Free Mental Health Fair coming to Helena

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–A free community event sponsored by the Helena Police Department, Shelby County Probate Court and NAMI Shelby will be coming to Helena in March with the goal to erase the stigma of mental illness.

Erase the Stigma–Community Mental Health Fair will take place Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Helena Sports Complex and anyone is welcomed to attend.

Allison Boyd, programs coordinator for mental health services and legal counsel for the Shelby County Probate Court, said this is the first time a mental health fair will be offered to the community.

“We are trying to provide the community with help to connect them with the right resources,” Boyd said. “This could be for a family member or a friend but all of the featured service providers will be local. For example, the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention will have a local chapter available at the mental health fair.”

Boyd said one of the reasons for holding the event has been the rise in calls related to mental disorder problems. She said oftentimes, people will resort to calling 911 in a non-emergency situation because they are not aware of the other resources available related to mental disorders.

The mental health fair will begin with a panel discussion at 10 a.m. to discuss local treatment resources. The panel will include representatives from a variety of local mental health treatment providers and resources both for those living with mental illnesses and their friends and families. Several service providers will be on hand from 11:30 a.m. until noon to answer questions and offer further information on how to identify symptoms, getting the help you need and how to help others.

The featured service providers at the mental health fair are as follows:

–Chilton Shelby Mental Health

–NAMI Shelby

–M4A

–American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

–Shelby Baptist Medical Center

–Bradford Health Services

–Compact 2020

–Shelby County DHR Adult Protective Services

–University of Montevallo Clinic

–Gateway

–Shelby County Probate Court

–Helena Police Department

Boyd said that in the future she hopes to host more mental health fairs in the surrounding cities in Shelby County.

The Helena Sports Complex is located at 110 Sports Complex Drive.