Mental Health Awareness Month 2023


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to raise awareness about mental illness and to reduce the stigma that surrounds it. During this month, we strive to educate the community about the importance of mental health and how it affects us all.

Southborough Youth and Family Services is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing a calendar packed full of important events happening throughout the month of May. The theme for 2023 is "Leave the Light On." Please see below for event details. All registrations open April 1.

May 5: Southborough Goes Green

Wear green to show your support. Look for green ribbons across town.

Leave the Light On

Beginning May 5th, light your luminary bag each night at dusk to show your support throughout May. Find bags at Town Hall, Southborough Library, SYFS office, and Southborough Senior Center. Bags are free but limited to 2 per household and while supplies last.

May 11: Community Read: The Little Book of Hygge

Discussion Group via Zoom at 7 pm.

Join us in fun discussion of Meik Wiking's The Little Book of Hygge and learn how Hygge can complement mental health. Copies of the book are available through Southborough Library and SYFS. Sponsored by the Southborough Library. Registration required.

May 16: Drawing on Your Superpowers 

Southborough Library 4 to 6 pm.

Having big emotions can be hard to manage but what if these emotions are actually superpowers? Join Southborough Youth and Family Services and comic book artist, Jonathan Todd, for a workshop that transforms the way we look at our more challenging emotions into our capacity to be superhuman. Participants will learn the art of reframing and will design their own superhero that illustrates their own amazing superpowers. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their superhero at a community art gallery on 5/31 if they wish. This comic workshop is for ages 8-12. Registration required. Funded by Southborough Community Fund.

May 20: Mindful Art

21 Highland Street 2 to 3:30 pm.

Explore the practice of mindfulness through art with Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Art Therapist, Kim Welch, from Creative Heart Counseling. All participants will receive a free art journal and art supplies, create individualized pieces, and contribute to a community collaborative art project. The collaborative piece will be displayed in a community art gallery on 5/31 at the Southborough Community House. Join Kim to learn how meditative art can be a healing modality. For ages 14+. Registration required. No previous art experience required. Funded by Southborough Community Art Council.

May 24: "How to Recognize Suicidal Behaviors in Our Loved Ones" 

21 Highland Street 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

"How to Recognize Suicidal Behaviors in Our Loved Ones" is a QPR Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training that is a grass-roots way for you to help keep friends, loved ones, and our community safe. Preventing suicide is everyone's job. Learn how to recognize the signs of suicide at this special offering of QPR. Registration required.

May 31: Celebrate Wellness Event 

Southborough Community House, 6 to 8 pm.

Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close with this culminating event. Come out for an evening of music, art, entertainment, light refreshments, and the presentation of the Laurie Sugarman-Whittier award.

The Laurie Sugarman-Whittier Wellness Award to given to an individual selected by the Southborough Youth Commission who has served the Southborough community as a human services advocate, promoting human welfare, and continues Laurie’s mission of making Southborough a better place for all.

This year the Youth Commission unanimously selected Kim Tolander after receiving a record number of nominations.  Submissions described her as a community organizer, a strong advocate for youth, and a generous altruist who worked tirelessly to support others, among many other qualities.  Sadly, Kim passed away unexpectedly this past August and the Youth Commission is pleased to have the opportunity to honor her memory in this way.

This event is free. Donations to Friends of the Southborough Youth Commission are accepted.