Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall health. With a growing number of Americans experiencing mental health symptoms, we need to join together to advocate for improving access to mental health. Together, we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC), Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider serving children, adults and families, has launched a Mind Your Mind initiative that provides resources, positive content, tips and exercises for enhanced mindfulness and wellbeing. Mind Your Mind also features opportunities to support community mental health—whether at home, school, or workplace.
To learn more visit, DLCMindYourMind.org.
Here are four ways you can become a mental health advocate with DLC this summer:
Care for your mental health by taking the time to de-stress and relax. By using healthy practices to cope with emotions and challenges, you will be better prepared to care for others and face difficulties.
In honor of national Mental Health Awareness Month, DLC will host its first-ever Mind Your Mind Community Day on May 14 from 8 – 11 a.m. at Cambier Park in downtown Naples.
DLC welcomes the community to join together in an action packed morning that will celebrate health, wellness and community. Attendees will be able to participate in a variety of fun and family friendly wellness activities and educational opportunities from community partners, including yoga, fitness, art and pet therapy and food vendors.
They say knowledge is power, and there is a lot to learn when it comes to mental health. Knowing what to do and where to go when help is needed is a good place to start. Learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns so that they can be addressed as early as possible. You can also identify challenges your community faces in addressing mental health, such as state and local funding challenges, and make a difference when the time to vote comes.
Aome Rogers, a mental health advocate and a member of the DLC Advocates, shares her journey to mental wellness and finding purpose as a volunteer.
“Mental illness can be residual from years of trauma, or it can simply be genetic. Mental illness can be a child struggling with anxiety, or a senior citizen dealing with years of isolation,” explains Aome. “It is important that we check on our family, friends, and colleagues, and know the signs of mental illness.”
DLC offers a variety of awareness and prevention programs that can help bridge the gap between mental health and the community, such as Mental Health First Aid. On July 29, from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., DLC will offer Youth Mental Health First Aid. Through this interactive training, attendees will learn to identify concerns by better understanding signs and symptoms and risk factors. By focusing on real-life scenarios, participants will develop, and practice, the skills learned to support and intervene in crisis situations.
To learn more, visit DLCenters.org/YMHFA.
Talk About it
Share what you learn. Openly and objectively talking about mental health contributes to breaking the stigma. Reassure others that it is okay to seek assistance for mental health concerns.
“If my story can help just one other person—because things can and will get better—it makes sharing my journey worthwhile,” added Aome.
There are many ways to support organizations. You can attend a fundraiser, make a donation, or promote their services by word of mouth and social media so that others know what resources are available.
To support mental health, you can become a member of the DLC Advocates. The primary goal of the DLC Advocates is to spread awareness through a variety of social and fundraising events. The next DLC Advocates event is their wildly popular Sunset Cruise on June 16 at 6 p.m. aboard the Naples Princess.
To learn more, visit DLCAdvocates.org.
“I found my purpose in life again,” said Aome. “As a member of the DLC advocates, I met like-minded people and they became my friends and also a support network, which is an integral tool in recovery and healing.”
Join DLC and become an advocate by raising awareness, fighting stigma, educating the public and advocating or support for people with mental illness and their families.