COMMUNITY SUPPORT IS KEY TO REDUCING MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA

Have you seen our signs around town and our social media videos? Southeast Kansas Mental
Health Center is working to raise awareness of Mental Health within the six counties we serve.

According to Mental Health America, “Whether you realize it or not, mental health plays a big
role in your overall well-being. When you’re mentally healthy, you are able to enjoy your life
and the people in it, feel good about yourself, keep up good relationships, and deal with stress.
It’s normal for your mental health to shift over time – we all face difficult situations in our lives.
Creating positive habits is a great way to support your mental health when you’re doing well
and helps you build skills to use if you do face symptoms of a mental health condition.”

We know that mental illness affects our community as mental illness and substance use
disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult
(estimated 12 million visits) according to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Making
sure that our local communities know where to get help is crucial in getting our community
members connected with resources. With the help of a SAMHSA grant, we have been able to
add on a Prevention and Promotion team. This new department will focus on raising
awareness, teaching classes, updating brochures, connecting with community partners and
more! They are working on getting certified to teach Mental Health First Aid as well as QPR
certified. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn
to help save a life from suicide. The intent is to identify and interrupt a crisis and direct that
person to the proper care.

During the month of May, SEKMHC will be raising awareness within our communities, and we
want you to know… You are Not Alone! As a community, please help reduce the stigma and
share with others that Mental Health Matters! For more information about our agency, please
visit our website at sekmhc.org and check out our social media @sekmhc for fun pictures and
videos all month long!!! A simple share can go a long way to help spread the word that help is
available!

Holly Jerome
Director of Human Resources & Marketing
Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center

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