Alabaster recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer 

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster is observing Mental Health Awareness during the month of May. This was boosted by a proclamation made by Mayor Scott Brakefield on behalf of the city.

The city is also planning on lighting the water tower green, which is the official symbol of the month due to its historical context related to mental health.

At a recent city council meeting Brakefield issued a proclamation which declared the month of May to be Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

“The need for comprehensive, coordinate mental health services for children, youth, young adults and families places upon our community a critical responsibility,” Brakefield stated in the proclamation. “I urge our citizens and all agencies and organizations interested in meeting every child’s mental health needs to unite in the observance of such exercises as will acquaint the people of Alabaster with the fundamental necessity of a year-round program for children, youth and young adults with mental health and substance use disorders.”

The administration at Alabaster City Schools is also trying to take advantage of the month by implementing some initiatives and other programs.

According to the school’s Mental Health Coordinator Debbie Brinson it is important to shed light on this issue through the administration of different programs and resources that they are making available in the schools.

“We are observing mental health awareness month here at Alabaster City Schools,” said Brinson. “Each morning, we will post videos from our school counselors on Facebook. Not only did the city do a proclamation, but they are planning on lighting the water tower green and we are also having all of our students wear green to observe the day on May 7.”

The videos are part of a series called Mental Health Matters, where faculty will give some kind of advice on how to take care of your mental wellness.

“Counselors throughout our school system have prepared videos with tips on how to identify and nurture your individual needs,” Brinson said. “We have been posting these everyday as a way to provide access to anyone who may be paying attention to our social media and needs help.”

The school system is also doing things for teachers at the school such as giving them some self-care time to focus on themselves.

“It is very important that we take care of our staff,” Brinson said. “We are doing some things like self-care bingo, just to give them some time to unwind and take care of themselves. They have had an especially tough year so it is more important than ever to meet their needs.”