05/03/09 — Mental health activities scheduled

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Mental health activities scheduled

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on May 3, 2009 2:00 AM

One out of every five Americans will one day require some form of mental health services.

It is a figure that may surprise some, but shining light on mental health issues such as mental disabilities, mental illness and subsistence abuse is the goal of the Wayne County Mental Health Association, and the purpose behind Mental Health Month, said Dr. Steve Peters, past president of the MHA board.

Peters and other proponents of mental health awareness attended a ceremony at City Hall on Friday morning to mark the month-long event.

"We now more than ever need to get the message out that there are ways to live well," Peters said.

"Living Your Life Well" is the theme for this year's Mental Health Month, he said, and given the current economic situation, this is a critical time for stressing the importance and availability of mental health services.

Mayor Al King proclaimed that during the month of May, Goldsboro will be dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of mental health.

"I encourage everyone to pass the word and get involved in this very important subject," King said.

Philip Cook, director of Cherry Hospital, also took the podium to speak about the significance of the month.

"One in five adults in our country, some time in their life, are going to have a diagnosable mental illness," Cook said. "It is an illness that affects our entire society in one way or another."

The Wayne County Sheriff's Department Honor Guard raised the Mental Health Month flag at City Hall, where it will fly throughout the month of May.

"It's a good time to get the word out about all the good public outreach programs, to celebrate the work we do and educate others about the work we do," said Kim Brogden, board member of the Wayne County MHA.

Amy Roux, president of the board, reaffirmed that there are options available for people who may be suffering from mental health problems.

"We have many programs that treat mental illness, mental disorders or substance abuse," she said.

For a mental health screening, visit the Wayne County MHA Web site at http://www.mha-wc.org, and for a free stress test, visit http://www.LiveYour LifeWell.org.

The MHA will offer a number of activities throughout the month to help educate and assist the public on the topic of mental health:

*Monday, May 4: Lunch and Learn -- Brain Gym 101, Cherry Hospital Conference Center at noon.

*Tuesday, May 5: Mental Health Day at the Soup Kitchen, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

*Wednesday, May 6: Cherry Hospital U-4 Party, 7:15 p.m.

*Thursday, May 14: Cherry Hospital Patient Party, Cherry Hospital Conference Center at 7 p.m.

*Friday, May 15: Teddy Bear and Friends Picnic at North Drive Elementary, 8:30 a.m.

*Monday, May 18: Legislative Affairs Breakfast, 8 a.m.; Wilber's Barbecue, 7 p.m.

*Friday, May 22: Teddy Bear and Friends Picnic, Brogden Primary, 2 p.m.

*Wednesday, May 27: Lunch and Learn -- Obesity in Youth, Cherry Hospital Conference Center, 12 p.m.