Brown Hosts Press Conference for Mental Health Awareness Month, Advocates for Support and Stigma Reduction

Left to right: Joe Mattioli, Vice President of Northbound Community Recovery Center Tina Clymer, Administrator for Carbon Monroe Pike MHDS Senator Rosemary M. Brown Giana Paust, student and mental health advocate

MONROE – Sen. Rosemary M. Brown (R-40) held a press conference today in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.

The event encouraged individuals to seek mental health support and to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care. Speakers included the administrator for Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health Services Tina Clymer, vice president of Northbound Community Recovery Center Joe Mattioli and local student, Giana Paust.

“Mental health is an issue that touches every one of us,” said Brown. “Just like our physical health, we all have mental health. Our brain is a critical organ to our wellbeing and when it’s not at its best, it requires the same urgency and compassion as any other health issue.”

Brown highlighted the unique challenges posed by mental health disorders, which can prevent individuals from recognizing their own health concerns. “Whether it’s a friend, family member or even ourselves, mental health challenges are widespread and can come and go throughout a lifetime,” Brown said. “We must reduce the stigma and encourage individuals to seek support.”

In her address, Brown shared her personal experience with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which she diagnosed herself with in college and managed with professional help. “OCD is a lifelong journey and sometimes it can be difficult. But I’ve learned to take care of myself and am thankful that my OCD is manageable and controlled,” Brown said. “One in 40 people have OCD or experience OCD symptoms at some point in their life.”

As the founder and co-chair of the Senate’s Mental Health Caucus, Brown has made it a priority to address the mental health crisis across all ages and families. She has successfully enacted, initiated, and supported numerous proposals to bolster the state’s response to this public health concern.

“These initiatives are driven by families, individuals and mental health experts, some of whom you will hear from today,” Brown said during the event. “While the legislative work is critical, it’s a team effort. We can all work toward creating supportive environments in our personal relationships and connecting those in need with appropriate resources.”

Brown concluded the press conference by introducing individuals who have worked tirelessly to provide mental health services and resources in Monroe County.

“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It affects how you think, feel and behave,” said Tina Clymer. “Prioritizing your mental health is crucial for leading a healthy and fulfilling life.” Clymer emphasized the importance of increased state funding to better address the crisis. Help is available, recovery is possible, and you are not alone.”

“Many people suffer in silence with mental health every day. Stigma, fear, and isolation can prevent many from getting the help they need,” said Joe Mattioli. “If we change the way we view mental health and help those suffering feel connected, a remarkable opportunity for them to find wellness and recovery will be created.”

“I want to use my experiences to support other kids who are struggling. No one should have to face these challenges alone,” said Giana Paust. “By speaking up and sharing our stories, we can break the stigma around mental health and create a supportive community where everyone feels heard and valued.”

Brown encourages individuals struggling with their mental health to seek the support of resources from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services or by dialing 988 to be connected to a trained professional.

CONTACT: Kristine Bush

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