May is Mental Health Month, Mental Health Groups Offer Support

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) –  The Mental Health Association of RI and the mental community begin their annual recognition of Mental Health Month.

According to MHARI, COVID-19 is as much a mental health crisis as it is medical and economic, and people are struggling and often feel alone.

For those reasons, the mental health community came together to provide free resources, virtual events and “nuggets of inspiration”, every day in the month of May.

Participating groups include: MHARI; Horizon Healthcare Partner/BH Link; the Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals; DCYF; NAMI; CODAC; Interfaith Counseling Center, The Providence Center, and more.

Residents who want to receive these free resources and participate in virtual events are suggested to follow the groups on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The MHA’s series of free workshops will feature local experts to present on topics such as: best practices for homeschooling; maintaining recovery from an eating disorder; anxiety and depressions; coping skills and getting a good night’s sleep amid the pandemic.

MHA says First Gentleman Andy Moffit will kick off the vent with a special pre-recorded message, and later in the month, they will post a pre-recorded interview with Health Insurance Commissioner Marie Ganim.

“COVID-19 is a mental health crisis, as much as it is a medical emergency and economic disaster,” said Laurie-Marie Pisciotta, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association. “Any mental health condition is going to be exacerbated by this crisis. We know that people are feeling scared, depressed, lonely, restless, and tired. We want Rhode Islanders to know that it is okay not to be okay, which is the theme of this year’s May Is Mental Health Month.”

Mental health organizations have been playing a key part in helping patients and clients on the frontlines, says MHA.

“This year, it is more important than ever to highlight “May as Mental Health Month,” stated Robert Abbruzzese, Jr., BH Link Director.  “BH Link stands proudly with our partners across the state in ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to the services and supports needed to promote positive and healthy mental well-being during this incredibly stressful time.”

Kathryn Power, Acting Director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, said, “the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for everyone, particularly those who are concerned about health, employment and/or income-related challenges. We also know that in the midst of this pandemic, we are still confronting an opioid epidemic, and we want to make sure we are not losing the message about seeking help and having hope for recovery.”

“This makes it all the more important that we acknowledge and champion the importance of mental health, and take steps to care for ourselves and those who struggle with mental health and substance use disorders. As advocates have said for so long, there is hope, because mental illnesses, like illnesses affecting our bodies, are just that — conditions that can be treated, “she continued.

Residents who wish to see the calendar of free workshops are asked to visit www.mhari.org.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

 

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island, Your Health