Mental Health Month Transitions
If there are any positive impacts from the pandemic, one is that more people than ever before appreciate mental health and recognize what it’s like when their mental health suffers.
Since 1949, Mental Health America affiliates have led the observance of May is Mental Health Month. It promotes understanding that we all have mental health, mental and physical health are connected, and both are essential to our overall health.
Living for over a year through a physical health pandemic has taught us how all the dimensions of our health - mental, physical and community - are intertwined to keep us well. The daily, healthy routines and social connections we had taken for granted are the very things that foster resilience against illness, both mental and physical.
This year's Mental Health Month toolkit, "Tools 2 Thrive" (see below) provides practical tools that anyone can adapt to improve their mental health and increase resiliency. And they aren't just for the 1 in 5 of us who experience a mental illness, but also for the majority of us who have been living through prolonged degrees of anxiety or fear we never expected. 
Even coming out of the pandemic, “cave syndrome” brings its own fear and anxiety in returning to a new “normal” that won’t be like the old one. Fortunately, our culture is shifting in ways that make it OK to talk about what’s bothering us, to ask for help, to seek tools and support to help us cope and thrive. 
MHA’s Tools 2 Thrive, provides practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.

The toolkit includes printable handouts on the following topics:

Spanish versions are available as well. 
Good News!
Virginia’s COVID Warm Line Extended until December
(877) 349-6428

One year ago the federal government disaster response program funded creation of Virginia COPES, a COVID response warm line.  Designed initially to last for only a few months, the service has assisted more than 3,000 callers since last May. 

A partnership involving MHAV, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards developed the service in order to help support Virginians through mental health issues related to the pandemic. Rachel Beck-Berman leads MHAV’s team to support callers from anywhere in Virginia dealing with anxiety, loss or grief, and to respond to questions about the virus and local resources. 

The extension is welcome news, as mental health impacts from the pandemic are expected to continue for some time to come. The Commissioner’s announcement about the program’s extension is available here: Read full press release.
Do we need more state hospital beds?
By Bruce Cruser, Executive Director

Overcrowding at Virginia’s nine state psychiatric hospitals has renewed calls for the state to build more hospitals. There is an immediate need for solutions, but Virginia already has one of the highest numbers of state psychiatric beds per capita.
Placement in one of the state’s hospitals is only one of several ways to treat someone in a mental health crisis. Instead of adding more state hospital beds, we should make better use of the ones we have, while expanding the tools available statewide for appropriate care and support in the least restrictive setting.

Our On-Demand Webinars
Spotlight Series Part 1: Self-Compassion

We often go out of our way to show compassion to others, but how often do we show compassion to ourselves? In our free, 90-minute webinar, we will introduce you to the basics of self-compassion and examine the nuances of building a practice to help us care for ourselves, build resilience, and enhance overall well-being.
To sign up for event reminders, please register here.
2021 Victory for Mental Health Celebration

09/09/21 8:00am - 09/23/21 5:00pm

Our annual Recovery Art Auction will run on-line for two weeks, concluding with the Advocacy Award and Victory celebration.
I'll be there!
Peer Into Recovery Podcast
Peer Into Recovery is a podcast offering unique insights into the profession of peer support, brought to you by the Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network and Mental Health America of Virginia.

Did you miss the last episode? Check it out here.

Follow MHAV on Instagram!
Did you know that Mental Health America of Virginia is on Instagram? Be sure to follow us for inspiring and educational content on mental health, and we'll be sure to follow back.

You can find us at @mentalhealthvirginia.

In addition, you can also find MHAV on:

Connect with us today!
Team Announcements
Newly Arrived or in New Roles

Board Members
Teresa Caviness
Tanyea Darrisaw

Caitlyn Fralin - Social Media
Paula Gorman - Warm Line On-Call Support/Spanish Services
Keisha Patterson - Warm Line On-Call Support
David Rockwell - Warm Line Team Lead
Jerri Knight - Alive RVA Team
Jessica Whitton - Alive RVA Team
Carly Ward - MSW Intern, University of Denver

Cheryl DeHaven, Warm Line Manager (1 Year)
Thank you for supporting Mental Health America of Virginia.
With your help, we are one step closer to achieving mental health for all Virginians.
Upcoming Events

June 11, 2021
"I Have A Story" Speaker Jam

September 9 - 23, 2021
2021 Victory for Mental Health Celebration
Let's Connect