REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (April 24, 2023) – Each year, the month of May brings attention to the importance of mental health. For 2023, Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) will observe Mental Health Awareness Month with a community-wide campaign called “Mental Health is Health,” highlighting the importance of mental health and encouraging residents to check in, get support and attend an event.
“Mental health is an important part of one’s overall health and well-being. We all have mental health and need to take care of it, just like we take care of our physical health,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of BCHD. “Our goal with this campaign is to encourage people to prioritize mental health today, whether it’s for themselves or their friends, family or co-workers.”
To support its 2023 campaign, BCHD applied for and was awarded a $149,943 “Take Action for Mental Health Los Angeles County Mental Health Awareness Month Community Grant” from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). The CalMHSA grant will help fund the many events and activities BCHD has planned, including Mental Health First Aid trainings, a Mental Health in the Workplace seminar and more. A complete listing of BCHD’s events is available at bchd.org/mentalhealthawareness.
BCHD is partnering with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, CalMHSA, L.A. County Department of Mental Health, plus the school districts, cities, and chambers of commerce in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. Community partners include Evolve Treatment Centers, Mindset Coach Dante Rosh, Insight Treatment Programs, Ask Dr. Mom, Indivisible Arts, Creative Life Mapping, Venice Family Clinic, Body Project, NAMI South Bay, South Bay Children's Health Center, South Bay Families Connected and Taking Time: South Bay.
These partners and community organizations will work to build community capacity to aid those in need of mental health support. BCHD staff will also facilitate workshops focused on resilience topics including mindfulness, gratitude, purpose, empathy, and bravery. Staff and Youth Advisory Council members will also lead mental health activities during lunch hours at middle and high schools.
Mental health affects millions of people across the country, including the Beach Cities, where many people are dealing with mental health issues. The 2022 California Healthy Kids Survey found that 18% of Beach Cities 11th graders reported considering suicide in the past 12 months, while the 2020 Gallup Well-Being Index, surveyed during the first year of the pandemic emergency, reported 49% of Beach Cities residents reported significant daily stress, up from 45% in 2010.
“As we did during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to continue taking care of one another. We need to check in and engage with our community,” said Bakaly. “It’s important to know the signs if someone is struggling, including yourself, and how to help others or get help that you might need.”
A schedule of BCHD events, educational opportunities and resources is available at www.bchd.org/mentalhealthawareness.
Media Contact: Dan Smith, BCHD (310) 374-3426, ext. 8156 email@example.com