May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and HOLA wants you to “be strong!”

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Provided by Imagine

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, and HOLA of Prince William is reaching out to the community to support mental health and wellness. The month is promoted through the media, health and civic organizations, local governments, and more. Mental Health Awareness Month includes events and encourages people to take mental health screenings, among other activities.

History of Mental Health Awareness Month

Sometimes also called “Mental Health Month,” Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949 and recognized by millions of people. Mental Health Awareness Month was started by Mental Health America (MHA), a community-based nonprofit “dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.” This year marks MHA’s 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month.

HOLA’s Efforts to Support Mental Health!

HOLA of Prince William was founded in 2013 to address the needs of Prince William’s Latino community, a major need being support for those living with mental health concerns – depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and others. Through a program funded by the Potomac Health Foundation and the Novant Foundation, HOLA is running an online campaign to encourage those in need of mental health services to #bestrong (or #sefuerte) and seek assistance.

“Mental health among our community is a major issue,” says Jose P. Guallar, Director of HOLA. “The 2018 Community Needs Assessment by the People Inc. states that mental health needs in our county exceed the state average, with 22% of those surveyed seeing problems developing in their children. This is a multi-generational problem that needs serious attention.”

You are not alone!

More than half of all people in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness is like other illnesses—it is common, and it requires the right treatment. If you or someone you care about has mental illness, do not be afraid to ask for help! Visit www.holaprincewilliam.org/be-strong for local resources.

If you are in crisis and need immediate support or intervention, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Remember, asking for help does not make you weak. It makes you stronger—for yourself, your family, and those who care about you.

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