AP NEWS

Fulton County marking Mental Health Awareness Month with forums

May 12, 2019

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners wants every resident to experience good physical and mental health. Health experts often report that good behavioral health can play a role in the quality of our physical health. During its May 1 meeting, commissioners declared May as Mental Health Awareness Month and their support of events recognizing the value of good mental health as a part of one of the county’s strategic priorities, “All People are Healthy.”

Fulton’s observance of Mental Health Awareness Month will include forums sponsored by the department of behavioral health and developmental disabilities and the department of senior services. During each of the presentations, Opioid Coordinator Lynnette Allen will urge residents to “stop letting events of the past impact your future.” They include:

May 14 at 11 a.m.: Harriett G. Darnell Senior Multipurpose Facility, 677 Fairburn Road NW, Atlanta

May 16 at 10 a.m.: Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive NE, Sandy Springs

One resident who has benefited from the county’s behavioral health services, Jacqueline A., knows firsthand about the value of behavioral health services. She suffered with depression and anxiety. The county did not release her last name to protect her privacy.

Jacqueline A.’s freedom from the condition that often led to her failure to report to work and even to come out of the house came when a faithful and loving friend identified services provided by Fulton Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities through River Edge Behavioral Health.

Jacqueline A. said when she realized her triggers and learned coping strategies through group discussions, her outlook changed. She recognized she was not the only one struggling with behavioral health challenges. She added that she also realized that depression was likely a family struggle as she noted that other family members suffered some of the same symptoms that she experienced before her best friend insisted that she seek help.

For those who may be resisting discussing their challenges within a group, Jacqueline A. pointedly emphasizes the group meetings actually helped her to realize that her peers were also experiencing challenges although they may have differed from hers.

For those who may be witnessing depression, anxiety or other conditions in family members or friends, or personally experiencing symptoms that may be related to mental health, help is available through River Edge (adults) and CHRIS 180 (youth and young adults).

For more information or appropriate referrals for help, contact Fulton Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities at 404-613-1650. The events surrounding Mental Health Awareness Month can be shared on social media via the hashtag #4MIND4BODY.