In the fall of 2013 and early 2014, Mayor Jerry Taylor, with the support of former Mayor Woodrow Hay, began to understand the need to get the greater Boynton Beach community talking about mental illness to dispel misconceptions and promote recovery and a healthy community. Mayor Taylor recognized the unique role public officials have in shaping community responses that will help prevent behavioral health disorders, reduce the impact of behavioral health problems when they do occur and ensure needed treatments and support services are available. It became clear that the community needed to become engaged in finding innovative community-based solutions to mental health needs, with a focus on helping young people.
There isn’t a family that hasn’t been touched by mental illness. In any given year one in 4 people will suffer an anxiety disorder. Nearly 7 percent will experience a major depressive disorder. Early intervention, community-based therapy, access to medication and strong social supports help people recover.
In 2014 the City Commission supported the creation of the Boynton Beach Mental Health Committee to enhance quality of life and build a stronger, more efficient mental health community through education and awareness and access to integrated health and support services. Former Mayor Woodrow Hay, a widely respected leader who has devoted 40 years of his life to public service in Boynton Beach, became the Committee chair. “I am proud to serve as the first Chairman of this important committee” said Hay. “It is time we work together as one community to improve the quality of life for everyone by breaking the stigma of mental illness that prevents people from getting the treatment and support they need.”