As suicide rates and school shootings increase, mental health has become more of a concern for Americans, including residents of the Yadkin Valley.
According to www.mentalhealth.gov, an official site representing the White House, “The President’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence directs the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education to launch a national dialogue on mental health with young people who have experienced mental health problems, members of the faith community, foundations, and school and business leaders.”
With information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MedlinePlus and National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Youth.gov, the site states the purpose is to provide a centralized location for information as well as “to educate and guide.”
Some of the information included covers a variety of disorders in addition to suicide, including eating, personality, psychotic and trauma- and stress-related disorders.
Presented in a basic and easy-to-read format, the pages for the disorders display data on signs as well as summaries on statistics and information on where to get help.
Although many insurance plans now cover behavioral health needs such as counseling and medications, many people are unable to afford insurance.
Those individuals may still find assistance through such organizations where assistance is available based on income such as Daymark Recovery Services and Grace Clinic, which is known for its medical services.
Due to the stigma associated with mental health concerns, many individuals find it difficult to reach out locally. Others may not be able to adjust their schedule for office hours.
These individuals may find online resources helpful such as social media peer groups and the National Institute of Mental Health, which provides resources at www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/index.shtml, including research as well as information on specific illnesses.
Many of those impacted by mental illnesses which may lead to suicidal thoughts and actions are the family and friends of the afflicted.
Most behavioral programs also serve the families and church pastors often counsel individuals.
Learning to watch for signs of distress as well as processing one’s own stress can be significant overall family health, however being supportive of someone in any state of crisis is important.
“Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person’s recovery process,” encourages mentalhealth.gov. “Talking to friends and family about mental health problems can be an opportunity to provide information, support, and guidance.”
Several opportunities to discuss mental health are available locally throughout the year, including multiple suicide awareness events in the fall.
For more information on how to get connected with local services including medical as well as behavioral health assistance, go to graceclinicnc.org.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.