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United Way of Lancaster County


Mental Health Awareness Month: A Q&A with Kim McDevitt (video)

Kim McDevitt, executive director, Mental Health America of Lancaster County. (Source: OUL)

“Asking for help shows how strong someone truly is,” said Kim McDevitt, executive director of Mental Health America of Lancaster County.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which began in 1949 as Mental Health Week. The Lancaster County commissioners and Lancaster City Council have both issued proclamations recognizing the observance.

The National Mental Health Association originated it to raise awareness of mental illness and reduce the stigma around it.

“Mental health is the basis for all health,” McDevitt said.

Mental Health America of Lancaster County is encouraging businesses, nonprofits and local government to take part in May’s “Shine the Light on Mental Health” campaign, lighting their windows with a green light to promote mental health awareness. More than 25 local organizations are participating.

In the 1800s, green was used to brand the “insane”; advocates have reclaimed the color as one that signifies new life, new beginnings and growth.

Maddie Seiler recently sat down with McDevitt to talk about Mental Health Awareness Month and what it means for our community. Watch the conversation in the video below: