County passes Mental Health Matters Month proclamation

Inyo County resident Doug Cooper displays a T-shirt recognizing May 2021 as Mental Health Matters Month. Tolerance is emphasized as a way to reduce the stigma often associated with those challenged by mental health issues and those seeking help.  

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors last week passed a proclamation declaring May 2021 as Mental Health Matters Month.

Marilyn Mann, director for the Inyo County Health and Human Services Department, which sponsored the proclamation, said more than half of Inyo County residents will at sometime experience some level of mental health challenges.

“It is critical that we remove the stigma around mental health and let people know that there is an open door and a way to access services and support when you need it, when a family member needs it,” Mann said.

Mental health challenges are one of the most common health conditions in California, affecting one out of six adults and impacting both the person experiencing mental health challenges and those persons who care and love the person facing the challenge.

Additionally, one out of every 24 Californians with a serious mental illness have difficulty functioning in everyday life and if left untreated, have life expectancies 25 years shorter than the general population.

According to the proclamation, millions of people face stigma related to mental health and may feel isolated and alone, going years before receiving any help.

“Creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve is crucial to ending the stigma around mental health,” the proclamation states in part.

The Inyo County Department of Health and Human Services - Behavioral Health Division provides mental health and substance abuse services to residents within the county.

For more information about the Behavioral Health Division, go to www.inyocounty.us, find “Health and Human Services” under “Services,” and click on “Behavioral Health” in the left column.

Those who are experiencing a mental health crisis can call the Inyo County 24/7 access line, 1 (800) 841-5011 or call 911. Services are available in multiple languages.

For more information about county services provided in its Lone Pine office, call (760) 873-6533.

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