Lynchburg Church hosts Mental Health Awareness Day

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and Diamond Hill Baptist Church in Lynchburg is celebrating with public events.

The Church’s first event was aimed at children and included a video, guest speaker, games, and shaved ice.

The second event is aimed at adults and will take place on Saturday 21 May from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m

Saturday’s children’s event allowed students from elementary through high school to connect and learn about mental health issues.

“We want these kids to be able to say openly, ‘I’m not fine. i need to talk to someone Something just isn’t right [or] I just don’t feel right,'” said former educator Gloria Simon.

Simon says the pandemic has created a mental health crisis but has brought mental health awareness out of the dark.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24.

“We still see depressed children. We still see children committing suicide after the two years of isolation. Because of COVID-19, we see a greater need for events like the ones we have today,” said Simon.

High school student Gabby Mosley says mental health was always there, but the pandemic brought an understanding of what it was.

“People were actually starting to understand that there’s more to it than just the surface, there’s more going on deep down,” Mosley said.

The children learned to have someone they can trust and talk to about their mental health. If that person feels the child needs professional help, they should move on to the next step.

“Notify the parent, talk to the child and get a counselor or therapist if needed and make sure the child understands … it’s fine,” Simon said.

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