NAMI Four County is offering a free community program, “Healthy You: The mind and body connection,” Tuesday, May 17 starting at 6 p.m. at the Montpelier Community Library, 216 E. Main St., for Mental Health Month. This two hour program will be helpful to those who struggle with mental illness or have a loved one who does.
Shirley A. Fry, M.Ed., will be the presenter. She is a retired teacher and guidance counselor who worked over 30 years in both public and private schools.
She has also taught parenting classes and did mediation for Shalom Counseling and Mediation.
Her interest in mental health is a result of a sister who has spent most of her life living with severe depression and anxiety.
For years, loving family members told her that to feel better she just needed to pray about it or think happy thoughts or just snap out of it.
Her sister was made to feel that her depression was just in her mind; that it wasn’t real. She now has professional help to manage her illness.
That experience with her sister led Shirley to become a mental health advocate committed to educating others about mental illness and eliminating the shame and stigma that individuals and families feel when people around them say things that just aren’t right even if well meaning.
Her presentation on May 17 will focus on how to become a “healthy you” by recognizing the symptoms of mental health problems and understanding how mental illnesses are treated.
She will discuss helpful ways of supporting individuals and families who are experiencing a mental health challenge and offer suggestions about self-care.
Shirley will also offer suggestions on a variety of ways to improve both mental and physical health.
NAMI Four County and Shirley Fry plan to repeat this “Healthy You” program in coming months in Defiance, Fulton and Henry counties.
For more information about NAMI’s free community mental health programs, classes and support groups, visit its website: www.namifourcounty.org.