Valentine’s Day raffle supports mental health

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2021

After having her second son, Courtni Becnel was diagnosed with post-partum depression and post-partum anxiety. Sharing her daily challenges throughout her mental health journey opened her eyes to just how many people around her are suffering and unable to afford professional help.

Becnel connected with local businesses to craft a Valentine’s Day Couple’s Package. A raffle will be held in hopes of raising money to pay for mental health counseling for River Parishes residents in need.

“My goal for this year is to be assertive. When I post my daily struggles with post-partum, a lot of people come to my inbox and say they are struggling as well,” Becnel said. “Since I’m not a mental health professional, I always ask people if they are getting help, and the answer is usually that they don’t really have time or that they can’t afford it. For those people who really desperately need it but can’t afford it, I want to find a way to make it happen.”

Kake by the Pound, Makeup Over Everything, Xtcht Artist Photography, Shira Did It! Hair Care, in addition to Toni B. Franklin and Farrah Rochon, have contributed to a Valentine’s Day Couple’s Package valued at more than $400.

The package includes a makeup session, a braided hairstyle, a photo package, a cake, an embroidered blanket and a goodie basket. To enter, individuals must submit a $10 donation to the following PayPal link:

Becnel said she would like to include a dinner for two at a local restaurant in the Valentine’s Day Package. Restaurants interested in donating a couple’s dinner for the mental health fundraiser can email
The fundraising goal for the initial raffle is $500. Additional fundraisers will be held, and local businesses and individuals are welcome to email Becnel to contribute.

“We do plan to incorporate other services and activities, but for right now, the proceeds are just to cover the counseling sessions. We will pay the therapist or psychiatrist directly,” Becnel said. “The money is not being dispersed to the individual. We want to ensure the services are being rendered and that the money is being used for the reason people have donated.”

Becnel reminds River Parishes residents that mental health resources are available to those in need. She recommended the following professionals:

  • Meghan Borne Kilbert
  • Yvonne Gaspard 985-308-1611 com
  • Innovative Approaches Counseling Center 985-618-3558
  • Creative Family Solutions 985-331-1999
  • Sumer Ledet