In the Limelight: Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services
Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement is supported by the outstanding work performed by counties across the state. A recent RAND report shows that through local and statewide efforts California counties are at the forefront in breaking down barriers so all Californians can live mentally well. Each day, our county partners work in communities to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness as well as raise awareness about the services available to their residents.
We continue our snapshot series of these outstanding efforts in our counties with a look at Humboldt County.
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Prevention and Early Intervention Program has been actively leveraging Each Mind Matters resources to reach out to the community.
Throughout the month of September, the county’s strategy was to distribute bilingual coffee sleeves, drink coasters and posters with tear-offs through a partnership with local businesses using the Know the Signs suicide prevention campaign materials. County staff reached out to the businesses in person, bringing a sample, and had great success in engaging the businesses to enthusiastically participate. The county also provided the businesses with laminated information sheets to help employees explain the campaign to patrons.
The materials went fast! To date 3,250 Know the Signs coffee sleeves in English and Spanish have been distributed; one local Starbucks branch distributed 200 of the sleeves on World Suicide Prevention Day alone. In addition over 14,000 drink coasters and 75 posters with tear offs have been distributed throughout the county.
Humboldt County’s September outreach efforts also included creating a poster of the Each Mind Matters “Be True and Be You” booklet for LGBTQ teens that was shared with behavioral health providers in the county during PRIDE week. The poster was also given out to community members at the Humboldt PRIDE festival.
Finally, earlier this year Humboldt County celebrated Mental Health Matters Month in May. Events ranged from an art show, community skating party, a mental health walk, resource tables and mental health trainings. Humboldt county youth, community members and mental health advocates gathered for the Mental Health Matters Month kick-off event, a red carpet event at the Eureka Theater on Saturday, May 7 in recognition of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and to honor the youth filmmakers who participated in the fourth annual Directing Change Film Contest. The event featured screening of films from Directing Change and the United Indian Health Service’s Teen Advisory Group, a performance by the PPNorCal’s Spare Change Theatre Troupe, and a photography exhibit from the Foster Youth Museum’s “Tribute: Stories of Foster Youth Tattoos.” This event was received so warmly by the community, that the venue is already reserved for next year.
Locally produced Directing Change winners have been shown as trailers in three local movie theaters before feature films over the summer and as part of Suicide Prevention Month. Efforts to recruit youth for next year’s contest began in September and will continue through the winter.
These are just a few examples of the great work performed by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and its partners. To learn more, visit http://humboldtgov.org/430/Mental-Health-Services-Act-MHSA or https://humboldtgov.org/preventsuicide.
Make sure to check in next month to see which California County is in the limelight!