May is Mental Health Month

May is National Mental Health Month.

“The purpose of Mental Health Month is to raise awareness of mental health conditions and promote mental wellness for all,” said Joan Meis Wilson, assistant director of Health Services, El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.  “Another larger goal of the campaign is to decrease the stigma sometimes associated with mental illness and share information about local mental health resources.”

Studies show that nearly one in five individuals in California report needing help with a mental or emotional health problem. According to Meis Wilson, there should be no shame associated with seeking help.

“Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing,” said Meis Wilson. “Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by getting help.”

Everyone in the community can support the goal of optimal mental health by:

• Connecting with family and friends to feel supported, valued and understood

• Staying physically active; when the body is moving, stress-induced hormones are released

• Making connections to others in the community to feel a sense of belonging and purpose

• Seeking professional help to feel better during times of stress and difficulty in coping

• Understanding the signs and symptoms of someone in emotional distress, and supporting them in seeking help

The Mental Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency provides crisis services, including operating a 24-hour crisis line for residents, and is a response partner with emergency response agencies during traumatic community events. The division also conducts assessments, and provides adult and children’s outpatient services and groups for residents who have a major psychological disorder, such as schizophrenia or major depression.

In addition, the division also coordinates a number of mental health prevention programs in the community and operates the county’s psychiatric health facility for individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others due to mental distress.

For more information about the programs and services of the Mental Health Division visit edcgov.us/mentalhealth.

Mental Health Division’s main phone lines for the Western Slope are (530) 621-6290 for the outpatient clinic and (530) 622-3345 for crisis services. In South Lake Tahoe the numbers are (530) 573-7970 for the outpatient clinic and (530) 544-2219 for crisis services.

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Posted by on Apr 27 2012.
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