MENTAL HEALTH MONTH: PATHWAYS TO WELLNESS
 
Mental Health is an essential component of health and well-being and the concept health officials are promoting during Mental Health Month in May.
 
“Mental Health is neither good, nor bad, but exists on a continuum for all of us,” said Dana Rosenzweig, Executive Director of the St. Clair County Mental Health Board. “How we cope with stress and adjust to change determines if we are mentally healthy or part of the 20 percent of the population who exhibit symptoms consistent with a mental disorder.”
 
The St. Clair County Mental Health Board (SCCMHB) acts as the local mental health authority for St. Clair County.  The SCCMHB is responsible for planning, coordinating, evaluating and allocating funds for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services. www.stc708.org
 
The SCCMHB works to promote a local system of services for the prevention and treatment of mental or emotional, developmental and substance abuse disorders, in accordance with the identified behavioral health needs of the citizens of St. Clair County.  The Board presently contracts with eighteen service providers and funds thirty one programs. Over $2 million is awarded annually for services, community education and training.
 
Improving mental health was established as a priority in St. Clair County as part of a comprehensive community health assessment of needs and five year community health plan developed by the St. Clair County Health Care Commission in fulfillment of the Illinois Department of Public Health 2011 Community Health Plan.http://health.co.st-clair.il.us/Health+Dept+Publications.htm
 
In conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month, the Mental Health Board is sponsoring a “Walk for Awareness Race for Recovery” walk/run on June 29 at GCS Stadium in Sauget. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The 5K run starts at 9:00 a.m. and the 1 mile walk begins at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. For more information go to www.namiswi.org
 
Information provided by Mental Health America, the St. Clair County Mental Health Board and the 2011 Community Health Plan. For more information contact Marilyn Vise at 825-4401.