WESTCHESTER – County Executive George Latimer officially launched the month of May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in Westchester. The annual recognition will appear in digital form outside the Westchester County Center for the month of May, and a banner will also be displayed in the entrance way of the Michaelian Office Building. In addition, a series of other initiatives will be spearheaded by the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH). The message of Mental Health Awareness Month is that mental health wellness is for everyone, and there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve mental health.
Latimer said, “It is critical that each year, we declare the month of May as Mental Health Month in Westchester. Promoting good mental health is more relevant today than ever, as there is often a stigma that is attached to mental health needs. We want to take time this May to turn the conversation towards wellness and resilience. I am very proud of all the wonderful work that is being done by our County departments, our not-for-profits and private clinicians, who offer support and services to the people of Westchester. The ways to receive help are many and varied, and we applaud those who are utilizing these opportunities to improve their mental health and wellness.”
Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) Michael Orth said, “The mental health of all Westchester County residents is a top priority. We thank County Executive Latimer for declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month, and promoting educational opportunities and services available here. The pandemic continues to take a toll on everyone’s mental health. Knowing the signs and symptoms and who to link to if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one is an important first step in getting help.”
This year there are several forums planned including the unveiling of the Healing Garden at Ridge Road Park in Hartsdale. The May is Mental Health Awareness Month DCMH Commissioner’s Forum will be held on May 17 at the White Plains Library, Harm Reduction Virtual Training on May 18 and NAMIWalks Westchester on May 20 at Ridge Road Park in Hartsdale.
This year, in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, DCMH together with the Department of Social Services will be hosting: 11th Annual Myra Alfreds Roundtable: Rowing in the same direction: Leveraging Youth and Family Voices for System Transformation on May 23 at the Westchester County Center.
Mental Health Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to address and overcome the stigma associated with mental health needs. One in five people will experience some type of mental health illness during their lifetime, but everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.
As part of the County’s efforts to promote May as Mental Health Awareness Month, DCMH is launching a “Tweet a Day for May” campaign, sharing information about events, ideas and resources. Posts will be accessible by going to: Twitter at @WestchesterDCMH, Facebook at @westchesterdcmh and Instagram at @westchester_county_dcmh. For additional information on resources, contact the Community Mental Health Dept. at (914) 995-5220.