HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville was recently named the best city to live by US News and World Report. It is also now the largest city in the state. As the population increases, area nonprofits say so does the need to address mental health.

The United Way of Madison County says there are many things people need to think about in order to keep the city’s top ranking. Cathy Miller with the United Way of Madison County says in the wake of the pandemic, mental health care and mental health resources need to be a priority.

“I don’t care who you are on the planet, you have been touched by this pandemic because those forces outside have stressed us, and sometimes that triggers a mental health issue,” Miller said. “One of our partners, Family Services Center, has a counseling program and they say it’s a tsunami coming.”

Miller says there are many who are already struggling. 

“We are seeing drug addiction, overdoses go up, we’re seeing suicide rates go up,” she stated.

There are many ways groups are trying to address mental health needs. The Madison County Youth Services Council is a networking group in the nonprofit sector that serves families and children. On Friday, September 9, the Madison County Youth Services Council is holding its annual breakfast.

“It’s from 9:00 A.M. to noon. People can come about 8:30, meet some folks, see some vendors that are talking about mental health issues, hear three great speakers. They’re going to give us some very practical ideas about how we can help our youth navigate through these challenges that we as adults never had to live through and it does touch their mental health,” Miller said.

The breakfast will be taking place at Cooper House in Huntsville. It begins at 9:00 am.