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Recognizing May as National Mental Health Awareness Month is particularly important this year as the impacts on mental health from COVID-19 linger, raising awareness of mental health and its effect on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month in Larimer County.

"It is critical that we keep Mental Health at the forefront of our conversations.  Talking about it is one of the best ways to reduce the stigma around it and encourage people to seek help before a crisis hits," said Larimer County Director of Behavioral Health Services Laurie Stolen.

A study conducted by Mental Health America in 2020 highlights the connection between the pandemic and mental health. Key findings from the study show that the number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed, more people are reporting frequent thoughts of suicide and self-harm, and young people are struggling the most with their mental health.

Mental Health America also collects state-by-state mental health data to create state rankings. The state rankings for 2020 show that 20% of Coloradans live with mental illness and that Colorado ranks 43rd out of 50 states with a higher prevalence of mental health issues and lower rates of access to care for adults.

“We know that this issue touches all of us in our lives, and it is important for us to address this and reduce the stigma and see what we can do to raise awareness with our youth,” said Larimer County Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally.

Larimer County continues to advance mental health initiatives to support the mental and behavioral wellbeing of county residents. In June, Behavioral Health Services will announce its annual behavioral health grant funding available to area organizations through the Impact Fund Grant Program. Meanwhile, work continues on the new behavioral health facility scheduled to open in early 2023, expanding the availability of acute behavioral health services to county residents.

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949 to educate communities about psychological disorders while reducing the stigma around mental health.

Do you need someone to talk to? Call the Connections Emotional Support Line: 1-970-221-5551. Support is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Are you or someone you know experiencing a mental health crisis?  Call 1.844.493.TALK or text TALK to 38255.

 

Published on: 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 11:21am
Contact Details:

Jennifer Wolfe-Kimbell, Communication and Media Specialist, Larimer County Behavioral Health Services, [970] 498-7127, wolfekje@larimer.org

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