‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ event raises mental health awareness


BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – On Friday, the Biloxi Civic Center served as the scene for the annual Don’t Worry, Be Happy event, giving attendees a chance to have fun, give to a good cause and start a dialogue about a topic that many struggle with: mental health.

The theme for the event is “mental champions,” and when it comes to helping the cause, those with the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi state they need more champions as the nation’s mental health crisis steadily rises.

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When it comes to mental health, sometimes seeking help can be a blur. That’s why the association is trying to bring clarity to this ever-growing mental health crisis.

“That phone call, or whatever it might be saying…’I was just thinking about you, I hope you’re okay.’ That could be the moment that makes them turn to a different decision that they might have been considering,” said Kay Denault with the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi.

The fundraiser comes just one day before a universal hotline number is changed.

“What’s happening now is nationally, we’re going to have 988 for people to call if people are experiencing some mental health crisis or behavioral or emotional crisis,” said Denault. “We have 911 for the police related things. We have 988, where instead of being routed to the police, you’ll be routed to a mental health professional that’s trained to help someone in that situation. It’s a big deal across the U.S. to have this number going. It’s going to be broadened now, because people can remember the three digits instead of a 1-800 number.”

According to the CDC, more than half of the U.S. population will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lifetime.

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