Alabaster raises awareness for mental health

ALABASTER ­–The city of Alabaster will hold a Town Hall meeting and incorporate guest speakers into its End of School Year Social as a way to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention and promote National Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We want to be proactive, encourage our citizens and educate the community on the resources and support available,” Mayor Marty Handlon said. “We want citizens to know they are not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.”

On Saturday, May 10, the Alabaster Teen Council will host its End of School Social from 3 to 5 p.m. at Alabaster City Hall. The event will feature door prizes, music and refreshments, and is free to the public. According to the Alabaster City Hall Facebook page, this year’s End of School Social will provide teenagers with “information on how to help our peers in times of distress.”

At the Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 17 at 6 p.m., Mountain Brook Schools Director of Student Support Services and Community Education Dale Wisely will give a presentation on the importance of mental health. Once Wisely is finished, the floor will be opened to give visitors the opportunity to ask questions and discuss identifying the warning signs of depression, suicide and other mental health issues.

“We, as a city, recognize mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being. And all Americans, at one time or another, experience times of difficulty or stress in their lives,” Handlon said. “Like all communities, the city of Alabaster has been tragically impacted by depression and other mental illnesses.”