Mental Health Awareness Month 2016
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Organizations across the nation work to bring awareness to mental illness and spread the word that mental health is important to everyone. Tens of millions of Americans are affected by mental illness and their struggles are our struggles as well!
Per Obama’s Presidential Proclamation, “This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve.”
At Amberwing, this is our daily commitment. We work to reduce stigma, assist with access to appropriate supports and work to improve the mental health of our community at large.
We celebrated Mental Health Awareness month by participating in a “Contribute” and receiving a “Contribute” as well. Contribute is to do something nice for someone else. It can include helping a friend or sibling with homework, make something nice for someone else, surprise someone with a hug, a note, or a favor and even volunteer.
On Tuesday, May 17, our “contribute” was to make treat bags for the YWCA’s Girl Power groups held at local schools. Amberwing kids and staff filled bags with candy and uplifting, positive notes to encourage positive mental health. Information on how to contact Amberwing with questions and concerns was also provided.
We weren’t the only one contributing that day. Annie Sitek, The Cupcake Lady, generously donated 100 cupcakes to treat all of the Amberwing programs and staff on this special day. It was a wonderful learning opportunity for Amberwing youth to feel the joy of both giving and receiving. It made each of them feel noticed and important; to have someone give so freely to people she does not know.
Mental health issues affect us all and together, we can educate, treat and destigmatize for a healthier community!