BUDA — Buda Public Library patrons will be able to meet with two peer support specialists as part of St. David’s Foundation’s Libraries for Health initiative and grant.
Peer support specialists offer free support to adults in the community. These specialists are available generally from 1-7 p.m. on Mondays twice a month during the Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group program. They also host monthly Calm Crafting sessions at 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and the Mental Health Book Club.
Victoria Alaniz and Emma Dixon came to the Buda Public Library through Via Hope and aim to provide support and be a resource for the community. Although the specialists are not licensed mental health professionals, they are under the supervision of Ta’Kisha N. Moore, RSPS, MHPS, PSS. Alaniz and Dixon have personally experienced the challenges with which they strive to assist and support patrons by listening, talking and being with someone who needs a listening and understanding ear.
Alaniz is a student in the therapy program at St. Edward’s University and intends to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.
“We are focused on providing support in the community and being an easily accessible resource,” Alaniz said in a news release.
Many mental health issues that may not be advanced enough to need clinical support or that the individual may not be ready to seek clinical assistance for can receive support through this program, according to the release. Patrons seeking this resource may even receive assistance to find the right advanced or clinical support.
“I experienced my own struggle with mental health and want to be there for the community and provide a minimal barrier for people to get the support and assistance they need through the library. This is a free resource for the community, and I want people to know we are here for them,” Dixon said.
The Buda Public Library received the $75,000 grant from St. David’s Foundation in 2022. The funding is dispersed over the fiscal years of 2022, 2023 and 2024. The following are some items and programs funded by the grant:
• PsychHub Mental Health Ally Training for patrons and staff.
• Presentations on various mental health and wellness topics.
• Art and mental wellness classes.
• Music therapy classes.
• Classes on mental wellness tools and coping strategies such as journaling, crafting, improv for resiliency, meditation, life organization, and more.
• Literature on mental health and wellness topics.
• Software to organize online resources, calendars, and newsletters.
• Support group for anxiety and depression.
For more information on Buda Public Library programs, visit www.budalibrary.org.