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Greene County event illuminates mental health issues

Telegraph - 11/15/2022

Nov. 15—CARROLLTON — Greene County groups are hoping to shine a light on the darkness surrounding mental health issues.

Greene County Mental Health Coalition, Greene and Scott Recovery Council, and Greene County Health Department are hosting an event to show the impact of mental health issues on the community and to highlight the number of people who are impacted by them.

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, a range of recovery challenges and other mental health struggles affect so many people, said Molly Peters, administrator for Greene County Health Department.

"We want people to come and join, make it an event where it's OK for people to talk about their experiences," Peters said. "When we see and hear other people with similar experiences, it helps them see they aren't alone."

Luminarias will be lighted around 7:30 p.m. Thursday on the Carrollton square.

It can be difficult for people to talk about their mental health, especially with people who have not had similar struggles, because they fear judgment or having their feelings invalidated, Peters said.

Though the issue is being talked about a lot more than it once was, that fear lingers, Peters said.

While this event will not erase that fear, it hopefully can show how common mental health issues are, she said.

The goal is to show people they are not alone and to help them connect with resources and a support system, Peters said.

In addition to the lighting of luminarias, there will be music by acoustic guitarist Spalding McIntosh, Peters said.

"He said he was inspired by what we were doing and will be sharing his music and story with those that attend," she said.

No program or resource is perfect, but that will not change unless people work together to change things, Peters said.

"People sharing their stories has an impact," she said. "When everyone keeps things quiet, they are more likely to feel alone. We have to look at solutions."

There are a lot of resources for people with mental health issues, including mental health professionals and support groups, she said.

"We have to connect people and identify solutions, connect to the resources that are needed but not noticed, and create a grassroots effort in identifying solutions," Peters said.


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