Awareness, Advocacy, and Wellness on World Mental Health Day

Saturday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Each year, around the globe, this day helps to draw a focus on issues related to mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma.

This year’s World Mental Health Day comes at a time when our daily lives have changed significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These past months have created many new challenges, and exacerbated old ones, underscoring the importance of utilizing and investing in mental health programs and networks.

Below are local, state, and national resources to help open conversations on what mental health is, how we can help those in need, tips for mindfulness and other emotional support tools, and specific organizations to reach out to if you or someone you know is in need.

And remember, to support a community, we must also support ourselves – it’s always OK to ask for help.

PBS supports for families

Practice mindfulness with your kids

Mindfulness is the state of being present in the moment – a great way to calm your body and mind in order to take better care both physically and mentally. Mountain Lake PBS has some mindfulness tips and strategies to help you incorporate deep breathing, yoga, pauses for emotional check-ins and more into your family’s day-to-day routine.

Youth Mental Health⎪PBS LearningMedia

This PBS LearningMedia collection is part of KET’s initiative on youth mental health and includes videos from the KET series, You Are Not Alone, which explores answers to depression, anxiety, toxic stress, and suicide through the lens of experts, educators, parents, and youth.
Content is appropriate for grades 6 and up.

Headline⎪Children’s Mental Health

In this video from HEADLINE, Andrea Smyth from the New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health talks about how COVID-19 is affecting children, and how cuts from the state could affect mental health services for kids — both in schools and in the community.

HEADLINE is a multimedia journalism collaboration between WMHT and the Times Union intended to expand news coverage, raise awareness and enhance conversations around important issues of public health and wellness.

Local & State Mental Health Resources

NAMI of Champlain Valley

NAMI-Champlain Valley is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families.

Located in Northern New York, NAMI-Champlain Valley provides free education, advocacy, and support services to all those affected (individuals and families) by brain disorders – including serious mental illnesses and/or emotional/behavioral disorders – in Clinton, Franklin, and Essex Counties. For more information, you can also visit their website or Facebook page.

Behavioral Health Services North

Behavioral Health Services North is a not-for-profit organization committed to bringing treatment, rehabilitation and support to families, individuals, and communities in a responsive and cost-effective way. BHSN supports Clinton, Franklin and Essex County communities through a variety of clinical and crisis services, and treatments for psychiatric and behavioral disorders.

Their 24/7 Crisis Helpline, (866) 577-3836, is available at all times for those who are struggling with mental health, substance use, trauma, violence or other difficulties that affect their emotional well-being. For more general information, you can also visit their website or Facebook page.

Champlain Valley Family Center

Champlain Valley Family Center is a private, non-profit community-based organization dedicated to providing substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and related support programs to promote the well-being and quality of life for the residents of Clinton County, NY. Programs include those specifically aimed at family wellness and support. For more info, visit their website.

Clinton County Mental Health & Addiction Services Clinic

Clinton County Mental Health & Addiction Services is a mental health clinic providing a number of services for the community, including psychotherapy, medication, and consultation/evaluation. Programs are for people of all ages, from children to adults, with mental health, trauma, and/or addiction issues. You can learn more at their website, on the CCMHAS Facebook page, or by calling (518) 565-4060.

New York State Office of Mental Health

The mission of the New York State Office of Mental Health is to promote the mental health of all New Yorkers, with a particular focus on providing hope and recovery for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances. Serving over 700,000 people each year, OMH operates psychiatric centers across the State and maintains a county-by-county Community Services Directory, amongst other tools.

They also have a NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline, (844) 863-9314, with specially trained volunteers to help you in these challenging times. For more information on this state office and their services, go to the OMH website.

National Mental Health Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call in to The Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, or access more suicide prevention and mental health crisis care resources on their website or Facebook page.

The Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 mental health support via text message. All you need to do is text HELLO to 741-741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. The Crisis Counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals – all through text message, using Crisis Text Line’s secure platform. You can also access the service through messaging on Facebook Chat.