June 3, 2013 by Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., Executive Director, NACBHDD
Under George Washington’s ever watchful eyes in the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait, President Barack Obama on June 3 announced a very important new community campaign for a much different era. The event was an extremely-rare White House National Conference on Mental Health (hashtag #MentalHealthMatters). The President used the historical venue of the East Room to address the debilitating issue of mental illness stigma and to launch a national dialogue on mental health in order to encourage those with mental health and substance use issues to reach out and seek care.
This was the theme of the 13th annual Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health Awareness walk held on Friday, May 17, 2013
The walk started at 10:30 AM at 801 Main St., Stroudsburg and ended at Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. Participants wanted to fight the stigma that often comes with mental illness. Lunch was provided to all participants at the pavilion. The walk was approximately 1.3 miles.
Photo to left: Rebecca D., Mike M., Mike B., & Brian S.
Below: Participants enjoying a celebratory luncheon outdoors after the walk.
Below: Kim S. & Mike M. answer questions and pass along educational materials on mental health.
BPSSL is peer facilitated and is not affiliated with any particular religion – all adults are welcome. In addition to the anguish of losing a child or sibling of any age, there are unique elements of grieving for those who have taken their own lives; the questions we ask of ourselves, the questions we are asked by others, possibly feelings of guilt, regret or remorse, the attitudes we encounter and the thoughtless remarks. Bereaved Parents and Siblings of Suicide Loss offers a supportive forum to air these questions and feelings and find out how others in our position are building their strength and hope, and finding some peace.
Registration is not required and there is no fee. For meeting location, contact Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-236-1168.
Information about the signs of mental illness; how to seek help; and how individuals, families, and communities can be involved in discussion about mental health and mental illness, recovery, and hope is included. Videos of individuals’ stories of hope and recovery are also available.
A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Toolkit for Community Conversations about Mental Health will be available in the future. The toolkit is in three parts, an information brief, discussion guide, and an organizing guide to assist communities with understanding, prevention, identification, treatment, and supports for persons with mental illnesses. The information brief is available now.
The web site was announced during the White House Mental Health Conference on June 3, held to broaden the conversation about mental health, reduce stigma, educate about the many services and supports that are available, and encourage those who need help to seek it. One means to assist with identification and response to persons with mental illness in need of assistance is Mental Health First Aid, a program similar to first aid that trains non-professional individuals to provide support for persons in crisis until professional help can arrive. Programs providing support through social media were also discussed. View information about the conference and President Obama’s remarks on the White House Blog.