County of Marin - News Releases - Mental Health Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
May 17, 2016

Early Recognition Emphasized During Mental Health Month

What does it feel like to have a mental illness? Speaking out helps erase stigma

San Rafael, CA – The highly personal theme for May is Mental Health Month calls attention to what life with a mental illness feels like to someone going through it.

Kari Beuerman, standing at left, is Marin Health and Human Services’ assistant director. She shows the approved resolution with Supervisor Judy Arnold, standing at right.Marin HHS Assistant Director Kari Beuerman (left) accepts the approved resolution from Supervisor Judy Arnold.
“We need to speak up early and in real relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone,” said Suzanne Tavano, Ph.D., the Mental Health and Substance Use Services Director for Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS).

On May 17, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Tavano and several others emphasized the importance of the awareness campaign. She said

research shows that by ignoring symptoms a person can lose 10 years in which specialists could intervene and change a life for the better. As suggested by the Life With a Mental Illness theme during May (with #mentalillnessfeelslike as its social media hashtag), speaking out about what mental illness feels like can encourage others to recognize symptoms early on in the disease process and empower individuals to be agents in their own recovery.

Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work. Being open about how life with a mental illness feels can help build support from friends and family, reduce stigma and discrimination, and increase chances of recovery.

A website called Each Mind Matters includes information about mental health and the statewide initiatives to prevent suicide, eliminate stigma and discrimination, support school mental health programs, and promote prevention and early intervention. is a helpful and engaging website with mental health content directed toward youths.

Join the County of Marin's Mental Health and Substance Use Services Division's Cultural Competency Advisory Board on May 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Health and Wellness Campus, 3240 Kerner Blvd, San Rafael, to commemorate the May Mental Health Month: Each Mind Matters event!

Featured events include:

  • folk dancers
  • service agency information booths
  • Zumba
  • music medicine
  • skits by Los Promotores about accessing mental health services offered in Spanish.
  • a youth poetry slam

For more information on May is Mental Health Month, check out the video featuring Marin HHS program staff and clients. Learn more at


Kari Beuerman
Assistant Director
Health and Human Services

20 N. San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6769
Email: Kari Beuerman
Marin HHS website