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Local Pizzeria Gives Back to Community for Depression Awareness Month

By Gregory Faul
Hottytoddy.com Intern
gfaul@go.olemiss.edu

Photo via Dodo Pizza Facebook.

October kicks off National Depression Awareness Month, and a local business is lending its hand to help those who have mental illness.

Depression affects more than 16 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dodo Pizza—located at 614 Jackson Ave East—is giving back to the community by having a special offer this month to help spread awareness and cheer by giving away free pizza. 

“I feel like there is a stigma around mental health in our society,” said Alena Tikhova, CEO of Dodo Pizza. “We want to let customers know that no matter what they are dealing with, they are okay and loved.”

She said she sees a lot of people around her struggling with various mental health issues, but they just would not talk about it and would not address it at all because of the stigma.

Tikhova stressed the importance of businesses giving back to their communities in any way they can.

“Pizza won’t solve all of your problems, but maybe it would make you smile for just a second and it’s all worth it,” she said.

She believes that businesses must play a strong role in any community, and addressing the community’s issues is one way of doing it.

“Oxford gives a lot to us, and we give back every time we get a chance,” Tikhova said.

By spreading awareness through this offer, Dodo Pizza is helping aid the fight in destigmatizing depression.

Katie Harrison, senior staff counselor for the campus Student Counseling Center, told Hottytoddy.com why she thinks there is a stigma associated with depression.

“It is sometimes difficult to talk about tough things in life and there is often a fear of discrimination associated with mental illness,” Harrison said.

She said education surrounding mental health is one way to destigmatize seeking treatment and talking about it.

There are a number of vital ways to help cope with depression, according to Harrison.

“Living a healthy lifestyle including mental, physical, and emotional health are keys to managing symptoms of depression as well as knowing when to reach out for help,” Harrison said. “Seeking professional help for depression and other mental health issues is a vital piece of living a healthy life.”

Dodo Pizza’s offer runs through the entire month of October. Stop by Dodo Pizza any day this month and mention “Depression Awareness Month” to get a free pizza.


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