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Tulare county HHSA: May is mental health awareness month

Tulare county HHSA: May is mental health awareness month

The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency is setting out to raise awareness, engage the community, and increase pathways to wellness by holding events and training sessions and hosting educational booths throughout the month of May, designated as Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Wellness is essential to living a long and productive life,” said Chairman Pete Vander Poel. “Wellness comprises a set of skills and strategies to prevent the onset of or shorten the duration of illness. The importance of mental health to a person’s overall health and well-being can never be understated.”

“Fully embracing the concept of wellness improves both mental and physical health and maximizes the potential to lead a full and productive life,” said Irma Rangel, Chair of the Tulare County Mental Health Board.

Maintaining wellness involves a balanced diet, regular exercise and sleep patterns, developing a sense of self-worth and coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends, and the community. For some residents, moving toward these concepts also involves the assistance of medical staff and counselors.

Dr. Timothy Durick, Director of Mental Health for Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency said, “Using strategies to promote resiliency, with the goal of strengthening one’s mental health and decreasing reliance on alcohol and illicit drugs, leads to improved general health and a healthier society.”

Here are some of the events during Mental Health Awareness Month:

· May 7: Board of Supervisors Proclamation at 9:00 a.m.

· May 9: Day of Expression at The Enchanted Playhouse in Visalia from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Presentation from the No Stigma Speakers Bureau, Black Men Speak from Oakland, and artwork by mental health clients.

· May 10: Men of Color Workshop at Brooks Chapel in Tulare from 6-7:30 p.m. A choral and speakers bureau presentation highlights issues concerning African-American males with mental health and substance abuse challenges.

· May 17: Rawhide Baseball Game and fireworks at 7:00 p.m. Through a partnership with the Visalia Rawhide, Mental Health Awareness will be highlighted for the second year at the ballpark.

· May 18: Slick Rock Film Festival at the Visalia Fox Theater at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Hosted by the Tulare County Office of Education and sponsored by the Tulare and Kings Counties Suicide Prevention Task Force, the 10th annual Slick Rock Festival features free admission, and screenings are held of films created around the categories of suicide prevention, Step Up, and Come Play in Tulare County.

· May 23: Wellness & Recovery Conference, A Home, a Job, and a Date at the Holiday Inn-Airport in Visalia, 9 a.m. 4:00 p.m. Featuring mental health specialist Dr. Frederick Frese and several workshops. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

· May 24: Hispanic Childrens Art Exhibit & Open House at the Woodlake Family Resource Center from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Focused on the Hispanic family and hosted in Spanish, this art exhibit and open house features a panel of mental health professionals who will lead a discussion on mental health awareness and service accessibility among the Spanish-speaking community and children with unique needs. · Month-long: Art installation at 210 Connect by those impacted by mental illness.

For a full listing of events, training, and hosted booths, please visit www.tchhsa.org, TulareCountyHHSA on Facebook, or call Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency Mental Health Services at 559-624-7445.

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