Focus on Response and Education to Stay Healthy

May is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month: a time dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues and reducing the stigma around them. Since its inception in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been a cornerstone of addressing the challenges faced by millions of Americans living with mental health conditions ( It’s a great opportunity for us to show our support for those who are struggling with mental health challenges within our own community, as well as to encourage open and honest conversations about mental wellness. As our coalition focuses on substance use prevention, mental health is a closely tied issue that we must also address. 

So what can you do to help bring awareness and education to Mental Health? We have some awesome ideas and opportunities!  

Yard Signs + Lapels 

Our newest Coalition, Resilience and Hope, which is focused on Suicide Prevention, has FREE yard signs and green ribbon lapels. Green symbolizes growth, renewal, and hope – all elements that are closely connected to mental health.  By wearing these ribbons and displaying these yard signs, we can visibly demonstrate our commitment to supporting mental health of all persons, in and out of our workplace. If you are interested, please respond to this email and I will forward you on to our RaH Coalition leader!   

Go Green May 16th! 

May 16th is Mental Health Action Day. Encourage your workplace community to get involved by having a “green out” on this day. 

Post with a purpose

Please take pictures of your ribbons, yard signs, and green attire and post on social media using the hashtag #ALLinSWA and #ResilienceandHope to further awareness efforts. 

Practice Plasticity 

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt due to experience. This means not only is recovery a possibility, but we are able to learn new things our whole lives! Take advantage of some free mental health courses this month – a flyer is attached with these opportunities! *there are age restrictions to some of these courses*

Tap into Tools 

Attached to this email is a flyer with access to a free Mental Health Awareness Toolkit provided by Carilion and some of their partners. There are videos, talking points, and many other resources. Check it out to use and share within your community! 

Acts of Kindness 

Last but certainly not least, practice kindness this month!  A smile or “hello!” can change someone’s day! This also includes showing YOURSELF kindness! Take time for you this month and prioritize your own mental health and stress management!  

I hope you all are able to take advantage of these opportunities, and I look forward to hearing about them at our meeting this month! Speaking of which…. 

We will have our May meeting on Wednesday, May 17th from 12-1:30 pm, at the Franklin County Administration Building – located at 1255 Franklin St.

At our May meeting, we will look at our survey data from After-Prom attendees and discuss any glows and grows we may have in order to plan for next year. Additionally, I look forward to hearing from you all about what you would like to see in the future of FRESH. The work we do is important – and I am truly excited to see where we go and what we can do as a coalition for our community. Thank you all for being committed to this work!

I look forward to seeing you all then, and please feel free to reach out to me with any comments, questions, or concerns in the meantime. 


Megan Quest 

FRESH Coordinator 

Piedmont Community Services  

(540) 947-1035