SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif.— Earth day celebrations wrapped up this past weekend, but the community is still “going green.”
This time it’s for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Santa Barbara County has joined other counties and the country in lighting up buildings lime green to shine a light on mental health.
It’s all a part of movement called “Light Up Green.”
“It's the most amazing thing to see. I would encourage everyone to get out and start driving around and taking a look at them,” said Department of Behavioral Wellness Spokesperson Suzanne Grimmesey.
This communal effort aims to show people that they are not alone in facing mental health challenges.
“We all have good days and bad days. Some struggle with more serious mental health issues, but nobody should ever feel alone. And there's always help available. And the more we can talk about it, the more we can normalize this. The more support people can get and the more we can support each other,” said Grimmesey.
Many organizations are joining the department of behavioral wellness in lighting up green including the Santa Barbara Courthouse, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Raising awareness for mental health goes far beyond lighting buildings green.
Grimmesey says the focus this year is to look around and look within, explaining that our surroundings have a far reaching impact on our psyche.
“If we're in a comfortable environment, if we feel safe. If we are an environment where our needs are met, we're more likely to thrive. Our mental health will be stronger,” said Grimmesey.
“There are a lot of people in this community who want to support others and who are there to support you. And sometimes that's a therapist and sometimes it's a neighbor, and sometimes it's it's a faith organization. There's so many different ways that you can support your mental health,” said UCSB Associate Dean for Health and Wellness Sharleen O’Brien.
The community is welcome to take part in a variety of events all month long including a free mental health fair and psychological first aid workshops.
For mental health resources visit the Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness.
Visit MHA National for a free online mental health screening.
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