May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Utica, New York (May 2022) – Utica, NY- May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this year and Center for Family Life and Recovery and Mental Health America are bringing it back to basics. With mental health entering mainstream conversations, it is critical that solid foundations of knowledge are formed. The National Goal this month is to help the public recognize warning signs and tools to maintain mental wellness.

Screening can help catch mental health problems early. Set up by calling (315) 733-1709. A screening only takes a few minutes, and after you are finished you will be given information about the next steps you should take based on the results.

According to Mental Health America, 13.84% of youth aged 12-17 years old report at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the last year and if left untreated, issues like this can persist into adulthood. New York is the second-highest state in the country in this category. 9.7% of youth in the US have severe major depression, which is on the rise over the last year. CFLR is offering a training for Mental Health First Aid for youth and it’s open to the public. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. This course will be offered on May 31st from 9am – 4pm with a 1-hour break for lunch. It is limited to 20 people and costs $75 per person. Register for this course here:


Additionally, CFLR is offering a virtual program to help participants learn about the common risk factors for suicide, how to spot the warning signs in others, and how to keep ourselves, loved ones, and those in our community safe. This virtual event will have two sessions held May 24th from noon – 1pm and 7pm-8pm. Registration is on CFLR’s calendar:

Jodi Klostreich, Director of Prevention Services at CFLR says that by “normalizing the conversation about mental health lessens the stigma and empowers people to voice their struggles, reach out for support, and find the help that is needed. By promoting awareness and education and opening that dialogue on mental health can offer someone HOPE, HEALING, TREATMENT, RECOVERY, and lessen suicide.” Klostreich, also says, that prevention is key, and the earlier self-regulation and positive reinforced coping strategies are implemented can make all the difference in the way we think, feel, and behave. Klostreich, also recommends that if someone is struggling to talk about their mental health, here are some tips that might be helpful:

  1. Journaling, “write like nobody’s reading” share when you feel comfortable.
  2. Talk to someone that doesn’t know you like a counselor or social worker, if you do not feel comfortable to share with a family member or friend.
  3. Use a hobby to express your feelings like writing lyrics, poems, or painting.
  4. Know that talking to someone to share your struggles is courageous and can take a lot of weight off your shoulders, a sense of relief, and it can also help navigate further support.
  5. Remember that you are NOT alone!



Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is proud to be a leader in creating a world where people have the power to achieve and celebrate recovery. CFLR supports individuals and families struggling with addiction, mental health, and behavioral issues by inspiring hope, providing help, promoting wellness, and transforming lives. To learn more, visit or call (315) 733-1709.

Posted by Cassandra Sheets