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Stark County, OH (May 1, 2019) – Green, the color associated with Mental Health Month, will shine on the Stark County Court of Common Pleas at 101 West Tuscarawas St. in downtown Canton throughout May. The public display will remind Stark Countians that mental health is health; since 1949, May has been celebrated as Mental Health Month in the United States.

“It’s another way we are pushing these conversations out into the open and, over time, reducing the stigma around mental health,” said John Aller, executive director of Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR). “If something was going on with your physical health, if your back hurt, chances are you’d mention that to a friend or family member. Mental health is health – it’s okay to talk about it, and when needed, seek treatment. We are working every day to see that services are available right here in the community.”

StarkMHAR’s mission is to support wellness and recovery through innovation in funding, collaboration, education and advocacy. A county board, StarkMHAR is empowered by the State of Ohio to plan, develop, fund, manage and evaluate community-based mental health and addiction services; federal, state and local funds are utilized to ensure mental health and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support services are available to individuals and families in Stark County.

May will see several other awareness activities, too. Messages will run on all gas station video screens in Stark County that convey the importance of young people having a trusted adult in their lives. On May 3, attendees to First Friday in downtown Canton can visit the StarkMHAR table to make a bracelet that corresponds to how they’re feeling – different color beads will be available that symbolize different emotions. The Stark County Commissioners will recognize Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 9), with a proclamation. Those who frequent local coffee shops in May could receive a special coffee sleeve with a conversation starter, which adults can use with young people in their lives who may look to them for support. As the month comes to a close, information will be available on the June 1 opening of a collaborative project between Stark Parks and StarkMHAR – a 1-mile, 10 station Mindfulness Walk at Petros Lake Park.

About Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery
Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery is a multi-faceted organization of expert professionals, dedicated volunteers and concerned community leaders close to mental health and addiction needs right here at home. StarkMHAR is responsible for planning, funding and monitoring public mental health and addiction prevention, early intervention and treatment services delivered to the residents of Stark County. It is one of approximately 50 boards coordinating the public behavioral health system across Ohio. StarkMHAR also advocates for residents with behavioral health issues at both the local and state levels and provides educational opportunities for local providers and other community stakeholders. For more online about the work of StarkMHAR, visit