Personal & Community Wellness on World Mental Health Day
Sunday, 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 over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began. While we’ve met new challenges, and faced old ones, head on, we continue to live our daily lives in a changing world. Mental health is impacted by far-reaching issues surrounding physical health, mental illnesses, emotional and behavioral disorders, social class and income disparity, systemic racism, gender and sexual orientation, trauma, addiction and more.
Access to appropriate mental health care is often inequitable. It is vitally important for all of us to invest in our own personal mental wellness, and that of our families and communities, by both utilizing and supporting mental health programs, networks, and services.
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.
How Mindfulness Can Help Kids (and Parents!) Weather Emotional Storms
PreK-K Mindfulness tools won’t prevent emotional storms. Sometimes, that’s just what it means to be a kid (and an adult!). Yet being aware of our thoughts, our emotions, our surroundings and our breathing can help us remain anchored while we wait for the clouds to pass.
Grades 6-12 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; video of focus groups of youth, parents/caregivers/mentors, and educators discussing youth mental health issues; a workshop by Operation Parent on what adults need to know about teens and social media; and video featuring personal experiences from youth and young adults on their experiences with mental illness and mental health issues.
Suicide Prevention: How Can Schools Help? | Above the Noise
Grades PreK-4 During stressful or intense emotional moments, children may not have the coping skills to calm themselves. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is a calming exercise that both children and parents can practice to relax and feel grounded, and one that children as young as three can practice.
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 information, visit their website or Facebook page.
NAMI of Champlain Valley
NAMI-Champlain Valleyis 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, 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. For more information on this state office and their services, go to the OMH website.
National Mental Health Resources
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
TheNational 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.