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The News Editorial: Kudos for a busy May and Mental Health Awareness

 

May 20, 2021



It’s time to hand out a few kudos. First, kudos to the “merry month of May.”

I don’t know if May is necessarily merry but it is busy. That’s a good thing and this year it definitely does make May merry.

Last week we covered the Washakie Prevention Coalition Drug-Free Community Walk, the Chief Washakie FFA banquet, Worland Middle School spring music finale, street vendor day, Washakie Museum STEAM Saturday, Worland High School graduation parade and WHS graduation and the Cloud Peak Counseling Mental Health Event to end the stigma of mental health.

Last year only one of those things was held – the parade. Kudos to organizer Kara Anderson for bringing back what appears to be a community favorite event for those of all ages.

It was exciting to be able to cover normal graduation ceremonies in Ten Sleep and Worland this year. The weather could not have been better, the atmosphere perfect and it was nice to photograph the joy and emotion on the graduates’ faces, without them being hidden behind masks.

Maybe that is why May is merry because there is so much to do and this year as we slowly start to move past, or rather through the COVID-19 pandemic, it even seems merrier.

This week is not any less merrier or any less busier. Tuesday was the Worland kindergarten graduation, Thursday the Worland eighth-grade graduation, state soccer and state track and Saturday is the March for Jesus, Worland-Ten Sleep Chamber Business Expo, Washakie County 4-H Carnival, Cowboy Joe Club Series Golf Tournament and a meeting on the Constitution. All of this week’s events were either canceled or not even considered last year due to COVID.

(Due to limited space, photos and coverage of some of these events will be coming over the next few weeks.)

Yes, May is indeed merry this year.

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Kudos this week also go to Cloud Peak Counseling for sponsoring the Mental Health Event to work on ending the stigma around mental health.

This was the first in what is hoped to become an annual event. It needs to be an annual event because the stigma won’t end with just one event. It’s a message that needs to be sent to the public over and over again. It is OK to get help.

There is a stigma for those who get counseling; however, people can get counseling for a variety of reasons.

Mental health consumer and advocate Shayna Florian was the opening speaker for the event, detailing her own mental health journey. She said it best when she said people have no trouble talking about their physical health and the same should be true about mental health. We all have physical and mental health.

She gave advice for people who may not be seeking help, for those who are seeking help and how all of us can help end the stigma.

One of the lessons she said was that we need to look at people differently. Don’t call someone schizophrenic but rather a person with schizophrenia. If a person has a physical illness like cancer we don’t say there’s cancer we say there is a person with cancer.

It’s about the person and we need to see everyone as people and not an illness, whether it be physical or mental.

While he didn’t speak at the mental health event, we can all heed the words of Paul Ramos, Worland’s keynote speaker at graduation when he talked about the importance of listening.

We need to see people as people and we need to hear them. We need to listen.

These are lessons that will not be learned overnight but Friday was a great start.

 
 

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