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County Behavioral Health Department announces National Mental Health Awareness Month 

SLO County mental health month

–The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Department is kicking off May Mental Health month by sharing messaging of hope, kindness, and recovery. May Mental Health Awareness Month has historically helped reduce stigma, build wellness, break down barriers to treatment, and has overall helped strengthen our local communities.

Over 450 million people worldwide suffer from a mental illness, including one in five Americans. Now more than ever amid COVID-19 it is vital to recognize the importance of taking care of your mental health. As physical distancing and the Shelter at Home order continues, people are struggling to maintain good mental health. Now more than ever the department encourages individuals to reach out for help and know they are not alone.

“May Mental Health month is all about spreading awareness, love, and support in our community. It’s about opening up and sharing our own experiences with others, so we can all make it through hard times together, especially now during our state of emergency,” said Caroline Johnson, Communications Coordinator for Behavioral Health. “We know this year things look a little different and although we aren’t able to have our usual big events, we are still challenging everyone to show their support for mental health in other ways.”

The Behavioral Health Department is partnering with Transitions Mental Health Association (TMHA) to host  “Mental Health Resource Drive Through” for the community. Three drive-through locations on three different Fridays in May offer county residents a chance to pick up mental health care packages and learn about the ways they can receive virtual mental health supports during the COVID-10 pandemic.

Behavioral Health has also created a May Mental Health Month web page where community members and mental health advocates can download a variety of resources, and virtual and at-home activities meant to inspire individuals and families to practice self-care and start conversations around mental health.

The department will be highlighting the different ways San Luis Obispo County residents’ show their support on their Facebook pages and Instagram accounts as well. Virtual awards will be given to outstanding citizens and community organizations that support Mental Health Awareness Month efforts.

Community members are encouraged to drive by one of the county’s three locations to receive a sweet treat and a mental health care package. Health staff members will be handing out care packages wearing personal protective equipment and following the county public health guidelines.

The drive through dates and locations are Fridays:

  • May 15, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Transitions-Mental Health Association parking lot, 784 High Street, SLO
  • May 22,  11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Paso Robles Library Parking Lot, 1000 Spring Street, Paso Robles
  • May 29,  11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (location to be determined)

 

To get involved, the public can visit the county’s May Mental Health Month website,  Behavioral Health on Facebook and Instagram at @slobehavioralhealth.



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.