Last week I heard some sad news… the Neighborhood Involvement Program in Uptown, Minneapolis has closed its doors permanently.

I have many fond memories of the N.I.P. – I was first introduced to it back in 2004, when I started to seek counseling for my depression while in college.

As a poor college student with a minimum wage job and no health insurance, the Neighborhood Involvement Program was a God-send. I appreciated being able to speak to a counselor every couple weeks to help me resolve some of my issues and repressed memories from my childhood, yet being able to afford it based off a sliding scale.

I went to the N.I.P. several times over the course of 3 years. I also referred several of my friends who were in similar circumstances to the N.I.P. during that time and many years later.

It is so important that we have facilities like the Neighborhood Involvement Program available to the underpaid and underprivileged in the world. Just because you don’t have insurance doesn’t mean that you aren’t deserving of proper healthcare and mental health services.

The Star Tribune reported on the N.I.P. closing. I’ll paraphrase some of the content below, but you can read the whole article here.

The Neighborhood Involvement Program, has offered care for patients… since 1972 and served about 8,000 patients annually.

The organization ended medical services in August 2014 but continued seeing patients for dental and mental health care.

It closed its doors permanently the week of January 1st, 2015.

The program employed fewer than 50 paid staffers and had more than 2,100 volunteers.

If you or someone you know is considered low income and in need of healthcare services, please visit Healthcare.gov to locate a clinic near you that charges on a sliding scale. It is so important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. You deserve to be at your best, regardless of if you have health coverage or not.

With that thought in mind, I’ll leave you with this quote from Dr. Seuss that I feel is appropriate.

Take care of yourselves (and each other).

– L

Advertisements