Blue Ridge Community College is hosting a special guest speaker as well as a resource fair to highlight the importance of mental health near the end of September.
Featuring guest speaker Christy Baker – a local nurse for Advent Health – the first event takes place on Sept. 30 from 6 -7:30 p.m. in the Thomas Auditorium in the Sink Building on the College’s Henderson County Campus.
The event is called “Telling Her Story: The Importance of Mental Health,” and will outline Baker’s first-hand account of her mental health challenges amidst sorrow, family loss, and hardship in her life. She will discuss how she navigated through years of trials and found methods to cope while growing in her profession and family life.
Community mental health partners will also be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. for attendees to network with and learn what local resources are available.
Blue Ridge Dean of Health Sciences Leigh Angel explained how mental health is often minimized in lieu of a focus on physiological health.
“When people think of healthcare, they immediately think of their physical health. Mental health is often overlooked and this can cause a variety of health problems if left unaddressed,” Angel said. “Depression and anxiety are incredibly common, and affect overall health, which is why it’s important for our community to know what resources are available. Connecting with others can help to create a sense of belonging and a community of support during difficult life situations.”
The second event is the Mental Health Resource Fair, which takes place on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the College’s Health Sciences Center parking lot in downtown Hendersonville.
This family-friendly event will provide an opportunity to learn more about local mental health resources. Community partners will provide information for both Henderson and Transylvania Counties, activities for kids, stress-reducing activities for adults and much more.
“This will be a great opportunity for the community to come together and learn about the mental health and substance abuse resources we have available in both Henderson and Transylvania counties,” Angel added.
Both events are funded by a grant from Pisgah Health Foundation.
To learn more about Blue Ridge’s mental health programs like its Psychiatric Technician and Substance Abuse courses, visit https://www.blueridge.edu/programs-courses/healthcare/.