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Jackson Spreads Mental Health Awareness During Mental Wellness Month

JACKSON, Tenn. - One indicator of the need for mental health wellness here in Tennessee is the number of calls made to the 988-suicide crisis lifeline.

The state reports about 21,000 Tennesseans have called the lifeline since its launch in July last year.

One reason for the increase could be callers no longer have to dial ten digits.

“I think the three digits is not as overwhelming as having all of the digits, so if you can dial 123 quicker than the other digits, it makes it a lot more accessible to them.”

Jackson-Madison County health promotions director Konisha Williams has experience in children’s and adults’ mental health services.

She knows the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on many people’s mental health, especially on young adults.

“Being confined to the home, we tend to be more confined to social media, on Snapchat, Facebook. I’m guilty of this myself, and just seeing all those things other people are posting, and maybe feeling like you’re not equal to them, or you want to be able to do the same things that they’re doing.”

Mental wellness month means a lot to Williams, not just because she works with mental wellness, but because she struggled with her own mental health.

“It means a lot, because I’ve worked in it for so many years, but I’ve also experienced depression and anxiety myself. so, it’s very important to take care of yourself, and practice self-care daily.”

Williams wants to break the stigma of therapy being a sign of weakness, she believes seeking help is a sign of strength.

If you or a loved one need help, you can call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988.

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