From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM – Mental Health Coordinators from the Metro School Districts throughout Birmingham and Jefferson County will host a mental health and wellness resource fair called “Resources at Railroad” on Oct. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Railroad Park in Birmingham.
The resources will include mentoring, student and family counseling, medical wellness resources and more. This event will also be a fun, family-friendly environment with food trucks, door prizes, school performances and yard games.
“Our hope is to bring resources into all communities and destigmatize conversations about mental health,” said Trussville City Schools Student Support Specialist Beth Cardwell. “The reality is our kids are struggling and we want to help bring as many resources as possible to assist our students and families. Discussing mental health and wellness can often feel taboo. Our hope is to provide our families, students and the community with those resources that will assist them in moving forward and making them successful.”
Statistics show that 29,345 adolescents across Alabama received treatment at state-certified providers for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety in 2022. According to the Alabama Department of Mental Health, 65,155 adults were serviced in 2022.
Poor mental health among youth that goes unaddressed can lead them to engage in behaviors that put them at risk and have negative outcomes for their health and development, which can last into adulthood, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Spreading awareness about mental health resources is so important,” Cardwell said. “If everyone is talking about it, if everyone knows one resource and shares with others, we will move one step closer to helping those receive the services that they need. As Mental Health Coordinators across our city and state, we have seen that there are so many resources out there that people don’t have any idea exist. Our goal is to make people aware and link them to the resources that can be provided to their families.”
Resources at Railroad: A Mental Health and Wellness Resource Fair is a step towards awareness, hope and healing for Alabama’s children.