The Paducah Board of Commissioners wants to increase the public’s awareness of mental health to create a community that promotes mental wellness and supports prevention efforts. On Tuesday, Mayor George Bray issued a proclamation for May as Mental Health Awareness Month and urged citizens, government agencies, and public and private institutions to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness, reduce stigma and discrimination, and promote appropriate and accessible services.
Mayor George Bray said, “Good mental health is critical to the well-being of our community, but many people are afraid to seek help because of the stigma associated with it. Paducah has several mental health service providers that regularly assist individuals and help them with treatment, counseling, and other means of support. The Paducah Board of Commissioners has made this a priority, and we believe by talking about mental health issues openly and working together as a community, we can reduce stigma and help each other lead more productive lives.”
During the March 10 Paducah Board of Commissioners meeting to set their 2023 priorities, each member of the Board was invited to introduce a new priority for the Board to discuss. City Commissioner Raynarldo Henderson introduced mental health as a City priority. The Board decided to include Mental Health as an item under the Quality of Life Priority.
Commissioner Henderson said, “The world around us can be both positive and negative – bringing joy and sadness, hope and anxiety. I brought mental health as a priority because as a City government, we are in the position to elevate, enlighten, and encourage. With statistics such as one in five adults experiencing serious mental illness, it is more important than ever to take care of each other, show compassion, and help those who may be struggling with their mental health.”
During May, Paducah will encourage the community to work together to promote mental wellness through advertising and a social media campaign.
Mental health resources including a link to the Western Kentucky Mental Health Resource Directory can be found at Mental Health. That webpage also includes a link to the Mental Health America screening test. This free, private, online screening will help determine symptoms of a mental health condition, next steps, and resources. The screening can be completed in minutes. For more information, visit Mental Health America.