May Declared Mental Health Awareness Month in Rockland

County Executive Ed Day and County Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe both issued Proclamations declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Rockland County. Both Proclamations will be presented to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rockland, which works with people who are living with mental illness and their families through education, support and advocacy. This May brings special challenges to everyone’s emotional wellness. Awareness and support is especially important during this time of increased stress, isolation and difficulty. It has been an unprecedented time of trials for us as family members, friends, employees and loved ones. Many of us have encountered hardships in various aspects of our lives leaving us feeling disconnected, sad and overwhelmed.

“We all handle troubles in our life in different ways and often with varying degrees of success. During these difficult days we would like to remind you that there are not only strategies designed to deal with that but also know that for whatever reason one has, emotional support is only a call away. It is more critical than ever that we confront the stigma of mental illness and we urge all of Rockland residents to seek out the resources that are available to help you,” County Executive Day said.

Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe said even in the best of times, our mental health can face challenges. The stresses brought by the pandemic have made things far more challenging for many people. “The threat of catching the virus, the pressure of a job loss and the anxiety of not really knowing how to return to normal can feel overwhelming,” Legislator Wolfe said. “Children are as susceptible to the stresses as adults. They have been pulled out of their classrooms, lost close contact with their teachers and friends and in many cases won’t get to participate in the milestones of school life – school plays, choir performances, the prom, graduation.”

The County Department of Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Rockland, the Mental Health Association of Rockland and other local programs are available to help residents in their time of need. The County Department of Mental Health has come up with a list of five things you can do daily to help support your emotional wellness…please join us as we Strive for Five every day:

  1. Perform one act of kindness.
  2. Reach out, virtually, to two people.
  3. Do 30 minutes of physical activity.
  4. Find four things for which you are grateful.
  5. Practice five minutes of mindfulness.

Rockland County’s community of providers has done an excellent job in adapting to the use of telehealth. If you are in need of treatment, please reach out to a provider or agency and they will be able to assist you via the telephone or videoconferencing. Please check the RCDMH website for details on providers and programs. Everyone can get the help they need while staying safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the mental health and substance use disorder services available in Rockland, there are warmlines for people who are having difficulty coping due to COVID-19.

Emotional Support Resources:

  • Rockland County Dept of Mental Health COVID-19 Emotional Support Line: 845-364-2955 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m., M – F)
  • New York State OMH COVID-19 Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314 (8 a.m. – 10 p.m., 7 days a week)
  • NAMI Rockland Helpline: 845-359-8787 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m., M – F) or via email: info@namirockland.org
  • MHA of Rockland Emotional Support Line: 845-589-0671 (7 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week)

County Executive Day and Chairman Wolfe thanked everyone who is working to help those in need as we all continue our fight against this virus and work towards regaining a sense of normalcy.