Wednesday, 06 June 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Behavioral health issues are as much a threat as any medical condition, but unlike a broken leg or an obvious physical injury, mental health issues can go untreated as many people live their lives suffering in silence. Sadly, the stigma associated with mental health precludes many people from seeking help, or accessing care when they are in crisis. Fear of mental illness sometimes runs deep because there is the perception that it indicates weakness. During the month of May, which is nationally recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, Cedar Crest Hospital wants to remind our community that, "Getting help for a mental health issue is important, available, and a sign of strength," states a Cedar Crest Hospital spokesperson.
Although mental illness may not affect you personally, statistics reveal that it affects someone you know and care about. Ignoring mental health is detrimental to individuals, families, and communities, as well as our society and economy as a whole. Mental Health America reports that 1 in 4 American adults live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition (this is a 2005 NIMH statistic) and during May Mental Health Month, they are promoting a call to action to "Do more for 1 in 4."
The military has also engaged in the fight to de-stigmatize mental illness, in hopes that more of their ranks will seek help when needed. In addition, the NFL has initiated efforts to promote mental health and wellness inside the league, in the wake of recent tragedies.
These are both examples of tough, disciplined, success oriented segments of society that are recognizing the importance of creating stigma-free environments where their members can feel free to seek help and work through issues.
No one is immune and ignoring mental illness doesn't make it go away. You may have experienced a trauma, a devastating loss, or you may have a chemical imbalance.
Deciding whether to seek professional help is a very personal decision, but it can be the difference between life and death. It is important to remember that there is always hope and is help available, and to seek out that help is not a sign of weakness. In fact it is from a position of strength that one seeks the treatment needed to get back on a healthy and productive path.
Having good mental health helps us make good decisions and deal with life's challenges at home, school or work.
If you or someone you love needs help, please don't hesitate to contact Cedar Crest Hospital, or one of the many advocacy groups in your area.
About Cedar Crest Hospital
Cedar Crest Hospital & RTC in Belton & Cedar Clinic in Killeen provide mental health services to patients of all ages from Central Texas & beyond through individually tailored inpatient programs & outpatient services. Assessment specialists can be reached at 1-866-543-7779 or in the local area at 254-939-2100. Additional information is available at www.cedarcresthospital.com and at www.BCACedarClinic.