News & Press
ICCMH holds events to highlight mental health as part of total wellness
Written by Karen Bota
IONIA COUNTY - There are many roads to take toward becoming a healthy person, and mental health is one important focus of wellness, according to Ionia County Community Mental Health officials.
May is Mental Health Month, and it is a time to remind community members that mental health is important to each individual’s overall health and wellness, because the mind and body work together, said Caryn Klemczewski of ICCMH.
“There are many ways to get well,” Klemczewski said. “At Community Mental Health, we focus on the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.”
The topic of mental illness is discussed more frequently today, but there is still a negative stigma, particularly toward people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and people with developmental disabilities.
“For so long, they were just put in institutions,” Klemczewski said. “These illnesses are starting to be talked about more, but we still have years and years of stigma to overcome.”
In honor of “May is Mental Health Month,” ICCMH is holding several events throughout the month to remind the public of the importance of mental health to overall health and wellness, of steps they can take to promote whole health, and of the need to reduce stigma related to mental illness.
6th annual 5k walk/run
A family-friendly, 5k walk/run to promote wellness and awareness is set for May 9 at the Robert Hoppough Farmers’ Market Pavilion on the corner of Adams and Steele streets in Ionia. Registration for the walk/run will begin at 5 p.m. The event will follow at 6 p.m., rain or shine. After the run/walk, participants can relax with a snack of walking tacos, which will be provided.
The entry fee is the donation of non-perishable food items or toiletries to be given to local food pantries.
The event is untimed and noncompetitive, said Klemczewski. “It’s just people getting together for a good cause and helping out the local community at the same time.”
Participants will receive a t-shirt, distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Register in advance at www.ionia5kwalkrun.com or stop in any ICCMH office to complete the registration form.
For more information contact Klemczewski at 616-527-1790.
Family skate night
ICCMH will sponsor a family skate night from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., May 22 at Ionia Skateland, located at 820 N. Jefferson St. In Ionia. Entrance is free for the first 100 people, and parents must come with their children and remain with them throughout the event.
Presentation and breakfast
Psychiatrist Dr. Van Valkenburg will speak about bipolar disorder in children from 9 to 10:30 a.m., May 23 at Ionia County Community Mental Health, 375 Apple Tree Drive in Ionia. The program will be particularly helpful to foster parents in the treatment foster care program and adoptive parents, but is also open to anyone interested in the topic. Breakfast will be provided, but space is limited. RSVP by May 21 to Katie Magnuson at 616-527-1790 or email@example.com .
Community garden planting
Members of Peer Support Services plan to launch a community garden at the ICCMH Apple Tree Drive location, and will begin planting on May 30. The activity is open to everyone.
We’d like to invite the community to come watch something grow,” said Klemczewski.
Peer Support specialists also will travel to Lansing May 4 for Mental Health and Dignity Day, and again May 14 to participate in the Walk a Mile in My Shoes rally, both at the state capitol.
Specialists with Peer Support Services have a history of recovery from substance abuse or mental illness and now are trained to serve as role models to assist others to go through the recovery process by offering support and help integrating back into the community.”
For more information on any of these events, programs or on Ionia County Community Mental Health, visit www.ioniacmhs.org .