May is Mental Health Awareness Month (a good reminder to spend some time visiting with your loved ones) and with yourself and to ask for help if you need it. The coronavirus pandemic has consumed our lives for over a year and pandemic-related tensions have certainly affected mental health across the country. While we continue to fight COVID-19, issues such as the growing need for mental health support should not be forgotten.
Mental health and substance abuse are often closely related, especially as people try to cope with difficult times. Fortunately, local Maine organizations have continued to strive to provide critical information and resources. For example, the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Maine is a coalition of groups committed to sharing information about prevention and directing people toward local resources for education, mental health, and addiction treatment. RALI offers online tips on how to safely store and dispose of prescription drugs to prevent misuse and offers an interactive virtual tour of the hidden warning signs of substance use disorder in the home.
Visit rali-me.org for more information on RALI and the efforts of its partners throughout Maine. It is crucial that we continue to pay attention to the mental health needs of our community and that they know that there are organizations nearby that will help us.
This month of mental health awareness, we work together to learn about the problems we face, share knowledge about available resources, and end the stigma of asking for help.
C. Shawn Yardley
CEO, Community Concepts, Inc.
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