Mental Health Awareness Month in Franklin County

Contributed by Brandi Fitch


Did you know that one in five people live with a mental health condition? Chances are you or someone you know has been affected.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and as we are still in the middle of a pandemic, it is more important than ever to take a moment to stop, breathe, and evaluate your current mindset. How are you feeling today? It’s ok to say “I don’t feel the best” or “I’m not doing well”. But make sure that you take time for yourself. Whether it’s taking a walk, talking with a friend, reading a book, or listening to music. No matter what makes you feel better, stop what you’re doing and take 10 minutes to do it.

Take care of yourself. Because you are important and you matter.

If you or someone you know is feeling extremely overwhelmed, stressed, or you want to harm yourself or others, the following options are always available:

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or TEXT TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
  • For the National Crisis Text Line, text HOME to 741741
  • For the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (available 24/7), call 1-800-273-8255.
    • For the Veterans’ Crisis Line (available 24/7), call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or TEXT 838255

Local resources include:

  • Keystone Crisis Intervention, 24/7 at 717-264-2555 or 866-918-2555
  • Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton County Helpline at 717-264-2916
    • The MHA offers Online QPR Training (Question, Persuade, Refer-three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide).
  • The Mental Health Support Line can be reached toll-free, 24/7 at 1-855-284-2494.
  • Healthy Franklin County Mental Health Providers Map
  • WellSpan Philhaven Access Center is available 24 hours a day (at 717-273-8871 or 1-800-932-0359)
  • WellSpan Philhaven’s myStrength app. Find more information and register here. To sign up for free, use the code “START”. The app also translates to Spanish.


Any type of exercise or physical activity can help you manage your anxiety and immensely relieve stress. Several ways that you can stay active and moving include:

* Please consult your doctor before engaging in any new physical activity

More information on how to cope with stress during this difficult time can be found from the CDC, PA Department of Health, NAMI, or WellSpan Health.  Additional blog posts, podcasts, and tips for meditating can be found on the Coronavirus Sanity Guide.


Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation
Commissioner’s Meeting
272 N Second St.
Chambersburg, PA 17201
May 5th @ 11am

AIM (Accept, Identify, Move) -ACT 2-DAY Training Event
AIM blends Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Behavior Analysis together to form and intervention approach capable of transforming the lives of children. Participate in live virtual ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and AIM lessons, get questions answered and be part of a dynamic digital learning environment. Move between larger workshop style training and small breakout rooms where you work together and build and practice ACT lessons. Talk about scope of competency and practice.  This program is sponsored by WellSpan Philhaven.
Monday and Tuesday, MAY 3 & 4, 2021  9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
VIRTUAL via ZOOM (Link will be provided prior to session)
Public Cost: $299.00
Register here


WellSpan Philhaven’s Virtual QPR Training
Question, Persuade, Refer-three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
May 12th-Register here
May 18th-Register here


WellSpan Philhaven’s Mental Health First Aid for Adults
Mental Health First Aid for Adults is appropriate for anyone age 16 and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health-related crisis. Topics include anxiety, depression, psychosis, suicide, self-harm behavior substance use and how to administer naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a nationally recognized certification.
May 27th- Register here

WellSpan Philhaven also offers many Behavioral Health support and education programs, including the Virtual Education Support Group for Parents and Caregivers. More events and information from WellSpan Philhaven can be found here.


17th Annual Wellness Conference: Recovery Oriented Living
DateFriday, May 7th
Location: Zoom/virtual
Registrationonline form or  printable version

More details below:

9:30 – 10:30
Topic: Community Inclusion
Presenters: Gina Calhoun and Matthew Federici, The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery
Description: This presentation will support audiences in understanding the importance of community inclusion to our health and gain skills for increasing wellness through meaningful community participation. We will highlight the distinction between community integration, community inclusion, and community participation. Finally, we will describe how to access community participation in multiple domains and its importance to wellness and recovery.


Session 1
Topic: Supporting Our Youth Through Trauma
Presenters: Tristan Schnoke, Youth M.O.V.E. PA
Description: How our youth population is experiencing trauma, what effects may be seen, and how to be an effective support to those around you.


Topic: The Signs and Symptoms of Trauma Exposure
Presenters: Amy Swartz, Cumberland/Perry Early Intervention & Brittany Stough, Early Intervention Specialists, Inc
Description: This session focuses on the signs and symptoms that may arise from trauma exposure, including behavior, social emotional capacity, cognitive impacts, relationship challenges, etc. It highlights impact for different age groups.


LUNCH (our your own)  REGISTER HERE


Session 2
Topic: Art Project
Presenters: SHAPE Gallery
Description: An art class will be taught and a project completed using materials that participants will pick up ahead of time at the MHA office in Chambersburg, PA.


Topic: Intro to Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
Presenter: Larissa Jacobsen, Mental Health Association of Franklin & Fulton Counties
Description: A WRAP is essentially a trouble shooting manual for ourselves focused on increasing/maintaining wellness. In this session we will explore the components of a WRAP and create some of the key areas such as; Wellness Toolbox, Daily Maintenance Plan, and how to cope/plan for Triggers.


Session 3
Topic: Stocking Your Grief Toolbox
Presenters: Marcie Taylor, Drew Michael Taylor Foundation
Description: Too often, we find out after the death of a loved one occurs, that we don’t have the right tools in our grief toolbox to deal with our grief.  Presenter Marcie Taylor will discuss the best tools you can stock up on to help you rebuild your life after the death of a loved one.  These tools will help in other grief situations too, like the collective grief that we’ve experienced as a society in the wake of Covid-19.


Topic: Positivity & Resilience
Presenters: Dr. Rachel Day, One Skin Dermatology
Description: Learn about the power and effectiveness of resilience and how to increase your own.


Trainings Still Available!
10:30-12 (overlaps Session 1)
Topic: QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
Description: Learn 3 simple steps to help someone who may be thinking about suicide. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death nationwide and QPR can be learned in as little as 1.5 hours. It is a valuable and lifesaving tool for everyone to have. View flyer for more details and register online at Pre-registration is required for this FREE training.


12:30-2:30 (overlaps Sessions 2 & 3)
Topic: Working Minds
Description: Working Minds trains organizations to proactively address the early warning signs of suicide in the workplace. This training gives participants the skills and tools to appreciate the critical need for suicide prevention while creating a forum for dialogue and critical thinking about workplace mental health challenges, and by promoting help-seeking and help-giving. View flyer for more details and register online at Pre-registration is required for this FREE training.


17th Annual Art Show: Quarantine Creativity
Dates: Friday, May 14th – Sunday, May 16th
Location: 478 Grant Street, Chambersburg AND online/virtual
Entry Formsavailable here


21st Annual Walk the Walk: Stop Stigma
DateFriday, May 21st
Location: Zoom/virtual
Registrationonline form or printable version
Keynote: Gisele Fetterman, Second Lady of PA


Additional Mental Health Association events and information can be found here. There are also several FREE Virtual Mental Health Awareness Month events open for registration on Eventbrite here.


You can also access additional resources and Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month 2021 Toolkit here