Chalk wall being used to raise mental health awareness in Derby

Better Health & Wellness

DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) — The theme for the new community health chalk wall at Hubbard Arts Center was revealed Thursday. The theme is “Mental Health IS Health.”

The walls slogan, “truth be told, when being honest is the only way to fix it,” was inspired by the song “Truth Be Told” by Matthew West, a contemporary Christian artist.

The Derby Recreation Commission (DRC) and the Derby Health Collaborative (DHC) have come together to promote mental health as part of a grant funding received from Lowes. The wall is open to all who wish to participate in promoting mental health awareness.

Residents are encouraged to use the wall as a way to express their feelings.

The DRC claims that “Denying or avoiding mental health feelings doesn’t make them go away, nor does it lessen their impact. Noticing and naming emotions gives us the chance to take a step back and make choices about what to do with them.”

The DRC and the DHC’s mission is to improve mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and strengthen community connections by inspiring people to seek help from the community. They believe that it is more important than ever to have a healthy community that values mental health: a community with people who are willing and committed to solving critical community health issues by making the most of the available resources.

“A lot of people think that mental health is a kind of stigma that they shouldn’t talk about. We are saying we take care of our physical body from the neck down; why aren’t we taking care of the physical body from the neck up?” said Debbie Williams, the community wellness coordinator for the Derby Recreation Commission and Derby Health Collaborative

In Sedgwick County alone, someone attempts suicide every 3.3 days. Preliminary data shows that in 2020, there were 108 suicide deaths in the county. There was also a 225% increase in the number of youths hospitalized for mental health alone.

The DRC exists to inspire the highest quality of life and serves residents of Derby and the surrounding areas. They are located at 801 E. Market in Derby, Kan. 67037. For more information, visit their website.

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