Group works to break stigma around mental health

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson Parks and Rec Department is breaking the stigma one group at a time.

Members of the community gathered at Northside Lions Club for a conversation on breaking the stigma.

“Every month I’m able to come in and provide different kinds of education on mental health substance abuse, talking about the importance of mental health and how important it is to be educated on it,” said Sarah Mays, the Project Coordinator for the Hybrid Lifeline Peer Project.

Before the pandemic, one in five Americans suffered from diagnosis like depression and anxiety. Now that number is higher.

“What came with that was working from our home, and then when you work from home you’re never away from work. So you’re working all the time, so I think it just produced a lot of extra anxiety and depression because we’ve been isolated. We’ve been isolated from what we know and our world has completely changed,” Mays said.

Mays says if you are experiencing problems with your mental health, there are a few ways you can help or support yourself.

“Supporting themselves is going to be number one because you got to make yourself your first priority. You got to engage in self care, what ever that might look like for you. That could look like sewing or reading a book. That could look like swimming, exercising. Whatever that looks like, make sure you’re taking care of yourself,” Mays said.

And if self care isn’t enough, there are a few resources in Jackson that residents can take advantage of.

“We have our Prevention Coalition, and I know it says Prevention Coalition, but we have a lot of people on that team who are able to help and give you the resources you need. We have Pathways, we have a ton of different therapy and counseling resources, and then we also have the United Way and then United Way knows all of the resources,” Mays said.

Next month marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and Mays will host another meeting at the Northside Lions Club again on May 20.

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Categories: Local News, Madison County, Mental Health Awareness, News, Seen On 7, Video