Organization breaking mental health stigma for 91 years

May is Mental Health Awareness Month -- and one Milwaukee organization has been breaking down the stigma around mental health for 91 years. 

"People should really be thinking about mental health as an extension of their physical health," said Martina Gollin-Graves, President and CEO of Mental Health America of Wisconsin. 

Activity doing something to benefit the mind and body. 

"I encourage people to connect with another human being, someone you care about," said Gollin-Graves. 

Especially if you don't feel like yourself. According to tot the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults will experience mental health challenges each year. 

Martina Gollin-Graves is the president and CEO of Mental Health America of Wisconsin -- an organization that facilitates mental health programs and resources.

"I think there's been a lack of understanding and knowledge about how our brain is still a part of our body," said Gollin-Graves.

Some people facing these challenges for the first time ever.

"I think in the last year there have been more subtle symptoms due to COVID-19 and the pandemic. We're seeing a decrease in work performance, kids decrease in school performance, and increased anxiety who typically never had mental health challenges," said Gollin-Graves.

Martina hopes people who take action for their mental health share their experience to break the stigma surrounding mental health. 

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"What we’ve learned is that still being part of the community and still being integrated with family and friends is what helps people fully recover. So until everyone buys into that and understands how healthy that is for not only the individual but the community, we’re still going to experience shame," said Gollin-Graves. 

If you are in need of mental health resources, the Mental Health America of Wisconsin organization has a free screening on its website that can help navigate people to proper resources. 

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