Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in the month of May. It is a time aimed at raising awareness, reducing the stigma around mental health issues, and to encourage people to learn more about mental health and the various conditions that can impact a person's well-being.
"Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall health and well-being," Travena Golliday, Step Forward's Director of Neighborhood Opportunity Centers, said. "It is essential to pay attention to our mental health needs. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. However, many people still face barriers when it comes to seeking help due to the stigma attached to mental health problems."
One of the primary goals of this year's Mental Health Awareness Month is to break down such barriers and encourage people to seek help if they need it. Experts hope the month of May is an opportunity to engage in conversations about mental health and raise awareness about the various resources available for those who need support.
One resource that is available to residents of Cuyahoga County is Step Forward's personal development program. The agency offers Individual Counseling, Baby and Mommy Support, Parenting groups, Anger Management, and Domestic Violence support at no cost to income-eligible individuals and families.
"Individual Counseling enables people to improve their situation and achieve their goals," Golliday explained. "Step Forward’s licensed social workers offer emotional and mental support to those struggling with their relationships and functioning at home, work, or in the community. Licensed Social workers will assess clients and work with them one on one to create an Individual Service Plan that will guide their treatment and improve functioning. Using various evidence-based therapeutic techniques and interventions, Step Forward social workers will help to promote mental and emotional well-being and empower clients to live their life at an optimal functional level. "
On May 5th, the agency will host "Spring Forward with Step Forward." It is an opportunity for people to gather and better understand the importance of mental health and common symptoms of mental illness. The event will also serve as an opportunity to reach out for help and support. The event will be held at Step Forward's East Neighborhood Opportunity Center, located in Euclid at 763 East 200th Street, from 9am until noon.
There are many ways to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month, whether you are an individual, a community organization, or a mental health professional. Here are some ideas:
Educate yourself and others: Take some time to learn more about mental health issues and the impact they can have on individuals and communities. Share what you learn with others to help raise awareness and reduce stigma.
Share your story: If you have experienced a mental health issue, consider sharing your story with others. This can help reduce stigma and encourage others to seek help if they need it.
Support mental health organizations: Many organizations work to support mental health and provide resources for those who need it. Consider supporting these organizations through donations, volunteering, or advocacy efforts.
Engage in self-care: Taking care of your mental health is crucial, and Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to focus on self-care. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking time for activities you enjoy.
Spread the word: Use social media or other platforms to spread the word about Mental Health Awareness Month and the importance of mental health. Share resources, personal stories, and encouragement to seek help.
Mental Health Awareness Month is an important reminder that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Together, we can reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health, and raise awareness and support for those who need it.
If you're interested in learning more about Step Forward's personal development programs, including counseling, click here.