ABOUT THE NONPROFIT
Neuro-atypical Neighborhood is officially a 501(c)(3) nonprofit!
It started out as just a blog, but I always had a vision of it becoming something much bigger. I wanted to create conversations and inspire change. My goal hasn’t changed, but my focus has grown.
Neuro-atypical Neighborhood aims to give hope, inspire, and provide opportunities for children dealing with mental health challenges by destigmatizing mental health. We want to save lives.
I’m busy networking in the community and planning events that will help to destigmatize mental health and suicide. I want to give children and teenagers who are struggling with mental health challenges hope by organizing events and granting wishes. I want to be able to support some of those less fortunate children by assisting them with funding for therapy.
For now, I hope you will spread Neuro-atypical Neighborhood and our message. You can check out our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to take a look at our blog, too!
Thank you for your support. I sincerely appreciate it.
ABOUT THE NAME
Growing up, the neighborhood play was something I was fond of. Yes, I know, the shortstop didn’t actually have to touch second base to record the out. They had to get close to the bag; they had to be in the neighborhood. But, I was more interested in the runner – hustling for the opportunity to break up a potential double play. That potential was where the power was. The runner could slow up and peel out of the base path peacefully or they could make a hard and clean slide and attempt to create a change. As a base runner, I always chose the latter. Although I've already hung up my spikes, I haven’t stopped trying to create change.
For ten years, my endeavors were on the diamond. For the past two years, my efforts have been on diminishing mental health stigma. I grew up loving sports. That hasn’t changed; I’ve just concentrated that love into the intersection of sports and mental health.
My goal for this project is to speak with athletes and those in sports about mental health. I want to get to know people. I want to dig deep. I want to ask the tough questions. You see, for there to even be the possibility to have a neighborhood double play, the shortstop must get close enough to touch second base. If they don’t, there is no potential for the runner to create a change. This project is my effort to get close enough and to go in hard and clean to inspire change. I want this to make a difference. I aim to create a safe and healthy environment to freely discuss mental health. I hope you’ll join me.
So, if you are an athlete, come my way. If you know an athlete, send them my way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I really want to hear from you.
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
Founder & President
As someone whose daily battles include depression and anxiety, I know how crippling and lonely the grip of mental illness can be. I also know that I am not my depression and anxiety. I am Nicole — lover of baseball, books, and coffee.
What does "normal" mean to Nicole?
"'Normal' means fitting in. This is always something I’ve struggled with, which is often why I find myself not identifying with a 'normal.' But, I’ve come to realize that fitting in is boring. Mike Trout doesn’t wake up every morning and think about fitting in. He wakes up with the drive and the passion to keep proving that he is the best baseball player in the world. I’m not anywhere close to Mike Trout, but in whatever I do, I can wake up each morning with the drive and passion to make a difference. Forget trying to be 'normal,' I want to help other young athletes find who they are and to be the person for them that I wish I had as a young athlete. I’ll be the Mike Trout of making a difference."
Lucy Mae has always had a love for artwork. She enjoys sketching, painting, and making digital art. As the content artist of Neuro-Atypical Neighborhood, she finally has the opportunity to blend her passion of artwork and mental health awareness together.
What does "normal" mean to Lucy Mae?
"I have often pondered the meaning of normalcy, and I have come to the conclusion that each individual is their own form of normal. Normalcy in psychological terms refers to the behaviors and characteristics that are common in one's cultural or societal environment. But everyone must remember one thing: it is okay to color outside the lines. This is what makes each of us so unique."