Long Island’s two leading mental health organizations are offering a range of events and resources to mark May as “Mental Health Awareness Month.”
As Americans experience newly rising concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association for Mental Health and Wellness and its bi-county partner, the Mental Health Association of Nassau County, are encouraging Long Islanders to take advantage of an array of resources and events that promote mental health.
Focused on this year’s theme of “Tools 2 Thrive,” the two regional organizations offer an assortment of resources that include “fun, lighthearted strategies designed to bring balance and a brief respite to the stress of today’s uncertainty.”
The groups have created two separate calendars for May that offer numerous “Tools 2 Thrive.” The first calendar, which can be found at www.MHAMonth.org, lists a schedule of events and activities, which will be hosted on the Zoom or Facebook Live platforms. Activities include a yoga practice and demonstration, a mini-workshop on how food affects your mood, an interactive discussion called “Couples Under Quarantine,” a poetry workshop, an online comedy show, and other programming.
A second calendar offers a full month of “self-help” steps Long Islanders can take each day to maximize their own mental health, including personal activities and action tips that elevate one’s attitude and fortify the spirit.
“Twenty percent of Americans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime,” said Michael Stoltz, the C.E.O. of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, which is headquartered in Ronkonkoma. “The good news is that we all have it within our power to take concrete actions to improve our own mental health. Moreover, we can extend this same kind of support to our loved ones and our Long Island neighbors.”
“The coronavirus has generated a new level of interest in our mental health,” said Jeffrey McQueen, Executive Director of the Hempstead-based Mental Health Association of Nassau County. “With our area’s high virus incidence rates, stresses can be intense here on Long Island. This month presents an excellent opportunity to learn more about mental wellness and to take practical steps to fortify our own emotional health.”
The two organizations encourage local residents to take a basic mental health screening through Mental Health America. The process is a quick, free, and private way for people to assess their own mental health and to recognize signs of possible mental health problems.
Mental Health Awareness Month is coordinated nationally by Mental Health America, a national nonprofit organization that addresses the needs of those living with mental illness and promotes the overall mental health of all Americans. Each year, the initiative reaches millions of people through the media, social platforms, local events, and mental health screenings, including self-screenings.
More information can be found on each organization’s Facebook page as well as at www.MHAMonth.org.
- Association for Mental Health and Wellness: https://facebook.com/mhawsuffolk
- Mental Health Association of Nassau County: https://facebook.com/mhanassau