Each May, Phoenix House California celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month. Our Orange County Behavioral Health Intervention & Support Services (BHIS) team participated in a host of community and school based events reaching over 1,500 people through their work. The team participated in the Feria de Recursos Salud Mental at El Consulado de Mexico and visited schools including Marina High School, El Toro High School, Ethel Dwyer Middle School, McFadden Intermediate, Huntington Beach High School, Heninger K-8, La Paz Intermediate, Spurgeon Intermediate school, Lincoln Elementary School and Sycamore Elementary School.
Using our message “When You Plant Positive Thoughts, Anything is Possible,” there was no shortage of friendly reminders to help promote mental health. Some activities prompted participants to write a positive message on a cut-out leaf that would later be posted on a wall. At other sites, the staff created environments where students could plant seeds of positivity by either receiving an individualized planting kit or writing down their favorite way to support their own positive health. In addition, Each Mind Matters ribbons and bracelets where distributed to keep the conversation going, spread awareness and break the stigma.
When not working, the BHIS staff followed their own advice and went for walks, participated in a guided painting session, paired their meditation with soothing tea and more. Even though May is over, we encourage everyone to always find time to support your own mental health.