May is Mental Health Awareness Month

We all face adversity in some form. But we don't have to face it alone.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It's a time to take a step back, take a deep breath and take stock of what your body and mind need to take on — and overcome — the challenges of everyday life.

While this month has been observed since 1949, mental health awareness has never been more prevalent or important as it is now and will continue to be in the future.

For everyone involved in schools — students, teachers, parents, administrators, you name it — life can be stressful, balancing the needs of what you have to accomplish in the classroom with all the life challenges that arise at home. But acknowledging these problems and knowing what forms of resources and support you have around you are vital in keeping yourself healthy and thriving every day, no matter what comes your way.

Henrico County Public Schools offers several layers of support in and out of school through the Department of Student Support and Wellness. Staff members, such as counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses, are available for every student who is struggling with their mental health or just needs someone to talk to.

These resources are set to dramatically expand with the collaborative Henrico CARES plan, which will invest millions of dollars per year into mental health services at schools through increased staffing and partnerships with local organizations committed to mental health and wellness.

Check out some resources that could help out students and families in a time of need:

  • Go to our Student Support and Wellness page to find the people and resources that students and families can utilize when they need support in and out of school.

  • Read this 2023 article about how different staff members and mental health specialists come together to support the needs of every student through HCPS' multitiered approach to mental health and wellness.

  • Learn more about Henrico CARES, the groundbreaking plan from Henrico County and HCPS to address youth mental health that was announced in March.

  • Visit the website of Henrico County's Mental Health and Development Services for local resources that are available for children and adults of all ages.

  • Learn more about the history of Mental Health Awareness Month from the National Alliance on Mental Health. This site includes more national resources for those pursuing help and support, including HelpLines that are available 12 hours per day.

  • Learn about the support catered directly for LGBTQ+ youth by community organizations such as Step by Step.

  • Dial or text 988 if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis and get connected to a trained crisis counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.