DCHS Encourages Residents to Access and Share Resources and Activities During Mental Health Awareness Month
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
April 28, 2021--In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is highlighting mental health activities and resources for individuals of all ages, ranging from awareness events like Resilience Week Virginia 2021 to resources for confronting and dealing with racial trauma.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report indicating that feelings of fear, grief and isolation during the pandemic are increasing the risk for mental health problems like anxiety and depression. In addition, repeated and pervasive exposure to racism, discrimination and high-profile racially motivated violence adds to daily stress and trauma, particularly for Blacks and other people of color.
DCHS encourages residents to participate in mental health activities and awareness-raising opportunities throughout the month, including:
- Resilience Week Virginia 2021 (May 2-8): daily ideas for building resilience in personal lives as well as the community
- Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 3-7) and Children’s Mental Health Day (May 6): tools and resources to strengthen children’s mental health
- Older Americans Month: awareness of services and supports for older adults, their strength and resilience and the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities
Residents are also encouraged to access and share mental health resources with their networks and neighbors:
- COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide, a collection of resources for people of all ages and abilities
- Multicultural Mental Health Resources, including resources for immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community
- Race-Based Trauma Resources, for dealing with racism and trauma on individual, interpersonal, community, national and global levels
- Mental health online screening tool, a free, anonymous tool to help users determine whether professional consultation would be helpful
- Kognito, a unique online training tool that uses simulation and role-play conversations to develop skills in recognizing students in mental distress and initiating conversations
- Suicide prevention resources, for getting help or helping to support someone in crisis
- This is Recovery, a video featuring men and women across Northern Virginia who share their stories of recovery to help others dealing with similar challenges. Learn more and watch the video.
In addition, residents can access the Virginia COPES non-crisis support line by phone or text at 877.349.6428, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Support services are provided for anyone struggling with trauma, grief or distress and community resources referral is available. The City also has several 24-hour crisis hotlines. If you or a loved one are in danger of self-harm, please dial 911 or go immediately to your nearest emergency room.
This article is a slightly edited version a DCHS news release. Article updated with an additional resource on March 1, 2021.