On Friday May 1, County Executive George Latimer will officially launch May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in Westchester. County Executive Latimer announced the annual national recognition would appear in digital form outside the Westchester County Center for the duration of the month of May.

Latimer said: “Today, I want to officially declare May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Westchester. The importance of this event is obviously good mental health, which is more relevant today than ever before as we face the COVID-19 pandemic as a community. There is a stigma that is often attached to mental health needs, and we need to take this opportunity to promote wellness and resilience for all our residents. I am very proud of the wonderful work that is being done by our County departments, our not-for-profits and private clinicians who are donating their time to offer support and services to the people of Westchester. The opportunities to receive help are many, and I am encouraging everyone to take advantage of these opportunities to improve their mental health and wellness during this challenging time.”

Mental Health Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to address and overcome the stigma associated with mental health needs. One in five people will experience a mental health illness during their lifetime, and everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health, especially now. The message of Mental Health Awareness Month is that mental health wellness is for everyone, and there are practical tools that anyone can use to improve their mental health.

Throughout the month of May, Westchester County’s Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) will be sharing daily updates on Twitter, @WestchesterDCMH, and on their website about events, ideas and resources that can help spread this message. In addition, DCMH will continue to operate its Emotional Support Line at (914) 995-1900 for resources, services and ideas to help individuals and families cope during this stressful time.

Commissioner of DCMH Michael Orth added: “The mental health of all Westchester County residents is a top priority. We thank County Executive Latimer for declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month and promoting educational opportunities and services available. Knowing the signs and symptoms and who to link to if you are concerned about yourself of a loved one is an important first step.”