Mental health organization striving to reduce stigma

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — May is mental health awareness month and Skills of Central Pennsylvania has been seeing an uptick in people asking for help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They help people with a wide range of mental health illnesses and usually in May, they hold mental health awareness events, like their “Out of The Darkness Walk” and candlelight vigil. But this year they were canceled due to COVID -19 restrictions. So they’re trying to spread the word online instead.

Director of Recovery Servies, Kelly Shuler says “Skills has a Facebook page where we are encouraging people to present their recovery stories and allow the community to celebrate their successes.”

Tammy Driver has been dealing with Schizophrenia for almost all of her life and was hospitalized in 2003. She realized she should have gotten help earlier. Tammy ended up getting help from Skills of Central PA. Now she wants to help spread the word about the importance of mental health.

Some might believe their anxiety, depression, or stress isn’t a big enough issue to go see someone about. But kelly says reaching out for help is the first step to recovery. Shuler says “it’s important to know yourself and how you are feeling, if things feel out of sorts, you’re having a hard time getting out of bed, you don’t find joy in things that you are used to..its important that you talk about this, that you find a trusted friend, there’s numbers out there, helplines that you can reach out and talk to.”

Skills of Central PA and many other mental health facilities have been conducting activities and sessions on social media and through sites like Telehealth.

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