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The Center for Mental Health recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month

Since 1949, communities and mental health professionals have observed May as Mental Health Awareness month.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, The Center for Mental Health (The Center) will focus our attention back to the basics and provide our community with the knowledge about mental health and mental illness, and what people can do if they, or a loved one, are concerned about their mental health.

Individuals have responded to the stresses of the pandemic by focusing on their mental wellness and, in some cases, seeking help sooner.

“We have seen an increase of individuals seeking services in our outpatient offices, in calls to our crisis and support line, and in visits to our Crisis Walk-In Center. It’s a good thing that people are connecting with our staff when they need help,” said Shelly Spalding, CEO of The Center.

“It is so important to take the time in May, but also in the other 11 months of the year, to recognize the importance of good mental health and to recognize and honor the work of so many providers in our communities who serve the needs of their clients.”

The Center offers outpatient services across six counties on the Western Slope, serving more than 4,000 clients each year. In addition, The Center staffs a Crisis Walk-In Center, open 24/7 year-round at 300 N. Cascade Ave., Montrose, which provides urgent behavioral health care in the region. Care is offered at this location without regard to ability to pay or status of health insurance.

“It’s always good to be reminded during May of how important our mental health is. Just like physical health, some days we may feel under the weather, and some days we may need more supports to help us with our mental health,” said Rebecca Lister, a clinician, and assistant director for Delta County at The Center’s Delta Outpatient Office.

“We can all focus on getting plenty of sleep, eating well, connecting with others, getting outside, journaling, and other strategies to take care of ourselves. And when that isn’t enough, reaching out to professionals.”

The Center’s website has additional information about steps people can take all year long to maintain their mental health and well-being, from exercise and journaling, to taking a free and anonymous screening or getting help from a mental health professional.

Visit centermh.org/May to read May is Mental Health Month — Back to Basics to learn more.

The Center Support line, 970-252-6220, and the Crisis Walk-In Center at 300 N. Cascade Avenue, Montrose, are available at all times. People can also contact Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK or text “Talk” to 38255.

Paul Reich is the community relations liaison for The Center for Mental Health.