May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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By Danielle Miller –

Mental-Health-Awareness-Month-860-wnovThe Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division announced a month-long campaign designed to start a conversation about mental health for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division (BHD) will be holding events throughout the month of May for Mental Health Awareness Month. The campaign will feature events such as Children’s Mental Health presentation, as well as a Mental Health Nursing event to help show the importance of mental health nurses and break stigmas within the African American Community. Professionals and BHD representatives will be at the events to answer questions and give presentations about mental illness and interventions.

“There is a national shortage of nurses,” Katy Glodosky said in a press release, and that a BHD representative will be speaking about the “efforts being made to attract and keep dedicated nurses in Milwaukee County.”

The BHD said their campaign is to help reduce the stigma that comes with mental illnesses and to help those in the community find resources for treatment and recovery. The BHD will also have stories and further information on their website throughout the month. There will be a social media campaign using the hashtag #myMHconvo to help foster a conversation about mental illness in the community.

Glodoksy said that starting these conversations was important because it broke down the stigma many people face when dealing with a mental illness, especially in the African American community.

Other events going on throughout the month are Knights Against Substance Abuse 5K Awareness Walk on May 13 at Oak Creek High School, as well as talks about tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse in the youth from May 15-19 and a Red Balloon Support Group Meeting at the Shorewood Village Center. There will also be a Suicide Prevention week from May 14-20 and a prevention event that Friday. Further details and events can be found on the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division’s website.

The events will also allow the community to give feedback about programs and help make the BDH more transparent when it comes to the budget and expenses. Randy Oleszak, Fiscal Director, Department of Health & Human Services talked about the budget and its programs and services for 2018 on Thursday during a Community Conversation event.

Glodoksy said that mental health in the African American community has been normalized rather than being seen as an illness. She added that events serve to help encourage an individual to seek assistance from the resources provided and help stop mental health crisis.

BHD’s mission is to help through assessment and intervention for individuals in the community. Each event is set up with information from health care providers and supporters to discuss trauma experienced in youth, the “three pillars of healthy development” for mental health in the youth, and provide connections for those affected by mental illness.

In Milwaukee County alone there was a total of over 9,000 cases of mental disorders in 2016, with the highest number of cases from ages 18 to 44. The average hospital stay was seven days, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Source: Milwaukee Courier