Franklin County targets stigma of mental health

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The Franklin County Commissioners presented a proclamation proclaiming May 2022 to be Mental Health Month in Franklin County to members of the Franklin/Fulton Mental Health/Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities/Early Intervention team, the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties and other community supporters. PROVIDED PHOTO

CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed May 2022 to be Mental Health Month in Franklin County and are urging area residents, businesses and institutions to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health struggles that often prevent individuals from seeking help.

Mental health conditions are real and prevalent in the U.S. Statistics show that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health illness at some point during their lifetime. No one is immune from times of difficulty and stress, so knowing how to handle those challenges and protect one’s mental health and well-being is important.

Living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating mental health tools can make a difference in managing one’s mental health. These tools can include recognizing and accepting one’s own feelings; finding the positive after a loss; making time for self care; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; challenging negative thinking patterns; managing anger and frustration; creating healthy routines; and supporting others. Taking a mental health screening can also help individuals assess their mental health.

Implementing these tools may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. Knowing when to turn to friends, family and co-workers when you are struggling with life’s challenges can help improve your mental health. Seeking professional help when self-help efforts to improve your mental health aren’t working is a sign of strength, not weakness.

“By declaring May to be Mental Health Month, we are calling upon everyone to increase their awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps individuals can take to safeguard their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for everyone experiencing mental health conditions,” said Franklin County Commissioner Dave Keller.

Help is available by contacting the Franklin/Fulton Mental Health, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities or Early Intervention services at 717-264-5387 or mhiddei@franklincountypa.gov. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate attention, contact Crisis Intervention Services at 717-264-2555 or 1-866-918-2555.