June 7, 2021
Celebrating Milestones Can Help Your Overall Mental and Emotional Wellness
Helka Casey, MSEd, LPCC-S, Employee Assistance Program

As we step out of quarantine and engage in our communities again, the month of June provides us with much to celebrate and to learn and provides us with opportunities to socialize. The need for social connection, especially coming out of the isolation of the pandemic, is very beneficial to our emotional well-being. Stepping out then with your safety and comfort in mind, June offers options to interact and connect with the world around you and celebrate Pride, Juneteenth, and Loving Day.

June is LGBTQIA Pride Month (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual/Ally) which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City. “In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans.”¹ LGBTQIA Pride Month celebrates more legal protections and equity for LGBTQIA people and recognition of the impact they have in the world. Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, and concerts, attracting millions of participants around the world. Due to health and safety concerns in regards to COVID-19, many Pride events will be virtual this year; check out Columbus Pride for more information. Here are some Virtual Virtual Pride Month Celebration Ideas to help you celebrate.

2021 is the first year Juneteenth will be a recognized holiday in Ohio! Juneteenth, also known as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Emancipation Day,” or “Freedom Day,” is honored annually on June 19. On this day in 1865, Union General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed enslaved African Americans that they were free and the Civil War ended; please note this was two and half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.² Juneteenth celebrates freedom, black culture, accomplishments, and contributions with festivals, parades, concerts, cookouts, parties, and educational opportunities. The Black Liberation Movement Central Ohio (BLMCO) is hosting the first Juneteenth Jubilee at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio. Juneteenth Foundation has some virtual suggestions to celebrate too.

Loving Day marks the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia granting freedom to interracial couples to marry and making it illegal for states to enforce laws banning interracial marriage. Loving Day is celebrated on June 12. Many people celebrate Loving Day with backyard barbecues, fun family and friend events, book clubs, etc. For more information on Loving Day and ways to celebrate, check out Loving Day.

June provides many opportunities to celebrate freedom, courage, love, and culture. Spending time with those you care about and celebrating milestones like these can be extremely helpful in your overall mental and emotional wellness. Happy Pride, Happy Juneteenth, and Happy Loving Day to you all!        

The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here for you. For any questions about EAP services, feel free to email us at eap@osumc.edu

¹ Anti Defamation League - LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Education Resources

² History.com - What is Juneteenth?


Image credit: istockphoto.com