May was National Mental Health Awareness Month, and here at Appleseed, it is a month that is extremely important not only to our agency but to every one of our staff. It is a time that we can use to reach out to our community and offer education on strategies to improve their mental health.
The month of May started with a video from our Executive Director, Jerry Strausbaugh, introducing May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Jerry thanked the essential workers that have been busy at work during the current COVID-19 pandemic, including medical staff, transportation workers, as well as Appleseed’s staff. Jerry also announced that Appleseed will be sharing various resources and statistics throughout the month. These social media education and outreach efforts gathered nearly 3,000 total views throughout the community!
The RCDV Safe Haven hosted their annual 5k “Run with The Stars” fundraiser, but this year was a little different. Due to the restrictions placed on group gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 5k could not be held in person. Instead, a virtual 5k was created so the community could participate while observing social distancing requirements. The race was active throughout the entire month of May, and raised over $1,000 for the Safe Haven program, with over 40 persons participating in the race.
Appleseed also had a month-long event with Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with Deb Rising. Deb hosted a full yoga session on Facebook Live every Monday and Wednesday. She walked viewers through various yoga positions and provided self-care mantras and tips. The sessions were successful with reaching the community each week, with some of the videos receiving more than 200 views each. The yoga sessions are available for view on the Appleseed Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AppleseedCommunityMentalHealthCenter.
Appleseed also released a 60-second video highlighting the staff here at Appleseed Community Mental Health. The video featured many of our essential behavioral health staff here at the agency and thanked them for the hard work that they have done not only throughout the month but the entire year. You can watch the video down below or on our Facebook page.
Mental Health Awareness Month’s activities were culminated in a powerful story by Amanda who talked about her experiences with depression and anxiety and the self-care strategies she has used to overcome and find hope. Amanda is part-owner of Madame Bagnabits in downtown Ashland. She featured Mental Health Awareness Month on her store’s website and social media platforms. She has also generously chosen to donate a portion of proceeds from her “It’s a Great Day to be Alive” line back to Appleseed to support mental health services in Ashland County. To check out Amanda’s “It’s a Great Day to be Alive” merchandise, visit here https://bagnabit.com/collections/great-day-to-be-alive. We are grateful for Madame Bagnabit’s partnership and Amanda’s courage to tell her story. Her story may still be found on Appleseed’s and RCDV Safe Haven’s Facebook pages.
Appleseed staff are committed to reaching and serving our community and making Ashland a better place. Appleseed may be reached during normal business hours at (419) 281-3716 or over our 24/7 crisis line at (419) 289-6111. If you or someone you know has been impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault, help is available over the Safe Haven Rape Crisis line 24/7 at (419) 289-8085.