Dutchess County Celebrates May as Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is getting in on the action. In a recent statement, he proclaimed Mental Health Awareness Month recognized and celebrated in Dutchess County.

Mental Health Awareness Month in Dutchess County

According to Mental Health America (MHA), Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed since 1949. Molinaro is calling for increased awareness and understanding of mental illness, as part of the county’s ongoing efforts to #BreakingThrough the stigma associated to mental illness. Society may have come so far in the past decades in our knowledge and attention to the subject, but there is still much to be done to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and those around them.

Breaking Through is a movement “addressing the opioid crisis: eradicating stigma and creating hope”. Learn more about the county’s approach to combating the issue and connect to the resources they offer by calling or texting their 24/7 helpline at 845-485- 9700.

“We need to break the stigma and speak openly about the realities of the opioid epidemic, so no one is ever ashamed or afraid to admit they or someone they love is in pain or needs help. I encourage you to help someone you know find treatment, reach out to a family who has lost a loved one lend your support, train in the use of Narcan, or share your recovery story to inspire others. ยป

– Marc Molinaro, Dutchess County Manager

To help spread the word, NAMI Mid-Hudson has tied NAMI white ribbons on trees, flag poles and in high visibility areas to reinforce their anti-stigma awareness campaign.

National prevention week

Alongside Mental Health Awareness Month, this week of May 8-14 is National Prevention Week. The Dutchess County Council on Substance Abuse Prevention and Education (CAPE) recently released a message in support of the movement.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis, 988 provides a connection to free, confidential support. There is hope. The lifeline WORKS. For confidential 24/7 support, call, text or chat on 988.

CAPE has been serving the Dutchess community since 1987 and provides prevention programs, education and recovery services to individuals and families in the community.

mental health epidemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on March 2 stating that the pandemic has led to a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide and summarizing the effect of the pandemic on the availability mental health services. Unprecedented stress caused by social isolation, as well as uncertainty around jobs, health care and death, have damaged the health of millions of people.

“Loneliness, fear of infection, suffering and dying for oneself and loved ones, grief after bereavement, and financial worries were also cited as stressors leading to anxiety and depression. Among health workers, burnout was a major trigger for suicidal thoughts”, WHO

The brief published by the WHO indicates that the pandemic has affected the mental health of young people and that they are disproportionately exposed to suicidal and self-destructive behavior. He also said that women were more severely affected than men. People with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, cancer and heart disease were more likely to develop systems mental disorders.

Local resources to support your mental health

I thought it would be wise to have a collection of information and resources to offer for mental health services and awareness. This is not one of our typical galleries. It’s not “Best of” or “Top Ranking”. It’s not like rating a McDonald’s restaurant. Different practices offer different services and approaches, and trying to quantify this would ignore the individual approaches and benefits offered. This is simply a list of resources to help anyone in difficulty. Maybe it can make someone’s journey a little easier and potentially help someone’s life.

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