COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — The Collier Coalition for Healthy Minds (CCHM) is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by educating the community about how citizens, businesses and providers can come together to address the growing mental health and addiction crisis compounded by the global coronavirus pandemic and national opioid epidemic and suicide crisis.
Mental Health Awareness Month, held annually every May, is an opportunity to encourage communities to increase awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps citizens can take to protect their mental health and the well-being of others, as well as the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental illness.
CCHM is a group of healthcare, social service, legal and justice system professionals and advocates charged with mobilizing Collier County’s first-ever, five-year mental health and addiction services strategic plan.
Through the launch of CollierHealthyMinds.com, the Coalition is bringing awareness to their mission and their strategic plan’s six priority areas which include crisis support, housing, data sharing, justice system response, transportation, education as well as special considerations for veterans and seniors.
The website provides local and national resources, suicide prevention and a robust news section that highlights the community’s progress on the priorities and special considerations. Through the site’s Connect section, visitors can request in-person and virtual, customizable educational opportunities and learn how the community can be part of the solution to the crisis.
Launched just in time for Mental Health Awareness month, the new site hosts a Wellness Tips section where Coalition partner agencies such as David Lawrence Centers for Mental Health, Blue Zones, NAMI, Hunger and Homeless Coalition, and Wounded Warriors of Collier County, supply information about healthy ways to manage mental health. The tips are brief, easily digestible soundbites displayed graphically that focus on the CCHM priority areas. Tips are encouraged to be shared on social media by Coalition members and website visitors as an opportunity to create awareness all year long.
There are two educational opportunities to engage with the Coalition this month.
CCHM members will have a table at the Mental Health Awareness in the Garden event on May 1-2 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at Naples Botanical Garden. Mental health providers will be on hand to educate Garden patrons about their services through fun activities. Tickets to the Garden can be purchased online at NaplesGarden.org or at the door.
A limited number of spots are available for a free virtual education session hosted by the League of Women Voters of Collier County on May 10 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. A panel of Coalition partners will introduce and give an update on each of the six priorities and explain how the community can get involved. To get access to the Zoom link, visit LWVCollierCounty.org.
Funding for the development of the strategic plan as well as the CCHM website and marketing efforts has been provided by the Community Foundation of Collier County who is also a member of the Coalition.