May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Mary DeLong of Cross Mental Health Region requested the Clarke County Board of Supervisors sign a proclamation designating May 2021 as Mental Health Month in Clarke County. The proclamation was approved at the 9 a.m. board meeting Monday and signed at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
“We’ve had four suicides in roughly four months in Clarke County alone so mental health is of big importance right now,” said Supervisor Austin Taylor, who is also a firefighter on the Osceola Volunteer Fire Department.
“I think if everyone keeps track and takes a look at ISAC (Iowa State Association of Counties) and what they’re doing and the commitment the state has and not only the state but nationally, I think we’re all aware of how important mental health is,” said Supervisor Chairman Dean Robins.
Representatives from Clarke Community School District, Clarke County Hospital, Clarke County Emergency Management, Crossroads Mental Health, Crisis Stabilization and Intervention, Cross Mental Health Region and Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa were present as well.
“I want to thank the board very, very much for all the effort they have made in addressing mental health in Clarke County. I think the Access Center is a point and I think the board worked very hard across the region to bring the mental health center here and it serves seven counties in our mental health region,” said Mary DeLong.
Mental Health Month 2021 Proclamation is below:
WHEREAS, mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being; and
WHEREAS, Mental Health America reports that 9.7% of youth have severe major depression. This rate was highest among youth who identify as more than one race, at 12.4%. Even before COVID-19, the prevalence of mental health illness among adults was increasing, an increase of 1.5 million people over last year’s data. In addition, Mental Health America, from January 2020 to September 2020, there was a reported 93% increase in anxiety screenings and 62% increase in depression screenings; and
WHEREAS, education is an effective way to reduce the stigma of mental health illnesses; and
WHEREAS, mental health illnesses are real and prevalent in our county regardless of socioeconomic boundaries; and
WHEREAS, we encourage our citizens to get help for mental health illnesses and to understand it is as important to treat as any other illness, such as diabetes or heart disease; and
WHEREAS, each business, school, government agency, healthcare provider, organization and citizen shares the burden of mental health illnesses and has a responsibility to promote mental wellness and support prevention efforts; and
WHEREAS, through increased awareness, we can achieve our goal to abandon negative stigmatism and reinforce our acceptance of individuals seeking treatment; then
THEREFORE, I Dean Robins, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as Mental Health Month in Clarke County, Iowa. As the Chair, I also call upon the citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools of Clarke County, Iowa to recommit our community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, the steps our citizens can take to protect their mental health, and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental illnesses at all stages.