When someone in the family suffers appendicitis, breaks an arm or develops an insufferable case of poison ivy, we usually know where we can look for help. For mental health needs, it’s not always obvious. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, this is a good time to highlight resources related to this topic.
On Tuesday, May 20, the Columbia Public Library will host a Mental Health Forum focusing on local resources for children and youth. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m., and the panel presentation will take place from 7:00 to 8:30. No registration is required.
During the month of May, two of our branches will have displays focusing on the subject of mental health. The Callaway County Public Library exhibit can be found outside their Friends Room. It features winning artwork from the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s 2013 poster contest, with a theme of “Recovery, Hope and Stigma Reduction.”
Beginning Thursday, May 15, the Columbia Public Library will have a table display on the second floor. This will include books for checkout, along with brochures, flyers, bookmarks and stickers provided by the Missouri Mental Health Foundation and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the Missouri Department of Health.
The Columbia Public Library will also provide space for the “Pillows of Unrest & Hope” display, beginning Saturday, May 17. This exhibit includes pillow cases used as artistic canvases by clients of the Fulton State Hospital. They were asked to depict their struggles with mental illness or developmental disability and what gives them hope.
Of course, the library has a plethora of helpful resources available year-round:
Our Mental Health To-Go Kits address a variety of specific issues – depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse and more. Each kit contains books and DVDs for checkout, plus pamphlets, magnets and other items you can keep.
“Junebug” is an autobiographical novel with fantasy elements. Local author and Cherie Doyen penned this empowering story of a girl overcoming the trauma of sexual abuse in the hopes that others suffering similarly would not feel alone or powerless.
“Healing With the Arts” speaks to integrating the arts into medical care, both physical and mental, as an essential part of the healing process. Literature, visual arts, dance and music are all part of the program.
“After the Crisis: Using Storybooks to Help Children Cope” provides a list of 50 book recommendations with related activities to help kids recover from traumatic life events such as natural disasters, homelessness and loss of a loved one. The book is geared toward teachers, but other adults will find it useful, too.
For more items, see our catalog list. And remember, these resources wouldn’t exist if there were no demand for them. That means you’re not alone.