Mental Health Awareness Month ending, but local resources remain available year-round

Before we flip the calendar to June and the summer ahead, it’s not too late to recognize May as National Mental Health Awareness Month.

The month was established 75 years ago (1949) by mental health professionals, according to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

NAMI is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with its Take the Moment campaign. The association encourages people in all walks of life to foster open dialogues about mental health, and to cultivate empathy and understanding. NAMI also encourages the sharing of resources to support individuals and families on their journey towards mental wellness.

Westerville Education Challengeis all about supporting local families and mental health wellness. We invite the community to take advantage of the resources on this site and participate in our activities.

Should you find yourself or a family member in a mental health crisis, please call 911.

If you are looking for local resources, many are available. Please visit our Social Emotional Resource Center to see the vast array of options.

We will highlight two local providers in Westerville in our Awareness Month post today.

Concord Counseling

If you are a parent of a student enrolled in the Westerville City School District, the district maintains a contract for mental health services with Concord Counseling, 700 Brooksedge Blvd.

Concord formed in 1972 from a group of volunteers that wanted to help Westerville students deal with mental health issues. Today, Concord’s offices house a staff of more than 100 certified mental health counselors and clinicians. They offer services ranging from community support for people with severe mental disabilities, to drug and alcohol abuse treatment, to counseling for those experiencing grief, stress, depression and anxiety

Concord Executive Director Linda Jakes said that any Westerville student or parent can reach out to any school counselor in the school district, all of whom can make referrals for service at Concord.

Community members seeking care for themselves can initiate the intake process at Concord with a simple call, to 614-882-9338, ext. 205.

Jakes urges residents to use Mental Health Awareness Month to consciously check up on their mental health.

“You might have a little anxiety, a little depression, Jakes said. “If left alone, if can build instead of going away.”

“The general view of mental illness has started to change, but we still have a long way to go,” Jakes wrote in Concord’s May newsletter.

Ellie Mental Health

A relative newcomer to mental health services in Westerville is Ellie Mental Health, 450 Alkyre Run Road, Suite 250 – across County Line Road from the Westerville Community Center.

Opened in May 2023, Ellie Mental’s Westerville offices feature nine therapy rooms for counselors, a playroom for children, and 10 full-time therapists – soon to be 12. Tele-health visits also are offered.

Ellie accepts a wide range of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offers a sliding scale for the uninsured, said owners Dave and Jyothi Cherry. Its clinicians cannot prescribe medication, but they maintain a referral network of psychiatrists who can.

Ellie Mental focuses on finding the right counselor for each client, Dave Cherry said. Through its Ellie Match program, “We insure you are connected to the appropriate therapist.”

Whether you are struggling with anxiety, trauma, depression or other issues, the Ellie Match program is designed to pair every client with, “the best therapist for them.”

“We match you with one you will really connect with, then you will have a good outcome” he said.

The Cherrys said their goal with staffing is to stay ahead of capacity. As of now, they have no waiting lists to see counselors. “We can usually get you in within a couple of days,” Dave Cherry said.

The New Albany couple loves the focus of May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We want to make sure people are taking care of their mental health before it becomes a crisis … before it escalates,” Jyothi Cherry said. Counseling can “give people coping skills, to work through issues and avoid a crisis.”

The Ellie Mental Health offices are open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, with additional hours by request. Reach them by calling (614) 705-2585 or filling out an online form here.

CAPTION (below): Dave and Jyothi Cherry, owners of Ellie Mental Health, 450 Alkyre Run Road, Suite 250.