May has been designated as Mental Health Month in Tulare County.
“We know that mental health is integral to overall health,” said Phil Cox, chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. “People need to care for their mental health so they can respond to the stress of daily life and the challenges it presents.”
Irma Rangel, chair of the Tulare County Mental Health Board added, “Just as community members have learned there are things they can do to reduce their risk of heart disease and chronic illnesses, we want to help people learn what they can do to protect their mental health in tough times and improve their mental wellbeing throughout their lives.”
Maintaining mental health involves a balanced diet, regular exercise and sleep patterns, developing a sense of self-worth and coping skills that promote resiliency, emotional awareness, and connections to family, friends and the community. For some residents, moving toward wellness also involves the assistance of medical staff and counselors.
“Utilizing strategies to promote resiliency, with the goal of recovery from one’s mental health condition while also decreasing reliance on alcohol and other illicit drugs, leads to improved general health and a healthier community,” noted Dr. Timothy Durick, director of Mental Health for Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency.
Local Mental Health Awareness Month events include:
- May 2 – “Expressions of Lived Experience” Art Show. The Arts Consortium My Voice Media Center, in collaboration with the Tulare County Department of Mental Health, will present an art reception from 5:30-8pm at The Arts Consortium, 400 N. Church St., Visalia, to kick-off their month-long art exhibition displaying pieces of artwork from individuals that depict expressions of lived experience.
- May 3 – Porterville Cinco de Mayo Parade float. The Porterville Adult Mental Health Clinic and Youth Services will partner with South County One Stop Center, South County Mobile Unit, and the Crossroads Transitional Age Youth Housing program to participate in the Porterville Cinco de Mayo Parade in Downtown Porterville, which begins at 10am.
- May 9 – Family Resource Centers Children’s Art Show and Open House (in Spanish) will be held from 4-6:30pm at four Family Resource Centers: Woodlake (168 N. Valencia), Cutler-Orosi (40802 Road 128, Orosi), Earlimart (114 N. Front St.) and Lindsay (400 E. Hermosa St.). The centers will display children’s artwork, host games and information booths, and conduct a mental health topic panel consisting of mental health providers and individuals with lived experience.
- May 30 – Mental Health Awareness Night at the Rawhide Baseball Park, 300 N. Giddings St., Visalia. The Tulare County Department of Mental Health will collaborate with the Visalia Rawhide baseball organization to host this event at 7pm at a Rawhide home game. The Rawhide team will be wearing turquoise-colored jerseys in honor of the campaign, and the first 500 through the gate will receive a complimentary t-shirt.