In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, May 1-31, FISH OF SANCAP provided green ribbons to all that visited their Food Pantry and Walk-In Center this past week. The green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health awareness and those that wear them show colleagues, loved ones and others that mental health is important. FISH volunteers, wearing green, helped decorate the Food Pantry with posters and quotes about mental health. Green symbolizes the continual awareness of mental health in order to help fight the stigma that is often associated it.
For the next several weeks, FISH will distribute an anonymous questionnaire to help the organization assess the relationship between food insecurity and mental health. According to Hunger & Health by Feeding America, ‘food insecurity and mental health share a bilateral relationship—Mental Health conditions are worsened by food insecurity, while food insecurity can also be worsened by mental health conditions.’ [i] “By distributing this questionnaire, we hope to identify and develop solutions to hunger and health barriers within our community”, says Maria Espinoza, Executive Director, FISH.
FISH, the islands ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ social service organization, plays an important role throughout southwest Florida because of the assistance offered, not just to residents of the islands, but also to the workforce and visitors. Their Food Pantry is a vital service for many households and the organization works around the clock to keep pace with increased demands. Since the last two years of pandemic living, the organization reports increased accounts of stress, isolation and uncertainty from those they serve, all of which can lead to changed health and wellness conditions. “By honoring Mental Health Awareness month, we hope to reinforce that FISH is here to help with resources and referrals,” continues Espinoza. If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, mood or panic disorder or any other concerning conditions, please contact a health professional. For additional information on the FISH organization and their programs and services, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director at 239-472-4775