PADUCAH, Ky. (News First) — May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and Paducah is amplifying awareness of the critical role mental health plays in our daily lives.

Mayor George Bray emphasized the importance of addressing mental health challenges in a message kicking off the month.

“In our swiftly evolving world, navigating complexities has become increasingly daunting,” Bray said. “The pandemic reshaped our perceptions of work and impacted numerous relationships. Moreover, incessant connectivity through technology amplifies the cacophony of the world, affecting mental well-being. Our contemporary lifestyle, with its inundation of information, poses significant mental health ramifications. Yet, it also empowers us to mobilize and extend collective support.”

However, amidst heightened connectivity, a growing concern is loneliness, identified as a pressing public health issue by recent surveys, with over half of U.S. adults (58%) reporting feelings of isolation.

Paducah’s City Commissioners, including Bray, have deliberated on mental health’s significance during recent strategic planning sessions, commending Commissioner Raynarldo Henderson for initiating dialogues on community support mechanisms.

Bray shared a personal experience, acknowledging the perpetual impact of mental health challenges. “I have suffered a personal loss in my family from which I will never fully recover. I understand all too well the need for mental health support,” he said.

During Mental Health Month, Bray urged community members to prioritize mental well-being and advocated for seeking support amidst the hustle of modern life. “Fostering tranquility and prioritizing wellness can seem daunting in our rapid-paced society. But there are community partners eager to assist,” he emphasized.

Mental Health America’s resources were highlighted as valuable tools for reaching out during tough times, aiding both individuals and their support networks. The city’s website offers links to local and national mental health resources to facilitate access to assistance.

Bray concluded with a heartfelt plea: “Take that first step to seek help or initiate conversations with those in need. Take care of yourself and each other.”

For further information, visit Paducah’s website.