National Mental Health Awareness Month and the COVID-19 Crisis
We All Have a Role to Play for Mental Health
United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention works to unite key stakeholders in Broward County through its action teams to develop and implement prevention strategies to address specific substance abuse and mental health concerns. Our Mental Health Promotion Action Team (MHPAT) works specifically to promote mental health and wellness.
Last week, MHPAT held our first-ever Zoom meeting. As we assembled, we spoke about the great strengths of our advocacy, community network and collaborative spirit. Several members suggested ways in which our community could rally to speak in one voice and focus our attention on the mental health of our families, friends and neighbors.
On April 29, 2020, the Sun-Sentinel raised the sense of urgency with its article entitled “Mental Health Meltdown Which Looms for South Florida.” Clearly, social isolation and economic shutdown are impacting the mental health of our people in communities, state and nation. The members of MHPAT believe it is imperative to activate mental health awareness across all systems of our county on behalf of children, adults and at-risk communities.
On May 8th, MHPAT is recognizing and honoring the work of Broward 211 First Call for Help. The frontline crisis counselors of 211 Broward are responsible for providing a pathway to Broward County’s social service and mental health resources. 211’s trained staff listen and help Broward County’s residents in need to navigate our systems of care, and direct callers to targeted mental health agencies and substance use and social service resources.
These resources include:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Broward Behavioral Health Coalition 954-622-8121
- Henderson Behavioral Health Center, Inc. 954-463-0911
- Broward County National Alliance on Mental Illness 954-316-9907
- Mental Health America of Southeast Florida 954-746-2055
This National Mental Health Awareness Month, it is urgent that we view mental health as a priority. It is true: there is no health without mental health. As Kathleen Cannon, President and CEO of United Way of Broward County, stated at the recent COVID-19 virtual Town Hall Meeting, “We can take comfort in the consistency, competence and collaborative strength of United Way of Broward County.”
This National Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit United Way of Broward County’s website and learn how together we could promote mental health and resilience for our families and community. There are several blog entries about staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recordings of past webinars.
For more information about the Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention, click here.
To download a variety of behavioral health and substance abuse resources, click here.
If you would like more information or to join MHPAT, please contact Coraal Cohen, Prevention Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-308-9275.
This blog post is authored by Gonzalo Cadima, Director of United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention, and Mental Health Promotion Action Team Co-Chairs Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren and Sandra Cumper.