UK Psychiatry Walks for Warmth to Support Homeless Community in Lexington

On Feb. 18, 13 employees from the University of Kentucky Department of Psychiatry and their families walked through downtown Lexington to raise awareness about the needs of the homeless community and funds for the Lexington Rescue Mission’s Homeless Prevention Program.

Mareen Dennis, assistant professor of psychiatry, coordinated the team from UK Psychiatry. Getting staff to participate was simple, Dennis said. “All that it took was getting the word out that we were forming a team of volunteers and then things naturally fell into place.” Participants paid a registration fee to participate, formed a team and walked through Lexington.

Dennis felt this event was something mental health care providers should support. “Programs like this one help our patients and our community,” she said.

The Homeless Prevention Program through the Lexington Rescue Mission provides emergency financial assistance for rent and utilities to individuals in need.

She went on the say, “The stress of homelessness and the mental health issues connected with homelessness can be prevented if we support programs like those at The Lexington Rescue Mission.”

UK Psychiatry finds that community events provide an opportunity for team building among the faculty, residents and staff while giving back to the community.