People of Roots N Blues – Chad Moses

To+Write+Love+On+Her+Arms+worker+Chad+Moses+speaks+with+festival+goers+during+Roots+N+Blues+Saturday%2C+Sept.+28.+Photo+by+Bailey+Stover.

To Write Love On Her Arms worker Chad Moses speaks with festival goers during Roots N Blues Saturday, Sept. 28. Photo by Bailey Stover.

Bailey Stover

Chad Moses works with the organization To Write Love on Her Arms as a way to spread hope and create a community for those in need who are looking for help. During the festival, the group had a tent where blank cards invited people to leave messages of positivity and support for others. 

What is To Write Love on Her Arms?

“We are a nonprofit organization called To Write Love on Her Arms, and we exist to present and find help for anyone struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. So we’re there not as a destination for anyone’s treatment and recovery, but we’re there to build a better bridge, to ideally connect people that are looking for help to local options for help.”

How did you guys decide to come to Roots N Blues?

“Actually Roots N Blues was super kind and reached out to us. They value their attendees; they value their community, and they said amongst themselves that this conversation of mental health deserves a bit more of a featured role within their festival. So we were fortunate enough to work with some of their team members this summer, and they said, ‘Hey, come on out in the fall. We’d love to have you at the festival.'”

How did you get involved with this? 

“So the organization’s been around for 13 years and started with a story about helping a friend and telling the story of her first five days in recovery from cocaine addiction and finding help with self-injury through the context of community. Well, concurrent with that story, I was living one of my own where I really needed the help of some friends and family to pull me through some dark spots. So as I was taking steps towards my own recovery, kind of bringing my life back together, I learned about this project and was really encouraged by the idea that the crap in your life, it can have a positive affect on people around you if engage it honestly and humbly. So I started working for the organization 11 years ago, and here I am now in the middle of a park in the middle of Columbia. . . We’re traveling all the time just trying to have some honest conversations about mental health.”

How can students or anyone in the community get involved with this organization or reach out?

“Totally. I’d say remember that phrase you just said, ‘get involved.’ If you swing out to our website, that’s twloha.com, we have a page called get involved, and that’s a great launching point for how you can become a better voice for mental health in your community. That’ll give you a chance to sign up for our newsletter where you can partner with us on different campaigns throughout the year, and beyond that you can just learn more about what resources exist within your community and ways you can point your friends and family and community to those resources.”

For anyone who would read or listen to this, what message would you have for them?

“I’d say I’m glad you’re here. I’d say you belong here. I’d say that we need you here, that you, just by waking up today, you just by reading or listening to this have made today a more beautiful day, made this place a more beautiful place. So whatever it is you’re walking through, if it’s something that feels like a treat, we celebrate with you. If it’s something that feels more like a retreat, we’re here to rest with you. So at no point are you expected to get through any of life alone, and if you need some ideas on who to reach out to, we’re there for you.”[vc_masonry_media_grid element_width=”3″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1569816393543-81025dcd-c5ad-5″ include=”317684,317683,317682,317681,317686,317685,317679,317678,317677,317675,317671,317670,317668,317680,317667,317666,317665″][penci_text_block block_title_align=”style-title-left” custom_markup_1=””]How can you facilitate positive conversations about mental health? Let us know in the comments below.[/penci_text_block]