Hope and help exist: come to annual mental health fair
FOR USA TODAY NETWORK-WISCONSIN
The second annual free Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resource Fair in Sheboygan County will be held 4:30-7:30 p.m. May 3 at RCS Empowers, 1607 Geele Ave., Sheboygan.
The purpose of the health fair is to provide education and awareness of resources for families, individuals and professionals in Sheboygan County that promote good mental health and/or address mental illness and alcohol and other drug abuse issues. Last year more than 263 community members that included families, individuals and professionals attended the event with 98 percent reporting they learned about new resources and 61 percent reporting that their attitudes or behaviors changed by attending the event.
Why come? Get answers to help yourself or a loved one. There will be a free chance to win an iPad and many other door prizes. A kids corner will be available to keep kiddos busy while parents find resources they need. Free food and refreshments will be offered and more than 40 vendors will be present to share resources they have that promote good mental health and/or address mental illness and alcohol and other drug abuse issues.
Even if you have no mental health issues or current concerns, mental disorders will affect one in four Americans each year and early intervention is key. We should all strive to stay mentally healthy.
In other local mental health and resource news, Mental Health America in Sheboygan County is in the process of updating its Directory of Community Resources. The newly-redesigned 2016 Directory of Community Resources is a comprehensive guide to community mental health and substance abuse services, support and crisis lines, advocacy services, legal resources, youth and family services, employment resources and more. The guide is a resource for schools, law enforcement agencies, health care providers, community organizations, families and individuals in Sheboygan County. If an organization or support group would like to be listed in the directory or anyone interested in working for an organization that previously has been listed but has not been contacted call 920-458-3951 or email jessica@ mhasheboygan.org. MHA is also working on developing an online, user- friendly, therapist and support group searchable database in the coming months. Healthy Sheboygan County 2020’s Stigma subcommittee is leading the effort with support from several sponsors - Aurora, Homes for Independent Living, Mental Health America in Sheboygan County, Prevea/ St. Nicholas Hospital, RCS Empowers, Sheboygan County Service Providers and Sargento. Every day folks do find recovery, help and hope for mental health and/or substance abuse struggles.
Community wide efforts, such as the resource fair, are intended to help anyone find hope and create healthier communities to live and play in.
Kate Baer is the cochair of the Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee and executive director of Mental Health America in Sheboygan County