Prioritizing mental health in May and beyond

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed annually in May, serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing mental well-being and promoting a supportive environment for those navigating the complexities of their mental health journeys. By providing a platform for open dialogue and sharing of resources, this month serves as an opportunity to further remove the stigma around mental health conditions, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), affect 970 million people worldwide. To further exacerbate these issues, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed a more than 25% increase in conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being and warrants the same level of attention and care as physical health. Started in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to reframe the conversation and remove stigma related to mental health struggles. Additionally, this month seeks to empower individuals interested in seeking help, without fear of judgment or discrimination.

Organizations at all levels are taking action to support, educate and empower individuals. One organization, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has created their More Than Enough campaign. This campaign is focused on reminding people that each step they take and effort to show up, as themselves, is ‘more than enough.’

Locally, there are numerous community resources to support individuals year-round who may be in need of support.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services — With a focus on providing “recovery at every step with caring, compassionate mental health and addiction experts,” Pine Rest offers comprehensive mental health services, including in-person and teletherapy, inpatient and residential treatment programs and addiction support. With 21 locations from southwest Michigan up to Traverse City, there are various options to help patients engage with their services.

Network 180 — As the community mental health authority for Kent County, Network 180 provides 24/7 support to youths, adults and families. They assist with substance abuse, mental health, individual and developmental disabilities as well as crisis support. Crisis support can be requested by calling (616) 336-3909.

Cherry Health — In addition to their physical health care services, Cherry Health provides comprehensive support to all, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay or insurance coverage status. As the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the state, they offer counseling, a Family Engagement Therapy Program, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs and more.

Arbor Circle —  By focusing on an individual’s ability to change and their resiliency, Arbor Circle strives to assist those looking to gain support and heal. As it relates to mental health, Arbor Circle supports youths, adults and families by providing recovery services and counseling. Through their Prevention and Advocacy Team, they provide education throughout the community to bring awareness to substance use and mental health. 

Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan — The Mental Health Foundation’s mission is “to equip individuals with the knowledge to recognize, understand, accept and take action when it comes to mental health.” By providing education, they seek to provide the knowledge needed to feel confident taking action. Through their be.nice mental health and suicide prevention program, individuals are encouraged to shift their thinking and reach out for support as they identify changes in their mental health.

Mental health and wellness is not a consideration for a month. It can require consistent focus, diligence and support.

For those looking to engage with a mental health professional, to ensure a good fit and availability, be sure to reach out directly. Additionally, help is available by calling or emailing 2-1-1. 2-1-1 offers chat and text support and also provides details of other community resources here. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 9-8-8.

About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has over 15 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing, and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with: strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management, and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.

Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at [email protected]!
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