May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
The importance of supporting everyone’s mental health has become increasingly clear during the last few years. Even before the pandemic, more middle and high school students were reporting anxiety and depression than in years past. Young people in our region say things have gotten much harder since 2020 and still don’t feel normal. Many other groups of people also report increased stress and mental health challenges, including parents and caregivers, teachers and school staff, health care professionals, older adults, first responders, people who live alone, and more.
If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health challenges, you are not alone.
There are so many different things that affect our mental health, but some things are clear: we need to continue reducing the stigma surrounding mental health challenges and make sure everyone has the ability to talk about it. We also need easier, quicker access to affordable mental health services and to positive connection in our lives overall.
Since CSO became our area’s Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) in January, they have expanded services. These slides explain what a CBHC is and what they offer.
A few resources to check out and share!
Looking for mental health resources and connection?
- Spread the word: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support. Text or call 988 or chat online via the link above.
- Check out this page from the Greenfield 4SC Coalition with local, statewide, and national resources.
- Read this post from Those Nerdy Girls: I am struggling with my mental health and what I am doing isn’t working. What can I do to feel better?
Are you a parent or caregiver?
- These popular webinars for parents and caregivers of teens from Families for Depression Awareness are free! You can register for upcoming webinars or watch past webinars.
- HandHold MA offers strategies, support, and resources that help parents and caregivers know when to be concerned about their children’s mental health and what to do next.
Interested in mental health policy and how it affects children?
- A National Agenda for Children’s Mental Health from Child Trends presents a vision and set of strategies for creating a more effective and equitable mental health system for children and youth nationwide.
- State Policymakers Can Support Equitable School-based Telemental Health Services offers ways for state policymakers to support the equitable provision of school-based health services via videoconferencing or phone, which can expand children’s access to important mental health services.
Interested in the connections between bias, racism, and mental health, and what we can do?
- Addressing Discrimination Supports Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts finds that experiences of identity-based discrimination among youth are associated with increased risk of suicide. The authors provide strategies for leaders to ensure that state suicide prevention plans address discrimination.
- Resources to Support Children’s Emotional Well-Being Amid Anti-Black Racism, Racial Violence, and Trauma provides recommendations for caregivers to support children who have experienced racism or racial trauma.
Are you a service provider (e.g. healthcare professional, mental health professional, school staff member) in our region?
You probably already know about a lot of resources – we wanted to highlight these upcoming trainings that recently came to our attention.
- SafeSide Framework for Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities:
- Half-day workshops plus ongoing support for a year after the training.
- This comprehensive, interactive training for service providers in rural communities especially focuses on youth, substance use, and Indigenous communities. Attendees will get free, ongoing support for one year after the workshop.
- Register here.