Mental health is one of few topics that is still “taboo” to talk about in today’s society.
According to the Mental Health Authority of Harris County, approximately 500,000 Harris County residents experience a mental health condition each year and about 186,000 youth in the county experience an emotional disturbance in a year. To get the dialogue started, Lone Star College-Kingwood’s Library and Behavioral Sciences Department will host a Mental Health Awareness Series. It will take place every Wednesday in April.
“Statistics show that six out of 10 people are either dealing with a mental illness or know someone close to them who is. So there are very few people who don’t have their lives affected by these disorders,” said Anthony McMillan, LSC-Kingwood library director. “Unfortunately, most people are afraid to say that mental illness affects their lives because of the remaining stigma regarding mental illness. Education is one of the most effective ways to help erase that stigmatism.”
The series’ purpose is to help increase awareness and create a better understanding of mental illnesses as well as make the college and greater community aware of resources that are available locally. The Mental Health Fair is on April 6 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Here, attendees will receive information on resources. Harriet Denning, with Survivors of Suicide, will speak on April 13 regarding how her life was changed by suicide. On April 20, Faithful Paws Pet Therapy of Houston will educate the audience on the different services of comfort dogs and how they can help people. Representatives with Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston will discuss on April 27 how they provide hope, help, support and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders. All events will be held in the Student Conference Center. The events, except on April 6, are from 12:30-1:20 p.m.
“Being associated with mental illness is a stigma in and of itself. Those suffering, along with their loved ones, can feel guilt, shame, demoralization and fear. Even in 2016, with our vast exposure to knowledge and information, those who suffer with mental illness, can be shunned and isolated due to a diagnosis which quite often is largely biological,” said Stacy Walker, psychology professor and behavioral sciences department chair at LSC-Kingwood. “The goal of the Mental Health Awareness Series is to remove this stigma by putting a face on this societal issue.”
All events in the Mental Health Awareness Series are free and open to the community. For more information, email Anthony.J.McMillan@LoneStar.edu or call 281-312-1493.
Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration.
For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Stephen C. Head is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.