CHAC marks Mental Health Awareness Month with free, weekly events

The nonprofit Community Health Awareness Council is scheduled to offer a series of free online weekly events in May, Mental Health Awareness Month, aimed at informing, inspiring and helping individuals and families begin to heal after a difficult year.

Collectively titled “Unlocking Our Inner Strengths with CHAC,” and presented in partnership with LinkedIn, the events start May 5 and will be held weekly through May 26.

Topics are designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences and include ways to build lasting connections virtually and in person, the role that mental wellness plays in motivating local teens, self-care and support across diverse communities and tips for parents to help their teens navigate and succeed in a complicated world.

“CHAC has always been at the forefront of providing innovative ways to help members of our community cope, grow and heal,” said CHAC executive director Marsha Deslauriers. “While our shift to providing services via tele-health at the beginning of shelter-in-place had its challenges, our remote world also presents an opportunity for CHAC to expand its reach and promote mental wellness for a much wider audience.”

According to Deslauriers, as the community begins to emerge on the other side of the pandemic, the need for affordable and accessible mental health services will be greater than ever.

“We want to remind our community that CHAC is still here to fulfill that need,” she said.

Registration is open for all four events, slated 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. After each program, presented in the form of a panel discussion, participants may remain online for an additional half-hour for an optional question-and-answer session.

The schedule:

• May 5: “From Puppies to Paintings: Creative Ways to Build Lasting Connections”

• May 12: “Self-Empowerment Through Expression: The Crucial Role of Mental Wellness in Motivating Tomorrow’s Leaders”

• May 19: “Parenting Teens Doesn’t Have to be Painful”

• May 26: “Self-Care and Support Across Diverse Communities”

Co-sponsors of the series include Google Inc. and Santa Clara Family Health Plan. Additional sponsorships are available.

To register and for more information on the events or sponsorships, visit

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