What’s happening at the Library: World Mental Health Day

Published 3:26 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

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By James Gardner 

Clark County Public Library

Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day, so I should devote this column to mental health. But it is also October, and I love spooky things. October is, of course, the month to celebrate spooky things (Oct. 31 is where you double celebrate!). I want to talk about both things, but I am like a person trying to decide between chocolate-covered raisins and chocolate-covered peanuts. How could I possibly choose between two outstanding choices? So, I’m taking the Bridge Mix route, combining them so I can talk about something that has become quite near and dear to my heart: how horror can improve one’s mental health.

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But wait, some might say. Horror as beneficial to mental health? Those two things don’t go together. That’d be like combining chocolate-covered raisins and deviled eggs? Or perhaps pickles. Before we get too hung up on this analogy and accidentally create the next candy sensation that somehow rivals candy corn, I should probably talk about how horror has benefited my mental health.

I’ve had my share of anxieties. Even as a kid and before doom scrolling was a thing, I had something to worry about, from the threat of nuclear war with Russia to the dangers of secondhand smoke in restaurants. Horror movies used to make me anxious. I mean, Freddy Krueger (found in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” located in DVD Horror NIGH) can enter your dreams! However, I one day decided to face my fears and watch scary movies (it turns out Robert Englund, the actor who plays Freddy Krueger, is a very erudite actor). Also, there’s that thrill of being scared but knowing that I can endure it, that I survived his movies. Soon, I started to read scary books and ride scary rides, and I kept surviving. It made me realize I was capable of surviving a lot despite what my anxiety says (though I doubt I could survive chocolate-covered raisins deviled eggs). Now I enjoy that little thrill that many chase on Halloween, whether they watch Freddy Krueger or Beetlejuice (DVD Horror BEET). The library has all sorts of scary movies and scary stories. We also have programs like Brad Allard’s Trivia Murder Party meeting on Oct. 19 from 6–7 p.m. or yours truly’s Spooky Story Shindig meeting on Halloween night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Contact the library at (859)744-5661 for more details!)

However, in my admitted eagerness to talk about spooky stuff, I shouldn’t forget about World Mental Health Day. It’s a day designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and the need for mental health resources, but another big takeaway from the holiday is “take care of your mental health.” Take advantage of the resources that are out there. Anxiety can be scary, but you don’t have to do it alone. Have a happy spooky season, and enjoy these programs this week:

• On Oct. 10 at 6 p.m., Ron Kibbey’s Comedy Classics features a film starring not one but three cinematic icons! Two bumbling Americans, Abbott and Costello, are stranded in Egypt, where they stumble on a murder, a sacred medallion that could lead to hidden treasure and a mummy! A cartoon precedes the movie. Popcorn and snacks will be provided.

• On Oct. 11 at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show features a film starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford. Two sons of a stern minister – one reserved, one rebellious – grow up in rural 1920s Montana while devoted to fly fishing. Popcorn and snacks will be provided.

• Don’t forget that this Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10–11 a.m., is another Saturday Swap featuring craft supplies. Bring craft supplies you’re not using and exchange them for something you can make some magic with.