Fargo Cass Public Health: Mental Health comes into sharp focus Monday

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Fargo, ND) -- Monday is World Mental Health Day.

The goal is to raise awareness about mental health issues faced by millions and also to lessen the stigma of dealing with those issues.

Fargo Cass Public Health is encouraging members of the community to create a Safety Plan. A Safety Plan is a specific and prioritized list of coping strategies and sources of support. It helps a person identify strategies to use when overwhelmed with emotion or struggling with challenges. Safety Plans also make note of distraction techniques, safe places or spaces, and also list friends, family or professionals and services to reach out to.

“A Safety Plan is flexible - you can and should add and change things as needed," said FCPH Mental Health Coordinator Melissa Markegard. "As a result, you can help yourself stay safe. Anyone can benefit from a Safety Plan because you never know if and when you might find yourself in a crisis.” A Safety Plan can be created on your own or in working with a clinician or other mental health professional. “By creating a Safety Plan to use when in a crisis, you already have it written down and planned out, which means you are ready if/when you are in a crisis. You have it ready to go when you need it.”

This year's theme, as announced by the World Federation for Mental Health, is "Make mental health for all a global priority."

A sample Safety Plan is available here. Additional supports and services available include: