By AUTUMN NEAL
Green ribbons were hung on every signpost and tree around the Bianchi Community Center – and even strung along F Street – in Oakdale this past Friday in order to recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
In the Bianchi Community Center, the RAIZ Promotora Network – the acronym meaning Realizando Alianzas y Ispirando Sabiduria, translated to “building alliances and inspiring wisdom” – helped to put on a mental health awareness event in conjunction with Stanislaus County’s Behavioral Health & Recovery Services.
The event lasted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and focused mainly on adults and what they could do in terms of maintaining or improving mental health and the services available locally. With this focus in mind, the event provided childcare with event-appropriate activities, so that parents and children could enjoy their time.
Shellie LaMar, Community Outreach Manager at the Oak Valley Hospital District, noted that there was a big emphasis on the Latino community for this event, as all of the activities were in Spanish and directed towards this community.
LaMar explained that the goal was “bringing awareness of Mental Health Awareness Month” and “stigma and discrimination reduction.”
This was the first event of the sort for Oakdale, and LaMar expressed that they hope to continue with it in the future.