Sugar Land festival aims to end mental health stigma and honor veterans

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Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Sugar Land festival aims to end mental health stigma, honor veterans
Advocates for Healthy Minds founder Evelyn Traylor spoke with ABC13 about its first May Extravaganza and Spring Festival.

SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- Mental health challenges are an ever-present struggle in all communities, but there are resources to help. Later this month, you can join your community for a day centered on treating mental health issues.

Advocates of Healthy Minds (AHM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting positive mental health, and ending the stigma around mental illnesses.

AHM will host its first May Extravaganza and Spring Festival on Saturday, May 27 in Sugar Land, offering a fun-filled day centered around mental wellness. The free event will happen in the Smart Financial Centre parking lot, 18111 Lexington Blvd, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This year, the event will honor veterans and active military members.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for a number of new mental health challenges, and with the World Health Organization downgrading the pandemic, more people are searching for a degree of normalcy.

"A lot of people lost their jobs. A lot of people had to stay home, and a lot of times that can cause depression," said AHM founder Evelyn Traylor. "And of course, during COVID, a lot of people did truly lose people to death. And grief is a very serious issue."

The event will feature an old-fashioned carnival, a car and fashion show, over 50 vendors, a splash pad, live performances and a variety of mental health resources.

"The event will actually benefit everyone," Traylor said. "It is a just-come-out and have a fun time event."

AHM recognizes many groups struggle with mental health challenges, such as veterans and active military, first responders, and young adults.

But they also bring awareness to groups that are not as commonly talked about, such as agriculture workers, an industry with one of the highest rates of suicide, according to a 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information, visit the Advocates of Healthy Minds website.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises, please call or text 988. You will reach a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to or dial the current toll free number 800-273-8255 (TALK).