May brings not only glorious spring weather but also Mental Health Awareness Month. Unity Place of Monmouth embraces this as an opportunity to provide clients with activities that are enjoyable and also focused on some central issues related to mental health.
Exploring Mental Health Awareness Month’s goal of improving understanding and acceptance of mental health issues, Unity clients will be asked to develop a campaign taking aim at stigma. The campaign provide facts and data about the prevalence of mental illness and that people of all backgrounds have experienced mental health issues. Clients will work on the posters during case management sessions, so it will not interfere with their group work. Program director Lorraine Laura will picking the group that comes up with the best message and imagery.
Early in May, the facility will get a visit from a collection of four-legged supporters. Caregiver Companions will be coming to Unity Place the week of May 6, with therapy dogs spending time with those being treated at the facility. This is in addition to the regular visits by therapy dogs that clients see every month.
Mental Health Awareness Month activities will include a yoga, which will be provided by former Unity Place intern Tiffany. She will do two 30 minute sessions with clients. Yoga emphasizes the vital connection between physical and mental health.
Continuing with the theme of health, the third week of May will have clients making their own trail mix snack. The idea here is to facilitate conversations about health living and how one’s diet affects the mood.
There will also be a spelling bee and, closing out the month, a trivia contest in which clients will try to stump Unity Place counselors with questions centering on mental health. This last week of May will focus on clients talking about coping skills and the changes they have made in their mental health.
Unity outreach staff Jamie Paris and Bridget Cowan are to be applauded for coming with a month’s worth of enjoyable and thought-provoking activities that benefit Unity’s clients.