May is Mental Health Month and it’s not too late to get involved. Whether you’re looking for resources for you or someone you know or want to help those suffering from a mental illness find jobs, Long Beach has plenty of opportunities available.
“As a community advocate, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges our families face, particularly homelessness, substance abuse and mental health,” Steven Neal, who sits on the Board of Directors of The Guidance Center, said in a statement . “Early intervention and preventative services are so important to making a difference in the lives of families and our youth.”
Located in Long Beach, The Guidance Center provides mental health resources to over 3,000 children and parents.
Here are five ways to support and participate in breaking the stigma of mental illness this Mental Health Month.
Mental Health America
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, Mental Health America offers a variety of tools and programs, including free online self screenings. On the site you can also find local support groups, treatment facilities and even a crisis counselor. For those who wish to donate, Mental Health America accepts online donations that will help fund its many programs.
Donate some video games you never use or spend some time gaming with a young adult suffering from a mental illness through Anxiety Gaming, a nonprofit that helps fund mental health resources for those in the gaming community. The group gives consoles to children in foster homes, connects gamers with therapists and even covers the complete cost of therapy sessions for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it. If you’re not a gamer, Anxiety Gaming accepts monetary donations and allows you to choose which specific services you’d like to help sponsor.
The Village Cookie Shoppe
Owned and operated by Mental Health America of Los Angeles, The Village Cookie Shoppe is 100 percent staffed by individuals recovering from mental illnesses. All of the generated revenue is reinvested to help people suffering from homelessness and mental illnesses attend school and find employment and a place to live. Cookies are available to purchase online.
Support mental health awareness by eating at Deli 456, which is also run by Mental Health America of Los Angeles. Made fresh daily, the deli offers breakfast foods, soup, salad, sandwiches and other deli essentials. If you’re hosting an event, take advantage of the Deli 456’s catering service. Like the Village Cookie Shoppe, all money earned helps people suffering from mental illnesses. Open Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 2:00PM. Deli 456 is located at 456 Elm Avenue.
Mental Health Awareness Week at The Center
Join the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, May 23 through May 27. The week will feature presenters and activities such as art therapy, restorative yoga and a DIY self care craft night. On Saturday, May 27, the Queer Visibility Project will be on deck to capture portraits and stories about queer identity. Free. Tuesday, May 23 through Saturday, May 27. The Center is located at 2017 East Fourth Street.