Submitted by Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare
May is National Mental Health Month. One in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, and everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being. Mental health conditions are real and prevalent and with effective help and support individuals recover and lead full and productive lives.
The Suicide Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley (SPCRV) and Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare (BRBH) want to share planned activities and ways people can get involved this month. We are asking community members to take a “checkup from the neck up” by completing a mental health screening through Mental Health America. Screening increases the chance of getting treatment.
Mental Health America has free, anonymous, and scientifically validated screenings through https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/. Screenings can be great conversation starters with a medical professional, trusted friend, or family member. The website includes available resources and provides connections to treatment options. Once someone verifies they completed a screening, their name goes into a drawing for a prize through SPCRV.
We also have several trainings available. Talk Saves Lives is a one-hour introduction to suicide prevention and will be held virtually on May 11 at 7 p.m. SafeTALK is a 3.5-hour training that teaches participants to be suicide alert. It will be held in person on May 24 at 1 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Library. To register for either training, use this link: https://forms.gle/XZL9b4VnTKWb1qyF6. Information and resources will also be shared throughout the month on @SCPRV Facebook and Instagram pages.
Chief executive officer of Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, Debbie Coughlan, LCSW, notes that, “Just as we may need help with a physical ailment sometimes, there may be times in our life where it can be helpful to seek treatment for mental health or substance use difficulties. It is in our human nature to struggle from time to time with feelings of depression, anxiety, or other difficult emotions. When these feelings become long-lasting or start to cause difficulty in our day-to-day life, in our work or school functioning, or our relationships with loved ones and friends, it may be a good time to take advantage of the free screening mentioned above or to seek help. If mental health issues are troubling you, please do not suffer in silence. Prevention works and treatment is effective. If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, please do not hesitate to reach out to our 24-hour Crisis Services at 540-981-9351 or call 911.”