Planning has begun for Rise Above It, an annual free event designed to continue the conversation around mental wellness in the Hancock County community. It’s open to all ages and is scheduled for November 9 at Greenfield Central High School from 5:30 pm to 8 pm. Read on to find out more.

What’s included in the Rise Above It event?

Local organizations will have displays and demonstrations that dig into topics like mental wellness, self-care, and substance misuse. While Rise Above It is held at a local school, its target audience is anyone, including students, parents and community members. Participants can attend focused workshops to learn more about specific mental health concerns and substance misuse topics. They can also indulge in some much-needed self-care, which is such an important component to mental well-being.

What do you mean when you talk about mental wellness and substance misuse?

Mental illness, defined as the presence of any mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, can affect any person, regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic class, education, or address. Substance misuse, which includes the use of illegal drugs and the inappropriate use of legal substances, including tobacco and alcohol, also contributes to the current state of Indiana’s mental health. Consider these numbers:

  • One in four American adults, and one in five American children, lives with mental illness.
  • Indiana ranks fifth in the nation for states with the worst drug problems.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Hoosiers ages 25-34.
  • Here in Hancock County, recent studies show that 65% of our youth report knowing someone who has had serious thoughts of suicide.
  • Hancock Regional Hospital’s most recent Community Needs Assessment indicates that 17% of Hancock County residents smoke and 18% reported drinking excessively.

Mental health concerns and substance misuse can be insidious, affecting both the person and their loved ones and friends. Unfortunately, mental health never announces its presence, and substance misuse rarely seeks out the spotlight. That’s one of the many reasons why the Healthy365 Connection Center sponsors educational programs and events like Rise Above It.

Why is it so important to talk about mental wellness?

In a perfect world, people would feel as comfortable discussing their mental health as they feel about discussing physical health concerns. However, while most people have no problem saying they struggled last week because they had the flu, many would not want to admit that they stayed home due to bouts of depression or struggles with substance misuse. Events like Rise Above It help break the stigma by bringing mental health discussions to the forefront and letting participants know it’s OK to ask for help.

For instance, last year’s event included informational materials on vaping, domestic violence, and teen drug use. Parents visited an exhibit called “Hidden in Plain Sight,” where they learned to identify drug paraphernalia and stash compartments that can be disguised as everyday items. We also offered onsite Narcan training, which is potentially lifesaving training that anyone can learn to possibly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. There was also “In Her Shoes,” a domestic violence simulation tool designed to increase awareness of the struggles faced by domestic violence survivors. This year’s Rise Above Event will include both of these programs.

Why is self-care a part of the Rise Above It event?

When you visit this year’s Rise Above It event, you’ll be able to indulge in specific self-care activities:

  • Relaxation station – free chair massages
  • Beautification station – haircuts and nail painting
  • Stress Relief station – coloring pages, fidget toys, deep breathing exercises and weighted blanket sampling
  • Fuel station – healthy snacks and information about how food affects your mood
  • Gratitude and Positive Affirmation station – write notes to spread kindess to yourself and others
  • Move and Groove station – participate in Zumba and yoga with music
  • Changing Footprints – free shoes for your family!

Taking care of yourself has a powerful affect on both your physical health and your mental health. Self-care may not be a cure for mental health concerns, but it may help you cope with everyday stresses that can intensify struggles with depression, anxiety, or substance misuse. Plan to treat yourself as you participate in the activities listed above, and watch our website and social media feeds for more information as we add more activities to the schedule.

Sounds great! I definitely want to attend. What should I do next?

As we stated above, the event is free and open to anyone. We do ask that you register in advance to help us plan for the evening’s attendance. You can find the registration form online here or by copying and pasting into your browser.

Nobody should have to struggle silently with mental wellness or substance misuse concerns. Plan to join us at the Rise Above It event on November 9 to learn new information and coping strategies for yourself and those you love. If you’re currently struggling with mental wellness or substance misuse, remember that the Healthy365 Connection Center can help you find local resources and treatment options. Call us during business hours at 317-468-4231 or stop by the center at 120 W. McKenzie Road in Greenfield. Let’s get healthy, stay healthy and thrive as a community together.