Unity Place of Monmouth is making the the most of Mental Awareness Month. Each May, Unity Place and organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness turn their attention to educating the public about mental illness and combatting stigma. This effort is all the more important as more people in recent years have been impacted by mental health issues, including many young people as well as veterans returning from service.
Unity Place clients have had a host of activities that included a visit from a couple of canines and their trainers and a spelling bee with words centering on mental health and treatment. And all month they have been at work on posters combating stigma towards mental illness.
The messages of the posters convey messages about how many people suffer from mental health issues. One emphasized that “not all pain is physical, and not all wounds are visible.” The hidden nature of mental illness is crucial to understanding and treating it. An individual may appear well on the surface but be deeply troubled and may not seek treatment until the illness is at an advanced stage, potentially imperiling their life.
One provides a powerful exhortation: “Grow through what you go through.” In the same vein, still another one stressed, “You are important, You matter, Your presence on this earth makes a difference.” And this one: “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does.”
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, the staff have been deeply involved with the clients work and have encouraged creativity and enjoyment while at the same time confronting serious issues affecting individuals with Mental Health issues. Congratulations to clients and staff alike!