Several events and activities are planned for the Cortland area over the next few weeks in observance of “May is Mental Health Month.” The goal is to encourage members of the community to learn more about mental health and raise awareness of the important role it plays in our lives.
On Wednesday, May 13, the Mental Health Association of Cortland County is hosting a dinner from 5 to 8 pm at the Ramada Inn. The dinner will feature keynote presentations by Garra Lloyd-Lester of the NY State Suicide Prevention Center and by students from Sharing Our Stories, a project developed at the Cortland Alternative School with grant funding from the Mental Health Foundation in Albany. The dinner is free, but reservations are required and can be made by contacting Mike Pisa at Catholic Charities at 756-5992, ext. 142 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are also welcome.
The third annual “May is Mental Health Month” Walk is on Wednesday, May 27. The theme of the walk is “Mindfulness Matters.” Walkers will meet at the Wishing Wellness Center, 24 Church Street, Cortland, and walk to 8 Riverview Avenue for a picnic and a Mental Health Awareness proclamation read by Mayor Tobin.
The Think Again Group (TAG), a local group working to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, will have weekly articles in the Cortland Standard in May. Articles will share the personal perspectives of community members active in mental health support and advocacy.
According to Mental Health America (MHA), a national advocacy organization, mental illnesses are not only common, they are treatable. There are many intervention options for mental illnesses, ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support. It may take some time for a person to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that works best for them. But when they do, the results can be life-changing.
It’s up to all of us to know the signs and take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated, and we can live up to our full potential. We know that effective intervention during early stages can save lives and change the trajectories of people living with mental health conditions.
The MHA points out that when we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start early and begin with prevention. So why aren’t we as proactive for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illnesses?
About half of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health disorder sometime in their life, with first onset usually in childhood or adolescence.
Research shows that symptoms of serious mental health conditions may often begin up to 10 years before people seek help. By ignoring symptoms, we lose ten years in which we could intervene in order to change people’s lives for the better. During these years most people still have supports that allow them to succeed—home, family, friends, school, and work. Getting help during early stages can save lives and also change the lives of people with mental health conditions and their families.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a mental health screening. Go to www.mhascreening.org to take a screening for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Use your screening results to start a conversation with your primary care provider, or a trusted friend or family member, and begin to plan a course of action for addressing your mental health needs. MHA’s goal is to get every American screened and aware of their mental health. For more information, go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net.
Survivors Of a Loved One’s Suicide (SOLOS) Support Group
Come join us in a safe, comfortable environment to talk about your lost loved one(s). Meetings are held
the first Thursday of every month from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm. For more info please contact Family Counseling Services at 607-753-0234.
Parents & Change: Support group for parents and caregivers of children, teens & adults with mental health conditions
Contact: Beckey, email: email@example.com
Mental Health is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is talking about it.
First meeting will be held at 90 Central Avenue in Cortland on Monday, May 18, 6:00-7:30 pm.
Meeting schedule as follows: every third Monday of the month
June 22, 2015 July 20, 2015
August 17, 2015 September 21, 2015
October 19, 2015 November 23, 2015
December 21, 2015