Advocates Urge Kentuckians to Wear Green for Mental Health Awareness
Friday, May 12, 2023
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and across the Commonwealth, buildings are lighting up in green, the color for mental health awareness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in 2021 more than 43% of Kentucky adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, and 40,000 youths age 12 to 17 suffer from depression.
Marcie Timmerman, executive director of Mental Health America of Kentucky, explained free and private online screening tests available at mhascreening.org can help individuals check their mental health status.
"The screens are a great way to know where is your mental health? Are you in a place where you might need some extra help?" Timmerman explained. "It also connects you with resources to help you get that extra help on your own."
Timmerman encouraged all Kentuckians to wear green today to show their support for mental health, and share photos on social media with the hashtag #mhaky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800 Kentuckians lost their lives to suicide in 2022.
Mary Malone, board president of Mental Health America-Kentucky and a retired nursing professor in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, said increasingly research shows it is critical to take care of mental health and stress with the urgency and attention given to physical health.
"We have no problem going to the doctor when there's a problem with our heart or with diabetes, but we're really hesitant when it comes to mental health issues," Malone observed.
Timmerman added communities are feeling the impacts of unaddressed mental health issues.
"Because not only is that person trying to get through their illness for other people who love them, work with them are around them or want to support them are also impacted," Timmerman pointed out.
According to the Kentucky Hospital Association, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, the percentage of emergency department visits for mental-health issues jumped by 53%, while overall visits declined.
get more stories like this via email
A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …
As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …
Some state and local lawmakers are on a long list calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require big oil companies to help offset the costs of …
Utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are carrying out plans to transition to cleaner electricity sources. To avoid being left behind…
Health and Wellness
November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …
Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the international conference on climate change, the City of Long Beach is acting on multiple fronts to help the …