May Designated as Mental Health Month in Nicholasville

Published 10:01 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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The Nicholasville City Commission recently voted to approve a proclamation assigning May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Nicholasville. 


This move comes after members of Nicholasville Women’s United, a local mental health support group, requested Mayor Alex Carter make the proposal to raise awareness and normalize mental health issues, according to Nicole Stokley, one of the group’s founders. 

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“We’re happy to help, and I’ve known Nicole for a long time. When she came to me, I was grateful to help in any way,” said Nicholasville Mayor Alex Carter. 


“Unfortunately, a lot of times when we see mental health issues, it’s already come to suicide. And the more knowledgeable you are on a subject, knowledge is power; the more you talk about it in general, the more it makes it normal.” Stokley said. 


In their weekly support group, Stokley and co-founder Carlissa Edwards hold space for each other to vent. They even answer messages sent to their group’s Facebook page of the same name, offering a listening ear to whoever needs it.


“And I think that’s what we need as humans, just to know that someone really truly cares,” said group member Melissa Cravens. 


Mayor Carter and Nicole Stokley attended the same high school together. A little over a year ago, when Stokley started brainstorming about starting a support group with Edwards, she knew that Carter, city commissioner at the time, would help. 


“He made a difference because even when we first talked about it, he said even if I’m not elected, I’m going to help you. And to me, anybody that sticks to their word….that means a lot. I wish we could do more, but we have made a difference,” Stokley said. 


Thanks to the recovery community center’s program director, Kate Holway, Carter found a meeting place for the support group to meet [during] their Thursday night meetings at Shepherd’s House. 


Cravens, Stokley, and Carlissa purchased plaques for Holway and Carter to recognize their contributions to Nicholasville Women’s United.