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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Health Fair Services

Q. What sorts of mental health services could be offered at a health fair? We're also looking for information specific to younger people, self esteem building, etc.

A. That may depend on the expected attendees at this Health Fair--is this for the general public, or a high school-age population? Since you are emphasizing health rather than, say, mental illness, I would try to emphasize the positive aspects of seeking help, rather than providing mental health services (a fair is no place to be treating mental illness, as I'm sure you realize).

Working with a local mental health care professional might be a good idea, if you have not already made such arrangements. You certainly could set up a booth with the banner "Emotional Wellness" or "Boosting Self-Esteem" over it, so as not to stigmatize people from stopping by. You might have some user-friendly brochures highlighting, for example, some warning signs of depression, and how/where to get appropriate help.

For information on depression, you can call the DART project at 1-800-421-4211; or see my article on this site at http://mhsource.com/depression/support.html.

Another area you might cover is substance abuse, albeit from a wellness perspective; e.g., you might consider a booth entitled, "Staying Healthy, Staying Drug-Free", which would emphasize the health bnefits of avoiding alcohol, cocaine, etc.

Re: self-esteem for teens, you may want to check out the website of the Leadership Workshop Foundation, which specializes in self-esteem workshops for teens (http://www.leadershipfdn.org/workshops.html). They might have some materials they would be willing to share with the organizers of your fair. Good luck!

February, 2001

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