Focus on Mental Wellness


Inspired by community feedback, the Town of Wake Forest will embark on a yearlong exploration of mental wellness issues and challenges. Throughout the year, we will host "Focus on Mental Wellness" workshops, fairs, and training sessions to raise awareness about mental wellness and share information about programs, services, and resources available to anyone suffering from untreated or undertreated mental illness.


"Clearing the Air: Navigating COVID-19, Tobacco Cessation & Vaping Realities"

The Town of Wake Forest partnered with Wake County to host “Clearing the Air: Navigating COVID-19, Tobacco Cessation & Vaping Realities” on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

Watch the Video

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development. Youth e-cigarette and cigarette use have also been associated with mental health symptoms, including depression. The February 15 workshop explored these, and other health risks associated with smoking and teen vaping.

The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Rasheeda Monroe MD of the UNC School of Medicine and Director of the Kenan Urban Scholars. Panelists will include Dr. Stefanie Etienne MD, Medical Director/Family Physician at WellCare of North Carolina; Bolu Abe-Latham, Physician Associate at the Duke Smoking and Tobacco Cessation Program; and Michael Scott, Program Manager at the Center for Black Health & Equity.

For more information, email Community Outreach Manager Andrew Brown, Jr.

Event Media Coverage


Check back for details on future sessions

  • March 11 - Adult Mental Health First Aid Training (TOWF Staff only)

  • February 26 - Youth Mental Health First Aid Training (Class full)

  • April 15 - Fear of Falling (2-7 pm, TBD)

  • May 18  - NAMIWalks NC - JOIN or DONATE to our team "Wake Forest Focused on Mental Wellness"

  • May 20 - Isolation and Loneliness of our Seniors (2-7 pm TBD)
  • Gun Lock Safety to Decrease Suicide (TBA)

  • Education & Distribution of Narcan - Over the Counter Opioid Overdose treatment drug (TBA)

  • Mental Wellness Fair - Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-4 p.m., Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.


Mental Wellness Fair |  4th Saturday in September through 2026

Due to the overwhelming success & positive feedback from our Inaugural Mental Wellness Fair in 2023, the Town of Wake Forest is committed to hosting the fair annually through 2026 - and possibly beyond! This year's Mental Wellness Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, 2024, at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre. Free and open to the public, the event is designed to raise awareness about mental wellness and share information about programs, services, and resources available to loved ones who may be suffering from untreated or undertreated mental illness. Resources will be offered both inside and outside for this rain or shine event. 

Applications will be accepted from vendor advocates and nonprofit organizations only. Food trucks have already been secured for this event, and no additional food vendors are needed.  

2024 Mental Wellness Fair Vendor Advocate & Nonprofit Application

More details about the 2024 Mental Wellness Fair coming soon.


Why "Focus on Mental Wellness?"

It is important for the Town of Wake Forest to "Focus on Mental Wellness" for several reasons:

Overall well-being

Mental wellness is crucial for individuals to experience and maintain a good quality of life. It helps people cope with stress, develop resilience, and have a positive outlook, all of which contribute to their overall well-being.

Public health

Mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, can have a significant impact on individuals and the community as a whole. By focusing on mental wellness, the town can address these issues, reduce the burden on healthcare services, and promote a healthier population.

Productivity and economic development

Mental wellness plays a crucial role in workforce productivity. When individuals are mentally healthy, they are more motivated, focused, and engaged, which ultimately benefits the local economy. Additionally, a town that prioritizes mental wellness can attract and retain businesses, as a mentally healthy community is more likely to be a vibrant and productive one.

Community cohesion

By prioritizing mental wellness, the town can foster a sense of community and social connection. Mental health initiatives can bring people together, create support networks, and reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues. This can lead to stronger community bonds and a more inclusive, supportive environment for all residents.

Prevention and early intervention

By focusing on mental wellness, the town can encourage prevention and early intervention efforts. Promoting mental health education, awareness, and access to resources can help identify and address mental health issues before they escalate, potentially reducing the need for extensive and costly treatments in the future.

In summary, prioritizing mental wellness in Wake Forest is essential for the overall well-being of individuals, public health, productivity, community cohesion, and prevention. It can improve the lives of residents and contribute to the town's development and prosperity.

Mental health education is important for raising awareness, promoting understanding, facilitating early intervention, improving well-being, preventing suicide, enhancing academic/workplace performance, and improving overall public health.



Focus on Mental Wellness
Community Outreach Manager