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IRC School Board Proclaims May Mental Health Awareness Month

Vero Beach, FL – On Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 the Indian River County School Board made a proclamation stating that every May will be recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. The proclamation, read by a local student from Vero Beach High School, honored the Mental Health Association in Indian River County among many other community partners such as School Psychologists, Teachers, The Mental Health Collaborative, Tykes and Teens, and the Behavioral Health Cleveland Clinic Indian River. The Proclamation for Mental Health Awareness Month goes hand in hand with both our High School Violence and Suicide Prevention Programs.

Dr. Sharon Packard, the Mental Health Coordinator for the District, shared some valuable information at the meeting. “I am humbled to observe the 70th Anniversary of Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month. The work we are doing collectively as a community and a school district is incredibly important to ensure that our youth are set up for success and that we can intervene as early as possible to get them the support they need.” Dr. Packard continued, “We often focus on illness when we discuss mental health, and for some good reasons. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people ages 10 and older, 1 in 5 youth have a diagnosable mental health condition, and fifty percent of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.”

“Teaching students about Mental Health at a young age and giving them the help they need is vital to the well-being of the youth now and as they mature. Our goal is to step in and let students know that we are not only here to help, but we also have programs to guide them through their current struggles,” said Dr. Nicholas Coppola, C.E.O. of the Mental Health Association of Indian River. “This proclamation for May being Mental Health Month provides us with an opportunity to educate students about mental illness and how ‘It’s Okay to Get Help’, which aids in breaking the stigma against mental illness.”

To learn more about Mental Health Month and the services MHA in Indian River provides, come and see us May 31st at Downtown Friday.


About the Mental Health Association

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County Walk-In & Counseling Center, located at 820 37th Place, in Vero Beach, offers individuals experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition free mental health screening, crisis intervention services, and information and/or referral about how to address their mental health issues. The center is open Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatry services are also available for clients seeking ongoing mental health services on an appointment basis at the center. For more information on the Mental Health Association’s Walk-In & Counseling Center, call 772-569-9788.

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