Special to the Journal
Representative and City Councilor at Large Jessica Giannino Acknowledges May as Mental Health Month:
During the City Council meeting on Monday, May 3rd, Councilor Giannino filed a late motion acknowledging May as Mental Health Awareness Month. The motion was passed unanimously by the Council. Mental Health Month raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness.
“As someone who has struggled with anxiety for most of their adult life, it’s so personal to me that I acknowledge the importance of mental health and the impact it has on not only ourselves, but on our friends and families. You cannot help others without taking care of yourself first.” said Giannino. “It’s so important to me to end the stigma of mental health issues. So often, people are embarrassed of how they are feeling and embarrassed to seek help.”
Mental health is essential for a person’s overall health. Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on the mental health of people of all ages, and now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles that commonly prevents individuals from seeking help. Knowing when to turn to friends, family, and co-workers when you are struggling with life’s challenges can help improve your mental health. Living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating mental health tools to thrive may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. Seeking professional help when self-help efforts to improve your mental health aren’t working is a sign of strength, not weakness.