A New Focus on Mental Health Awareness
Posted on 05/05/2021

This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. The global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, and a lot of us struggled with our mental health as a result.

In recognition of the importance of mental health, the Benton-Franklin Health District Board of Health passed a resolution last week proclaiming May 2021 as Mental Health Month in Benton and Franklin Counties.

The Board also called upon the community to commit to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps people can take to protect their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.

In observance of National Mental Health Awareness month, BFHD encourages our community members to pause and care for their mental health. Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Ask for help when you need it, utilize resources, and take time for self-care.

“It is okay not to feel okay right now, this year even more than ever. Take advantage of the tools and resources that are available.” said Dr. Amy Person, health officer for Benton and Franklin Counties. “Whole person care starts with mental health.”

Everyone can take actions to care for themselves and their friends and family:

• Reach out to loved ones to show them you care. Check in through a text and simply ask, “How are you?”

• Check in with your own mental health with a mental health online screening tool.

• If you are experiencing excess stress call Washington Listens at 833-681-0211 for support and resources.

Mental health wellness translates to physical wellness and everyone needs help sometimes. If you find yourself or a loved one in a crisis or having thoughts of suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or chat online. Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.