will be coordinated with the food pick up time to reach families driving up in their cars.
"These no-contact events are a way to safely spread hope and share resources," officials said.
Partners include the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, NAMI Chattanooga, Mental Health Cooperative, Hamilton County Coalition, Older Adult Community Workgroup, St. Alexius, The Middle Path, Hospice of Chattanooga, Alleo Health, The Canopy at Boynton Ridge and the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
Volunteers will carry handmade signs with messages of hope and togetherness, as well as hand out free goody bags filled with community resources, swag, reusable masks and hand sanitizer (for as long as these supplies are available). Therapy pets, including horses, will also greet families; other activities include free drive-thru Kona Ice.