Mental illness. It’s increasingly common - 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness and 18.1% of American adults live with anxiety disorders. And slowly, scientists are learning more about these debilitating diseases, including life experiences that can contribute to the development of mental disorders and behaviors that can protect against them.
With this increasing awareness, many businesses are using National Mental Health Awareness month – held annually in May - to dispel myths, remove stigma, and provide their employees and customers with education and links to resources.
As a business owner or manager of people, you’ll find lots of do-it-yourself tools from Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Council for Behavioral Health to bring awareness to your constituents.
Locally, two businesses are highlighting the importance of mental health among their own employees and clients while at the same time using their social capital to raise funds to help people in their own community.
Local business woman Piper Voge co-owns Eclective, a Southside boutique where artisans and vintage curators sell unique retro and handcrafted accessories, home decor, giftables, clothing, bath and body products, and more. Piper wanted to do something with mental health at the monthly Southside Vintage Marketplace which is set to take place outside her business on Saturday, May 13. In addition to shopping 35 vendors, guests will be able to create a mental-health- focused craft to take home and learn about mental health resources and volunteer opportunities through Families First. Piper has also organized the Joy Ride, a motorcycle ride taking place the same day, to raise money for the crisis line and counseling services operated by Families First.
Retired military veteran Brenna Winiecki is having fun as the owner of the recently-opened Spa 32 in Westfield. Spa services are well-known for restorative and mental health benefits. Massages, in particular, can help with a variety of ailments, including depression. During the month of May, Spa 32 is featuring daily mental health education on its Facebook page, and clients can donate to Families First at the spa. In addition, mental health education fliers are available year-round in the lobby and tiny cards featuring Families First’s Crisis & Suicide Hotline number are placed in each of the treatment rooms.
Families First is grateful to Eclective and Spa 32 for helping their neighbors in need. If you’d like to celebrate Mental Health Awareness month at your business in a similar way, please contact Families First.