By Scott Burgess, David Lawrence Center President and CEO
During National Mental Health Awareness Month, each year in May the mental health community joins together to reaffirm our commitment to building a better understanding of mental illnesses, increasing access to treatment and spreading awareness about the importance of good mental health for everyone.
David Lawrence Center, Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit mental health and substance abuse treatment facility serving children, adults and families, will honor Mental Health Awareness Month with a Mental Health Fair and Grand Opening Celebration. The Center will open up our main campus off of Golden Gate Parkway (6075 Bathey Lane, Naples) to families, friends, clients, referral sources and supporters for a free, informative, action packed, fun afternoon on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
The Mental Health Fair and Open House will celebrate the many heroes who support mental health in Southwest Florida with a variety of fun activities, community partner resource tables representing health, wellness and mental health providers as well as brief educational presentations on the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse, bullying and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Facility tours and ribbon cuttings for the David Lawrence Center’s beautiful new Children’s Outpatient Building, Genoa pharmacy and the new Healthcare Network of SW Florida medical practice, scheduled to open in May, are planned.
Attendees will enjoy health and wellness demonstration, fun lawn games, contests with great prizes, an art therapy craft station, children’s art therapy showcase, a superhero photo booth, rock climbing wall, fire truck demonstration and more all while networking with like-minded mental health advocates, supporters and health conscious members of our community. Food vendors will also be onsite.
Kids and adults alike will relish the chance to meet former NFL plays and Drug Free Collier ambassadors Ike Alama-Francis and David Jones and furry mental health heroes – a therapy horse and pet therapy dog.
Community Partners to date include Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Collier County Fire Department, Genoa Pharmacy, Healthcare Network of SW Florida, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, Drug Free Collier, Jansen Pharmaceuticals, Children’s Museum of Naples, MaxFlex Fitness, Florida Art Therapy Services, LLC, Project Help, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Naples Vet Center, Vallerie’s House, Storytellers Creative Arts, Open Mind Zen Center and Dawn Gray, RD Nutritionist.
Your Mental Health Matters
Taking care of your mental health is extremely important for your overall health and wellbeing. Chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body. Stress can make existing health problems worse. It can cause chronic headaches and coronary disease. And once you’re sick, stress can also make it harder to recover.
There are steps you can take to achieve optimal mental health.
Take Care of Your Body
Eat nutritious meals and watch your portion size. Exercise to decrease depression and anxiety, and elevate your mood. Drink plenty of water and be sure to get enough sleep as well.
Surround Yourself with Good People
Refrain from being around people who continuously bring you down. Supportive relationships are the foundation for sustained mental health.
Learn How to Deal with Stress
Maintaining mental wellness requires that you deal with difficult situations in a healthy way. If you are feeling stressed, go for a walk, drink warm tea, journal or blog, or take a warm bath. Remember that the situation will pass.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Especially when you are feeling stressed, it is important to avoid excessive alcohol use and the use of any other drugs. Alcohol is a depressant and you may actually end up feeling worse than before you started. Additionally, turning to drugs to avoid dealing with problems is a slippery slope that can lead to a life of addiction.
David Lawrence Center offers world-class, advanced treatment right here in Southwest Florida
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
The good news is that right here in our community, you or your loved one can benefit from world-class care at David Lawrence Center. As a national leader in providing advanced mental health and addiction treatment for children, adolescents and adults, the Center provides integrated care that includes inpatient, outpatient, residential, and community-based services. David Lawrence Center’s Gold Seal® for Behavioral Health from the prestigious Joint Commission means they offer the highest level of quality treatment nationally – and internationally. These expert treatment services, many of which are covered by your health insurance plan, are available in Naples and Immokalee.
David Lawrence Center