During the month of May, the American Counseling Association (ACA) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Established in 1949, Mental Health Month sought to put a spotlight on the importance of mental health and wellness ( https:// bit. ly/ 3tfXl74). Each year we continue to fight against the stigma associated with mental health, provide support for those with mental illness and the counselors supporting them, as well as advocate for policies (bit.ly/3n- HzFak) on behalf of those with mental illness and their loved ones.
While 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness over the course of their lifetimes, everyone will face challenges that can and will affect their mental health. Licensed professional counselors play a critical role in providing care and guidance for those who are struggling with mental health (bit. ly/3ugkszE). ACA members all across the country are dedicated to assisting anyone who is struggling with mental health.
Last Friday during the Chatham County Commission meeting, Chairman Chester Ellis and the Commissioners presented a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Maureen McFadden of Gateway Behavioral Health Services and Chief Lydia McCrary of Chatham Emergency were in attendance to accept the proclamation.
When speaking to Ms. Maureen McFadden, Director of Child and Adolescent Programs and Director of Outreach, Gateway CSB she had this to say about Mental Health Awareness: “May is Mental Health Awareness month which means it is a great time to reflect on ourselves and how we are doing. Many of us suffer with depression, anxiety, and other types of mental illness. Just like a physical illness requires treatment to recover, so does mental illness. Let us all take some time during this month to think about what we can do to improve our mental health. Let’s also support those who are struggling with mental illness and encourage them to seek treatment. Depression, anxiety and other diagnoses are not signs of weakness. Instead these mental health problems are signs we need to seek help outside of ourselves. Great strength is demonstrated by those who recognize and obtain services to help them manage these issues. Life is short, let’s use the month of May to be mindful of our mental health and to give ourselves and one another the support to reach out for help.”
Throughout the month of May, The Savannah Tribune will provide information regarding services that are offered in our community.