FORT MADISON - Mental Health Month is observed every May in the United States to raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma, and encourage people to take care of their mental health. This month-long campaign aims to promote mental wellness and provide education and resources to those who may be struggling with mental health problems.
The history of Mental Health Month dates back to 1949 when Mental Health America (MHA) launched an awareness campaign called Mental Health Week. The goal was to educate the public about mental health and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Later, Mental Health Week was expanded to Mental Health Month, and it has been observed annually ever since.
One important goal of Mental Health Month is to provide resources and support for individuals who may be struggling with mental health issues. There are a large number of resources in our community, state and across the nation to support people living with mental illness and their friends and family.
The 988 Suicide Crisis Lifeline offers support through a phone call, text or chat. Contacting 988 will connect you to trained counselors who will listen, understand how your problems are affecting you and connect you to resources, if necessary. Calls are confidential and the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in both English and Spanish. The Lifeline is a resource anytime you feel like you are in crisis, however you may define that.
The Central Iowa Crisis Line, also known as the Iowa Warm Line is a peer run, telephone-based, non-crisis, confidential listening line for anyone struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. You can call 1-844-775-WARM (9276) 24/7 to speak with someone who will listen to what you’re going though without judgement and may be able to provide referrals to specialty resources or suggestions for pursuing further health and well-being.
Mental Health Month also provides an opportunity for individuals to take care of their own mental health. This includes practicing self-care, seeking support when needed, and taking steps to maintain mental wellness. Self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones can help individuals reduce stress and improve their mental health. Seeking support from a mental health professional can also be an important step in maintaining mental wellness.
It is also important to recognize the impact that mental health issues can have on individuals and their loved ones. Mental illness can be a challenging and isolating experience. Show empathy and support to those who may be struggling. This can include reaching out to friends or family members who may be struggling with mental health issues, or participating in community events and programs that support mental health. 988 and the Iowa Warm Line also provide support to friends and family of people struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.
Mental health is a vital component of overall health and wellness, and taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health. By prioritizing mental health, we can create a more healthy, supportive, and resilient society.
We have begun adding community events to the online library calendar at https://FortMadisonEvents.org. Events are added to the calendar as they are submitted by community organizations using the form found here https://tinyurl.com/547jam3h. Does your group have an upcoming community event? Let us know by submitting it through the form. Most community events open to the public are eligible for inclusion in the community calendar.
Books to Help You on Your Journey to Mental Resiliency
Upcoming Events at the Fort Madison Public Library –
The library will be closed on May 29 for the Memorial Day holiday.
Pre-School/Toddler Story Hour –Wednesday morning at 10:30.
Hang Teen – Tuesday, 3:30-5:00 for ages 12-19, except for May 23.
Minecraft –3:30-5:00, all ages on Mondays.
Once Upon a Wednesday –Join us from 1:30-2:30 for a variety of adventures. May 3 will be a movie day. May 10 and 17 will be craft days. May 24 will be a food craft, make your own snack.
Thursday Crafternoon –Thursday, 3:30-5:00, for ages 14-adult. This program is an opportunity to spend some time working on an in-depth project for the whole month.
All Booked Up! - The library's book discussion group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m. On Thursday, May 4, we will be discussing "The Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson. June’s book will be “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Cook the Book –May 9, at 6:00 pm, we will be sharing recipes selected from “Savory Baking” by Erin Jeanne McDowell. June’s cookbook will be “Watermelon and Red Birds” by Nicole A. Taylor.
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