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May is Mental Health Month

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May is Mental Health Month, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and advocate for those who suffer from mental illness.

Each May, organizations like The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and fellow mental health providers come together to fight the stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. This year we are sharing mental health facts “Back to the Basics” provided by Mental Health America (MHA).

Our mental well-being is just as vital as our physical well-being. It aids us in communicating with others, making decisions, managing stress, and a variety of other activities. Half of Americans will meet the criteria for a mental health condition in their lifetime, with most symptoms starting by the age of 24. Meridian aims to prevent the emergence of mental health conditions and mitigate the impact of those struggling.

For 50 years, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare has served as the largest comprehensive provider for the treatment of mental illnesses and substance use disorders for those in North Central Florida. In addition to our inpatient and outpatient care, our Telehealth services enable us to provide the state of Florida with 24/7 on-demand care.

By addressing the stereotypes and stigmas connected with mental illness, we can start a conversation with the public about the necessity of prioritizing their own self-care and supporting others. For additional tips and tricks, check out The Brain Factor podcast, brought to you by Meridian. This light-hearted informal podcast explores how real people maintain or become resilient through evidenced-based techniques that increase protective factors.

It’s also a good opportunity to push for increased access to high-quality mental health care through technology, access points closer to home, and through Mobile Response Teams (MRTs) and partnerships with law enforcement. Meridian’s Co-Responder program involves partnering law enforcement officers with mental health professionals to act as first responders to calls for service involving persons with a mental illness to provide them the services they need and potentially keep them out of the criminal justice system.

During Mental Awareness Month, anyone can make a difference:

  • Remove the stigmas by educating yourself
  • Make self-care a priority
  • Learn ways to help those who are close to you
  • Make a request to your local congressman for help in improving mental health treatment in your state
  • Make a donation to a mental healthcare focused non-profit

In addition to sharing “Back to the Basics,” we are sharing MHA’s toolkit, complete with fact sheets, worksheets, and a mental health assessment tool.

We hope you will choose to join Meridian Behavioral Healthcare’s vision in making Hope, Recovery, and Wellness within everyone’s by sharing these tools with friends, family, colleagues! We also hope you will consider helping us provide uncompensated care to those in need. Please consider making a gift today.

Another way you can make a difference is to shop on Amazon when doing your online shopping – All you have to do is sign up for Amazon’s Smile program and shop for your regular products. They will donate .5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the non-profit of your choice at no additional cost to you. Every little bit helps!

For more information, see: https://smile.amazon.com/charity?orig=%2F

To discuss other ways you can help support our mission, contact Meridian’s Advancement Department at (352) 374-5600, ext. 8630, or e-mail Sara_Desmartin@mbhci.org.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or just need to talk to someone, the following resources are available:

If you are experiencing a medical or life-threatening emergency, call:

Emergency Services: 911

If you are feeling suicidal, depressed, anxious or have other urgent mental health concerns, call:

The Crisis Line: (352) 374-5600, option 1
(NOTE: The Meridian Crisis Center is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.)

For all others inquiries, please call:

Access Center:
New Clients (first time or 6+ months since last seen): (352) 374-5600, option 2
Returning Clients: (352) 374-5600, option 3
(NOTE: the Access Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.)

For more specific needs, call:

Toll Free: (800) 330-5615
Administration Fax: (352) 371-9841
Medical Records Fax: (352) 244-0289
TTY: (800) 955-8771
TTD: (800) 955-8770

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24/7 Crisis Line

Local (North Central Florida):
(352) 374-5600
option 1
Toll Free:
1 (800) 330-5615

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