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NewsNow - 05.13.2021

State Agencies Mark Mental Health Month With Launch of “Thrive Outside” Initiative, Other Efforts

In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the Ohio Departments of Mental Health and Drug Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Natural Resources (ODNR) joined forces to launch a new initiative aimed at helping Ohioans recharge, refresh, and #ThriveOutside. Supported by a robust social media campaign, English- and Spanish-language commercials, and a free app that shows the locations of nearby parks and hiking trails, the Thrive Outside initiative encourages Ohioans to take in Ohio’s natural beauty and wonders as a means of achieving balance and wellness. To help Ohioans connect with nature, ODNR offers a free app called DETOUR that allows users to identify nearby parks and trails – including ODNR’s Storybook Trails, which feature several titles from the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library -- from their home computers or on the go via their smartphones. Posters have also been placed throughout the Ohio State Parks system to alert visitors to the physical and mental health benefits of the great outdoors. For those who need more than just the tranquility of getting outside, the initiative also reminds Ohioans to take advantage of Ohio’s toll-free CareLine (1.800.720.9616). Trained counselors are available 24/7 to provide confidential emotional support, and if necessary, refer callers to treatment and recovery support services in their community.

Throughout May, OhioMHAS will also promote a variety of traditional resources and tools to help combat the stigma surrounding mental health. The Department is promoting awareness resources available through Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. OhioMHAS is also partnering with the Ohio Department of Insurance to hold a mental health action day on May 20, featuring a Twitter Q&A and an evening phone bank to answer questions about behavioral health care benefits. In addition, OhioMHAS will be releasing a four-part video series teaching caregivers to know the signs and symptoms of mental illness, strategies for managing problem behaviors, how to access treatment, and how to pay for that treatment. Click HERE to read the full media announcement.

Reminder…Conquer Your Summer: A Virtual Round Table with St. Vincent Family Center – May 14

OhioMHAS Director Criss to Receive Organization’s ‘Community Partner Award’
St. Vincent Family Center (SVFC) is hosting a free, Conquer Your Summer: A Virtual Round Table on May 14 at 11:30 a.m. Panelists will discuss mental wellness and social-emotional health of parents, families, professionals and the children they care for. The presentation will also focus on strategies to keep children engaged and supported throughout the summer months, how parents can recharge and focus on their wellness, and how educators and child-serving professionals can make time this summer to take a break and restore a healthy work/life balance. SVFC also announced that it will honor OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss with its “Community Partner Award.” The award recognizes a community member dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through support and collaboration. The organization noted Director Criss’ “longtime commitment to prioritizing and advocating for initiatives supporting comprehensive mental health and addiction care, particularly as she has led Ohioans through the COVID-19 pandemic with a consistent focus on our community’s mental health and wellbeing.” Questions? Please email srussell@svfc.org.

Marijuana Education Survey

Prevention Action Alliance and OhioMHAS are seeking input from state and community organizations and coalitions on needs regarding marijuana education in their communities. Survey responses will be used help shape future statewide marijuana prevention education efforts. The survey should take less than five minutes and can be found HERE. The survey closes on May 22. In appreciation for your participation, the first 200 survey respondents will receive a $10 Amazon e-gift card.

Free Year-Long Access to ‘Ten Percent Happier’ Meditation App

The meditation app, Ten Percent, is offering a free year-long subscription to mental health professionals. The app includes intro courses to meditation, as well as, talks from leading mindfulness experts and additional resources.

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