OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a new event is trying to get people to sit back and take in our own struggles.

Wednesday night marked the first mental health awareness vigil put on by Madison Elementary School. The theme this year was, “Remember, Reflect and Release.” The purpose was to bring the community together to recognize the loss and stress present in our own lives and to try and release some of it.

Jessica Watt Dougherty, the school counselor at Madison Elementary School, came up with the idea after she lost her own father.

“At least once a year in our busy, crazy lives, we need to take time to just sit with an honor all the pain and feelings that we have. I think that we just go through the motions day to day and don’t always take the time to give ourselves time to heal.”

Jessica Watt Dougherty, School Counselor at Madison Elementary School

Dougherty hopes to bring the event back next year, and many more times after that.