On May 3, Westchester County Executive George Latimer will officially launch May as “Mental Health Awareness Month.” Latimer announced the annual recognition would appear in digital form outside the Westchester County Center for the month of May, as well as display a banner in the main lobby of the Michaelian Office Building.
Latimer said: “This is one of the few opportunities I get as County Executive to officially declare May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Westchester. The importance of this event is obviously good mental health, which is more relevant today than ever as we face this pandemic as a community. There is a stigma that is often attached to mental health needs, and we need to take this opportunity to promote 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 are donating their time to offer support and services to the people of Westchester. The opportunities 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 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 has taken 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.”
Mental Health Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to address and overcome the stigma associated with mental health needs. We know that one in five people will experience a mental health illness during their lifetime, but everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health, especially now. 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.
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.
DCMH will also be hosting a special event in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month: Westchester Strong: A System of Care Response to a Global Pandemic – which features a panel of key stakeholders representing Westchester County’s robust Community Network Model and a keynote presentation from Kristina Ramos-Callan of The United Hospital Fund, and co-author of COVID019 Ripple Effect: The Impact of COVID-19 on Children in New York State. Visit this website for more information.
Please watch this short film, “It’s Not Just You,” created by local Westchester County filmmakers to shed light on mental health struggles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amidst feelings of loneliness, and helplessness exacerbated by the COVID-19 lock down, a young woman approaches a bridge to contemplate ending her life, only to be pulled out by a dog barking at her. The short film was put together by local filmmakers Jessica Hester and Tommee May.