The Macomb Daily

Mental Health Awareness fair set for Feb. 18 in Macomb

Free event highlights mind/body wellness

- By Nicole Tuttle

Macomb Family Services, Inc. is bringing mind/body balance to Richmond when it hosts the Macomb County Mental Health Awareness Fair.

The Macomb County Mental Health Awareness Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 18, at Richmond High School in the auditorium. Richmond High School is located at 35320 Division in Richmond. The fair is free, open to the public to attend, and designed to be an interactiv­e, family-friendly experience.

Katie Wylin is the program coordinato­r for the American Rescue Plan Act at Macomb Family Services. She anticipate­s fair attendees will become more aware of the number and types of mental health and related services available county-wide and beyond.

“We think it is important to raise awareness for mental health issues and services,” Wylin said.

Wylin said this year marks the second Macomb County Mental Health Awareness Fair hosted by Macomb Family Services. The first fair was held in Shelby Township in 2020.

“We have discussed having games for kids and a coloring table also. We are providing food and drinks free to our patrons,” Wylin said.

Mental health and wellness organizati­ons from across Macomb County will be present at the fair. They will be providing informatio­n about the services and resources available to support mental health and behavior health, as well as substance use services and overall wellness. Macomb Family Services Prevention Director Joe Thayer said 30 or more organizati­ons will be represente­d at the fair. Wylin anticipate­s a few of the organizati­ons that will have a presence at the fair will include Macomb County Health Department and the Families Against Narcotics’ Hope Not Handcuffs program.

“We have a bunch of different agencies coming from all over, even Wayne, and couple from Oakland County. We will have door prizes to entice people to come in,” Wylin said. “Most of the prizes are gift cards for different businesses around Richmond.”

Macomb Family Services Inc. has locations in Clinton Township, Richmond and Romeo. The organizati­on provides a variety

of services, including substance abuse treatment and prevention, mental health and residentia­l services. In the area of mental health, the organizati­on offers counseling and evidence-based programmin­g. It offers residentia­l services for developmen­tally disabled adults. Wylin said that not only will Macomb Family Services be providing informatio­n about clinical services and prevention programs, but it will also be looking for new members for the Northern Macomb Prevention Coalition.

“We are just recruiting new members of the community, local business owners, parents, people from different agencies,” Wylin said.

The Northern Macomb Prevention Coalition meets at Macomb Family Services, Romeo location, and focuses on prevention as well as reduction of youth substance abuse and suicide.

“We want to create a bigger presence and bring awareness to issues like mental health, teen vaping, stuff like that. We are hoping that the turnout at the health fair will entice them to join us and see what other things we are trying to accomplish,” Wylin said.

Some local gyms will also have a presence at the fair to speak to the importance of the mind and body health connection, according to Thayer.

“We have invited someone to do some yoga. It is not just the mental but a lot of the physical as well,” Thayer said.

She hopes the fair will provide resources for attendees across a wide spectrum of ages.

“I don’t think there is a be all, end all when it comes to mental health. The more we can provide in resources, the more we can help individual­s or communitie­s to better understand things that might happen, regardless of the age of the person,” Thayer said.

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