May 4, 2020 — It’s about health. It’s about wholeness and wellness. It’s about breaking barriers. And it’s about overcoming stigma!
For Katrina Taylor, this is what makes Mental Health Awareness Month so powerful. This will be Taylor’s fifth year leading the district’s celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month. Unlike past years, all activities will be virtual due to COVID-19. However, Taylor says the goals and the district’s commitment to providing resources to students remains the same.
“We want our students to live their absolute best lives and reach their highest potential,” said Taylor. “This cannot happen if they don’t have the tools they need to build their mental and emotional health and muscles.”
Taylor points to a few resources that can assist students with mental health care:
- District’s Mental Health Helpline: Call 904-438-4223. Available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Grief Support: 904-390-2535. Available 24/7.
- Wellness Wednesday videos. Topics include signs of a mental health crisis, working through stress, and addressing bullying behavior: www.duvalschools.org/wellnesswednesday
- Calm Classrooms (activities to help calm your mind): https://dcps.duvalschools.org/cms/lib/FL01903657/Centricity/Domain/4385/Updated%20Calm%20Classroooms.pdf
Taylor also invites the community to participate in month-long activities to help reduce stigma surrounding mental health.
- Promote awareness by decorating an Awareness Ribbon and hanging it on your window at home or uploading to social media. .
- Enter this year’s contest opportunities
- Participate in Mental Health Mondays trivia on the district’s School Behavioral Health Facebook.
- Wear, eat and draw green for National Children’s Mental Health Day Thursday May 7 and post a pic of yourself using the hashtag #dcpsmentalhealth.
- Attend Virtual Mental Health Conference May 11 – 15.
- Chalk your walk for Mental Health Awareness on Wednesday May 13.
- Participate in this month’s Wellness Wednesday on Wednesday May 20.
Taylor said mental health care is for everyone, not just those perceived to have a mental health illness.
“We know that one in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime,” said Taylor. “But when we talk about mental health, it’s more than addressing illness. It’s about all of us taking great personal care of minds, developing habits that will keep us positive and mentally healthy, and building strong emotional muscles so that we can face down the obstacles that confront us all.”
More information available at www.duvalschools.org/mentalhealthpsa.
Throughout the month of May, Team Duval News will be posting mental health resources, tips and spotlights in our newsroom. This includes the weekly “Duval Dialogue with Alex” blog. Check out this week’s post about getting your daily endorphins.