Menlo Park: Library events focus on mental health awareness


The Menlo Park Library has been hosting a series of activities this month focusing on mental health and improving awareness about it in the community. The series is led in partnership with San Mateo County Health.

The effort this year is focused on the theme "Words of Wellness," and is part of a statewide effort to promote mental health awareness in the familiar community spaces of public libraries, according to library event coordinator John Weaver. Two upcoming events are:

● On Friday, May 24: Mental Health Open Mic, from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. at Cafe Zoe, at 1929 Menalto Ave. in Menlo Park. The event will be led by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto.

● On Wednesday, May 29: Film screening and discussion of the documentary film, "The S Word," which follows a suicide attempt survivor seeking other survivors and their stories. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Melissa Kelley, a therapist who works with teens and families and has been a school counselor at Palo Alto High School, Alta Vista High School and Kehillah Jewish High School. She has also worked as a research manager at the Stanford Center for the Study of Families, Children and Youth. The event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the downstairs program room at the main library at 800 Alma St.

Help is available

Any person who is feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal can call 1-800-784-2433 to speak with a crisis counselor. People in San Mateo County can call the StarVista 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 650-579-0350. Spanish speakers can call 1-888-628-9454. People can reach trained counselors at Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

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