Green lights shine outdoors Thrivent Financial in downtown Hollidaysburg in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month. Mirror photograph by Holly Claycomb
Passersby in Hollidaysburg this month might have seen an abundance of green – from bows on the parking meters to the lights on the courthouse and different buildings as companies, organizations and a few residents work collectively to shine a light-weight on mental health.
“Basically, it’s Light the Way for Mental Health as a result of May is Mental Health Awareness month,” mentioned Melanie Ramsey, director of group relations and occasions for Hollidaysburg.
Ramsey mentioned only a easy gesture might help unfold the phrase about mental sickness.
“Put a green mild in entrance of your property, enterprise, faculty and hold it on the entire month,” she mentioned.
The thought for the marketing campaign got here from Blair County’s System of Care grant and its partnership with different System of Care grant counties – particularly York County, mentioned Lorie Craine, director of scientific providers at Blair HealthSelections.
The May Mental Health committee got here up with the marketing campaign to spark a dialog, she mentioned, noting the committee consists of herself, together with Lindsey Wagner, additionally from Blair HealthSelections, and Cindy James, Blair County’s baby and adolescent social service program coordinator.
“The function actually is to deliver consciousness to mental health in hopes of lowering stigma by rising dialog round mental health,” Craine mentioned. “Hopefully that results in some systemic change.”
To get the marketing campaign underway, Craine first requested for permission from Hollidaysburg Borough Council to position green ribbons on the downtown parking meters.
Hollidaysburg Mayor Joe Dodson was all for the concept, noting that it’s nice anytime anybody can do one thing for folks fighting mental health points.
“It’s improbable to see the quantity of individuals on the town collaborating and the companies which have joined in and a few of the homes,” he mentioned. “I’m happy with our borough for doing this.”
Focusing on Allegheny Street, Craine canvassed companies and organizations, asking in the event that they wished to participate within the occasion. She offered the lights for anybody who selected to take part.
About 50 companies and organizations determined to participate, Craine mentioned.
Diana McClure, director of enterprise improvement at Keller Engineers, mentioned that Joe Keller, the proprietor, was actually smitten by collaborating.
“This is the primary 12 months that it’s been finished and we’re honored to be part of the inaugural marketing campaign,” McClure mentioned. “We simply really feel it’s an necessary trigger and we have been completely satisfied to have the ability to be part of it.”
For Cathy Griffith, president of the Griffith Family Foundation and Sideline Cancer, the choice to work with Blair County HealthSelections was simple.
“We like to crew up with different organizations to make the world a greater place,” Griffith mentioned. “I believe all people is struggling proper now, so I believed it was an incredible thought on their half to deliver consciousness to mental health. We have been thrilled to take part. ”
Not the entire collaborating companies and organizations have been in Hollidaysburg, although. Mental health service suppliers all through Blair County, church buildings and the Altoona and Logan Township police departments are additionally collaborating.
The Altoona Curve obtained concerned by holding a particular Mental Health Awareness Night on Saturday. Presented by the Blair County Suicide Prevention Task Force, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Blair County System of Care, the Curve took to the sphere towards the Richmond Flying Squirrels and followers have been inspired to put on green, Ramsey mentioned.
The gamers wore customized jerseys with the names of about 42 folks from Blair County who died by suicide, James mentioned. The jerseys have been then auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Blair County Suicide Prevention Task Force.
James mentioned the committee is hoping to develop the marketing campaign annually.
“We’re going to attempt to proceed Hollidaysburg and add on Altoona and perhaps 10 years from now we’ll have all of Blair County collaborating,” James mentioned.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults within the nation expertise mental sickness yearly and 1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 expertise a mental health dysfunction yearly. Suicide is the second main reason for demise amongst folks aged 10 to 34, the alliance acknowledged.
Those statistics are startling, organizers mentioned.
“This is one thing the place we’re shining a light-weight on; not simply suicide however all people and their wellbeing, ” Ramsey mentioned. “It’s necessary for folks to know they’m not alone and it’s necessary for them to know that they deserve assist like somebody with a bodily sickness.”
Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.
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