May is Mental Health Awareness month  

Special to the Enquirer

Montgomery – Each May, the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) promotes Mental Health Awareness Month along with other national organizations to raise awareness and acceptance surrounding mental health and to reduce stigma. This year Mental Health Month’s theme is “Look Around, Look Within.” From your neighborhood to friends and families, many factors come into play when it comes to mental health.
 
“This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to inform Alabamians of life saving resources, like 988 and Crisis Centers, for individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders who may be in a crisis.  Whether we share resources, encourage others to seek help, or simply are there for someone when they reach out to us, we instill hope and reduce stigma” Alabama Commissioner of Mental Health Kimberly Boswell said.
 
In a crisis, call 988, an easy to remember number, offering a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress. Anyone can dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
 
An individual’s decision to access care can impact if, how and when mental health needs are met, which in turn affects mental health. However, one can take steps to protect their well-being. One of the steps you can take is reach out and make a call to a Warmline such as the Wings Across Alabama’s Warmline or the R.O.S.S Helpline, both of which are available 24/7, with peer support specialist available to offer assistance or resources.
 
If crisis stabilization is needed, Crisis centers are designated places for individuals to walk in, or for law enforcement, first responders and EMS personnel to take an individual that is in mental health or substance abuse crisis. At the center, the individual may receive stabilization, evaluation, and psychiatric services. Click here for the locations of Crisis Centers.  

The department invites mental health providers and partners, and business, civic and faith-based communities to join in sharing the vital information that mental health is something everyone should care and talk about.
 
For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month, please contact the Office of Public Information at publicinformation.dmh@mh.alabama.gov or 334-242-3417. 

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