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Marin’s Approach on Mental Health: Increase Awareness to Decrease Stigma

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Marin residents seeking behavioral health services can call the 24-hour, confidential Access Line at 1-888-818-1115. Marin BHRS provides outpatient, residential, crisis services, and hospital care addressing specialty mental health and substance use service needs of Marin Medi-Cal beneficiaries and uninsured residents.

Marin HHS and partners offer educational events throughout May

San Rafael, CA — Local and global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, household economic instability, racial inequality, wars abroad, violence in the streets, and political strife can add stress to life. They also serve as a conversation starter about the pressing concern of mental health and access to care.

In Marin County, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) working with a handful of eager community partners to promote well-being during May Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Find Your Way campaign supports youth as they navigate paths to wellness, connection, and resiliency.

“It’s no wonder many people are struggling or not quite feeling themselves,” said Dr. Todd Schirmer, Director of the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division (BHRS) of Marin HHS. “This year’s statewide theme is ‘Tools 2 Thrive,’ which emphasizes the importance of building resilience and coping skills.”

May Mental Health Awareness Month provides an opportunity to prioritize mental health and to raise awareness about the resources available for those who may be struggling. This year, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and community-based partners, including NAMI-Marin[External]Marin 9 to 25[External]Opening the World[External]North Marin Community Services[External]Marin County Youth Commission[External]OD Free Marin[External] and the Marin County Suicide Prevention Collaborative[External], have put together a full spectrum of resources and events throughout the month of May. These events promote messages of hope, connection and recovery to help residents work together to create a culture of understanding and support for those who are experiencing mental health issues.

A highlight of May Mental Health Month is the Youth Art and Film Showcase[External], an annual event that will be featured at the Youth Wellness Festival on Saturday, May 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael. The festival is free, open to all ages, and includes a panel discussion, an art showcase gallery, tabling and resources, and workshop sessions. Coordinated by youth mental health advocates involved in the Marin County Youth Commission, the Suicide Prevention Collaborative’s Youth Action Team, and Marin 9 to 25, the event will feature the launch of a youth wellness campaign called, “Find Your Way[External].” The countywide campaign will support youth as they navigate their path to wellness, connection, and resiliency.

“Just letting others know you’re there for them, that you’re available if they want to talk about it, can make a big difference,” Schirmer said. “Directly asking others, ‘How are you feeling? How is your mental health?’ can be a door opener for conversation and helping others finding the support they need.”

While ‘Find Your Way’ is a youth campaign promoting youth support and tools to navigate well-being, Schirmer said there are lessons in the program for people of all ages. “If you are struggling, make a connection and ask for help,” he said. “Don’t hesitate to reach out if someone you know needs support.”

Other local events in May include:

  • a series of mental health first aid trainings;
  • a Spanish-language suicide prevention training hosted by North Marin Community Services scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 11. Register by calling (707) 408-3657;
  • a discussion titled Real Talk Matters[External]: Fighting Fentanyl and Its Impact on Mental Healthhosted by OD Free Marin at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 9.

See the full list of May Mental Health Month events on the Marin HHS website.

If you or someone you know is in distress, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, go to 988lifeline.org[External] or text “MARIN” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Marin residents seeking behavioral health services can call the 24-hour, confidential Access Line at 1-888-818-1115. Marin BHRS provides outpatient, residential, crisis services, and hospital care addressing specialty mental health and substance use service needs of Marin Medi-Cal beneficiaries and uninsured residents.

The post Marin’s Approach on Mental Health: Increase Awareness to Decrease Stigma first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.

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