EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) - The El Paso City Council on Tuesday declared May as "Mental Health Awareness Month". This period has been observed in the United States since 1949.
Health advocates from various agencies in El Paso were present at the meeting and thanked council for the proclamation. An opportunity for those who provide services to reach out and fight stigma of mental health issues, provide support and educate the public.
"This proclamation is not just a piece of paper," said Yvonne Marquez with the city's department of public health. "It is a symbol of our collective commitment to raise awareness on the importance of mental health and support those who are struggling with mental health challenges in our community."
Marquez says mental health affects everyone in the community in one form or another. Age, gender or social-economic status do not shield anyone from being affected.
With more than 50-percent of the population experiencing a mental health illness or disorder in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control, advocacy and education are a strong tool in this fight.
“Awareness is so important but so is also having the ability to work together and being able to recognize people that need help and making sure that they understand that it’s okay to get help. If people sometimes don’t think sometimes that it’s okay, that it’s embarrassing, and it’s not,” said El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.
ABC-7 acknowledges the importance of mental health, that is why we launched our "Be Mindful" Campaign with the aim to educate and inform our viewers on the many ways available in our community to improve your mental health.