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Manhattan Beach, South Bay to Observe Mental Health Awareness Month

Apr 26, 2023 07:45PM ● By Mb News Staff
During the month of May, the Beach Cities Health District - and local partners in the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach - will observe Mental Health Awareness Month through a community-wide campaign called “Mental Health is Health.”

The campaign - which includes several events in Manhattan Beach - is designed to highlight the importance of mental health and encourage residents to check in, get support and attend an event.

“Mental health is an important part of one’s overall health and well-being.” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of BCHD, in a statement. “Our goal with this campaign is to encourage people to prioritize mental health today, whether it’s for themselves or their friends, family or co-workers.”

To support its 2023 campaign, BCHD applied for and was awarded a $149,943 “Take Action for Mental Health Los Angeles County Mental Health Awareness Month Community Grant” from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). The CalMHSA grant will help fund the events and activities BCHD has planned, including Mental Health First Aid trainings, a Mental Health in the Workplace seminar and more.

The (free) events taking place in May in Manhattan Beach include:

Virtual and In-Person Social Hours with BCHD Care Manager Charlotte Barnett: If you have a question regarding community resources, want to learn more about Beach Cities Health District or share and learn ways to keep busy, this meeting is for you. These meetings are designed as a place to connect and feel heard.

May 2 and 16, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Zoom:
May 8, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in person at the Joslyn Community Center in Manhattan Beach.

City of Manhattan Beach Older Adult Health Fair: The Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department, along with Venice Family Clinic, will host the 43rd Annual Older Adult Health Fair. BCHD will host a booth at the fair. Transportation for Manhattan Beach older adults can be provided by Dial-A-Ride (310) 545-3500.

May 19, from 8:30 a.m. - noon at the Joslyn Community Center in Manhattan Beach.

Mental Health in the Workplace: Michele Nealon, president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, will provide her expertise on mental health and its impact on the workplace and mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety, depression and burnout. BCHD will also share local resources available to employers and their workforces.

May 31, from 8:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. at Adventureplex in Manhattan Beach. (Virtual option also available for those who register.)

BCHD staff will also facilitate workshops focused on resilience topics including mindfulness, gratitude, purpose, empathy, and bravery. Staff and Youth Advisory Council members will also lead mental health activities during lunch hours at middle and high schools.

The full schedule of Mental Health Awareness Month events, educational opportunities, and resources throughout the beach cities is available at

Partners Working Across Beach Cities

For the Mental Health Awareness Month events, BCHD is partnering with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, CalMHSA, L.A. County Department of Mental Health, plus the school districts, cities, and chambers of commerce in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

Community partners include Evolve Treatment Centers, Mindset Coach Dante Rosh, Insight Treatment Programs, Ask Dr. Mom, Indivisible Arts, Creative Life Mapping, Venice Family Clinic, Body Project, NAMI South Bay, South Bay Children's Health Center, South Bay Families Connected and Taking Time: South Bay.

Mental health affects millions of people across the country, including the beach cities, where many people are dealing with mental health issues. The 2022 California Healthy Kids Survey found that 18% of beach cities 11th graders reported considering suicide in the past 12 months, while the 2020 Gallup Well-Being Index, surveyed during the first year of the pandemic emergency, reported 49% of beach cities residents reported significant daily stress, up from 45% in 2010.

“As we did during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to continue taking care of one another. We need to check in and engage with our community,” said Bakaly. “It’s important to know the signs if someone is struggling, including yourself, and how to help others or get help that you might need.”

BCHD Celebrating 25 Years as Health District

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) is a health care district focused on preventive health, serving the communities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. As a public agency, it offers an extensive range of health and wellness programs, with services and facilities to promote health and prevent diseases across the lifespan. BCHD also operates AdventurePlex, a health and fitness facility for kids; and the Center for Health & Fitness, a comprehensive fitness center that is the only Medical Fitness Association-certified facility in California.

BCHD was created in 1955 as the South Bay Hospital District. In 1998, state legislation changed the designation “hospital district” to “health care district” for the 70+ special districts in the state at the time. This year, BCHD is celebrating its 25th year as a "health district" that focuses on community wellness and healthy living programs. Visit or call (310) 374-3426 for more information.

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