Mental health fair resource fair

A new fair at Huntley High School has occurred to encourage people to make mental health a priority in their lives.


Rae Habel

One of the stands set up waiting to welcome guests to explain how their agency supports mental health.

By Grace LaLiberty

On Tuesday Jan. 24, a new fair called the Mental Health Resources Fair was held.  The goal of this fair is to encourage all people at Huntley High School to check in on their mental health on top of their physical health as well. This is to recognize the importance of how people’s emotions matter to their overall well being. 

This fair features a variety of local agencies to support mental health. This includes agencies like Northwestern Medicine, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ascension Health, and many more. There were also local family therapists and therapy dogs at this fair to support mental health. 

“A lot of people don’t know where to start, so coming to these fairs you can at least grab pamphlets or get connected with someone, grab business cards to be able to start talking to people,” Huntley Police Social Worker, Meghan Mumenthal said. “So I feel like it’s a good first step into knowing what direction to go.”

Many of these local mental health agencies have different perspectives on how being involved in a fair like Huntley’s Mental Health Resources fair can encourage people to prioritize their mental health more. 

“So having a fair like this not only presents options for people to get the help they need but also to meet people in person to reduce the stigma of mental health,” Blair Therapist, Dan Blair said. “Some of these places are the best kept secrets in McHenry County, and you never know about them without this.”

People who are involved in all these agencies supporting mental health are coming together with other agencies to come up with an effective plan on how to make people’s mental health and mood important to them on top of other things that matter in their lives. 

“I think the biggest thing is anytime we talk about any of these issues, it reduces that stigma because a lot of times when I was growing up, we didn’t talk about being depressed or having anxiety or even unhealthy relationships,” Turning Point Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, Elissa Crowley-Coroch said. “Now it’s much more open to talk about it and having us all here, I think it shows there’s tons of support to have too.” 

Families and people around Huntley who are eager to get better at making mental health a priority in their lives would have an interest in attending a fair like this to explore and learn the unique ways all these agencies have to help guide them in the right direction of caring for their mental health.