What if you just can’t “get over it?”
Is mental health really an issue?
As a part of a nationwide series, Canyon Lake Rotary Club is sponsoring an event that makes no question too hard to ask. Or to answer.
“We all have questions about mental health,” said Club President Sheila Pringle, “because mental health has affected us all in one way or another. And quite frankly, there are probably quite a few of us that have wondered about our own mental wellness.”
In order to open some doors and shed some light on mental health, the club is hosting a “Rotary Day.” No matter the subject — and it has varied — clubs around the world are demonstrating their caring for their communities by bringing things to light and doing something about it.
“Rotary Day isn’t a day to magically fix things,” Pringle said. “It’s a day to recognize that if we work together we can work toward better understanding of each other. And, of course, it also helps to shine the light on the good that Rotary has done around the world and in their own towns.”
Canyon Lake Rotary’s community projects have included reading with first graders, building bookcases for elementary schoolchildren, building little lending libraries, erecting the flagpoles at the library, hosting Pints for Polio and raising money for Canyon Lake High School seniors to continue their studies at Texas colleges. The club has also helped with Operation: Float a Soldier; MS 150 Bike Ride; and Keep Canyon Lake Beautiful.
Pringle said the idea of working Rotary Day around mental health in Canyon Lake seemed like a fit because it was something the club hadn’t tackled yet.
“We’ve had some speakers that talked about it; or touched on it. So it was time we do something about it. If we encourage one person to seek help, we’ll have helped at least one family.”
The event will take place at Tye Preston Memorial Library on Monday, June 10 from 6-8 p.m. Anthony Winn, center director for Hill Country MHDD’s Comal Rural Clinic, will lead speakers who have been through mental health recovery and continue to strive for mental wellness.
“It’s important to recognize that mental wellness is not a destination; rather it’s a journey that will likely have bumps and hardships along with happiness and joy along the way,” Winn said.
The Canyon Lake Integrated Clinic has been growing since it arrived, Winn said. It was a project that came from two groups: Hill Country MHDD and its desires to meet the needs of Comal rural residents; and a group of community stakeholders in Comal County that aim to improve mental health services and collaboration.
The stakeholders and Hill Country MHDD created a strategic plan to address mental health needs in the entire county. That plan along with a wealth of local community support helped MHDD put together a proposal for HB 13 funding from the State Legislature made possible in 2017. The bill created the Community Mental Health Grant Program.
“We’re pleased to be in the Canyon Lake community,” Winn said. “We are pleased to be able to make access to mental health treatment more readily available.”
The clinic staff includes individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds to assist with a variety of needs. These include multiple care coordinators, a licensed therapist, a licensed vocational nurse, peer support specialists, a licensed chemical dependency counselor and a family partner. Additionally, the clinic provides transportation to those with transportation needs.
“It takes a community to address mental health concerns, not necessarily through provision of treatment but through understanding and collaboration,” he said. “My experience, since last June, is that Canyon Lake is that kind of community. The more we all know, the more we can all move toward better understanding of the issues. This benefits everyone.”
Winn added he was proud to be partnering with Canyon Lake Rotary Club on the event, and he pointed to one of the basic tenets of Rotary: “The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”
“It may be different, but it still means the same thing. If we can help bring peace to a person, we bring goodwill to his life. We add understanding in a person or a community and we’re contributing to building a better world of understanding,” he said. “In a world of individuals, that’s a good thing.”