Helping Works

Event aims to bring stigma-free awareness to mental health

People throughout the state can share their mental health-oriented stories, poems, photography or other art to be displayed at the Idaho State Capitol in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Picture: “Escape to Firefly Forest” by Anna Van Skike.
People throughout the state can share their mental health-oriented stories, poems, photography or other art to be displayed at the Idaho State Capitol in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Picture: “Escape to Firefly Forest” by Anna Van Skike. RiverWorks Imaging

May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949.

And each year, the movement grows stronger with many participants across the country raising awareness for mental health through support, education and advocacy activities.

Mental health impacts us all, whether you are currently struggling with an illness or have friends and family in recovery or living with a behavioral health disorder. Whatever the case, we are no stranger to the devastation it can cause.

To recognize mental health and empower people to overcome their struggles, the Division of Behavioral Health is getting ready for its 2nd annual Idaho Mental Health Awareness Event on Friday, May 4, in the Lincoln Auditorium of the Idaho State Capitol, 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise.

Speakers, awards and the proclamation will begin at 11:30 a.m.

People affected by mental health will share their stories, individuals throughout the state will be recognized for their contributions to mental health in Idaho, and one lucky winner will receive the Voice of Idaho Award.

There will also be a creative work display in the 1st floor Rotunda from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., which will include people’s mental health-oriented stories, poems, photography and other art.

After the event, the works will be displayed at the Idaho Health and Welfare office and on the Behavioral Health Events website.

Ways to get involved:

▪  Submit your artwork to be displayed at the Capitol. Submit the Art Display Release Form along with an image of your work to BHEvents@dhw.idaho.gov. All entries must be submitted by Monday, April 23.

▪  Mark your calendar for the Friday, May 4, event at the Capitol and share the flyer.

▪  Share events from the community. Add them to the Behavioral Health Events calendar at behavioralhealthevents.dhw.idaho.gov.

Forms and more information available at behavioralhealthevents.dhw.idaho.gov or email BHEvents@dhw.idaho.gov with questions.

Nonprofits can still register for Idaho Gives

Idaho Gives — a program of the Idaho Nonprofit Center — is designed to bring the state together, raising money and awareness for Idaho nonprofits.

This 24-hour day of online giving takes place on Thursday, May 3.

Nonprofit organizations must register by Sunday, April 15, to receive Idaho Gives donations and share in the over $50,000 in award pool prizes that will be given out throughout the day.

Registration can be done at IdahoGives.org.

Nonprofits that register will have their own page on the Idaho Gives website, and donors will be able to locate them quickly by county, city or mission.

In Boise on Thursday, May 3, the Basque Block will serve as Idaho Gives headquarters all day, while Lost Grove Brewing will host a block party that evening. Both events will feature food and drinks, entertainment, giveaways and dozens of highlighted charities for donors to learn about.

Visit IdahoGives.org for updates.

Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

On Friday-Saturday, April 27-28, the American Red Cross of Idaho, in collaboration with several community partners, will install free smoke alarms in more than 500 Boise homes as part of a nationwide Red Cross effort to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

Volunteers will go door-to-door in five Boise mobile home parks, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans. On average, families have about two minutes to escape during a home fire so having working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan can make all the difference.

More than 200 volunteers are needed in order to install alarms in 500 Boise homes.

Register to volunteer in advance at redcross.org/local/idaho/home-fire-safety or call 208-855-4925.

Walk-in volunteers will also be accepted the day of the event. Meet either day at 10 a.m. at the Cole Village Shopping Plaza, 3333 N. Cole Road, Suite 333, Boise.

The Red Cross is working to reduce death and injury from home fires by 25 percent by 2020.

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451

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