When You Seek Help, the Hope Can Begin
It was a gathering of sorts with local personalities and bloggers. Erin from A Parenting Production and Jennifer from the the Clueless Chick were there. We sat at the long table in PDQ that was specially arranged with gingham check tablecloths similar to those at Angus Barn. We listened to Bob Basham (co-founder of PDQ) and Van Eure (owner of the Angus Barn) talk about their partnership in raising awareness and support for The Foundation of Hope for Research and Treatment of Mental Illness.
Walter Royal, the Executive Chef of the Angus Barn unveiled his newest creation, the Royal Chicken Sandwich, to be sold specifically in Triangle area, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem PDQ restaurants. We all got to taste the fresh chicken marinated in Chef Royal’s signature cracked pepper honey topped with bacon, pickles, and lettuce served on a brioche bun with homemade BBQ ranch sauce. The best part of this sandwich was that for every purchase of the “Royal Chicken Sandwich”, PDQ would donate $1 to The Foundation of Hope.
As I sat back and enjoyed my sandwich, I thought about the impact a sandwich could make. It might not seem a lot to many, but for someone that is struggling with depression or anxiety; a sandwich is a lot. Eating at a restaurant, socializing with new people, and even eating a sandwich can be difficult for those with social anxieties. Side effects of depression include loss of appetite. It can be hard for someone that is suffering from a mental illness to break out of their shell and ask for help due to the stigma related to mental illness. A sandwich may be a commonplace lunch menu item, but if used to show the community that PDQ and Angus Barn are pushing aside the stigmas then maybe more people will seek help.
When you seek help, then the hope can begin. Shelley Eure Belk, the Executive Director of The Foundation of Hope understood the significance of this partnership. “We are thrilled to partner with PDQ for this exciting initiative,” said Belk. Since 1984, The Foundation of Hope has funded the UNC School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry over $4.3 million in scientific research grants, and now with the help of PDQ and Angus Barn more money can be raised.
Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can be like living in a long, dark tunnel. You stretch your neck looking for the light, but after awhile you grow tired of looking. It can be a lonely journey. The research is teaching us more about mental illness, how to diagnose, treat and hopefully cure this disease. It could just be a tiny spark of light that ignites a feeling of hope, the courage to seek to help and receive treatment. Maybe that spark is a sandwich or maybe it’s partnership of local businesses. Regardless, it’s a hope.