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      May Day kicks off Mental Health Month

      The gloomy weather and windy conditions did not dampen the spirits of area children as they kicked off Mental Health Month.

      Transitions of Western Illinois welcomed the public to their 15th annual May Day celebration.

      The Maypole was the center of attention as children danced around the pole to the familiar tune of "Do You Know the Muffin Man?"

      A proclamation, declaring May as Mental Health Month was read aloud and balloons were released to signify the kickoff of mental health awareness.

      Barbara Baker Chapin explains the significance of the Maypole and the affect of mental health on an individual and the entire community. "The Maypole for centuries has kind of been a symbol of Spring. A symbol of new beginnings and growth." Barbara Baker Chapin said, "Community mental health services help people grow and change and become all that they can be."

      Nearly one in four adult Americans are affected by a mental health issue annually. Mental health is an illness that affects millions of people worldwide regardless of culture or socioeconomic status.

      Historically, mental illness has been stigmatized as something that people should ignore or just "get over".

      Reality is that mental health is just as important as physical health and has a direct impact on your overall well being.

      The people of Quincy are fortunate to have access to an array of mental health services through Transitions of Western Illinois and Blessing Hospital.