Expert urges those struggling with mental health to seek treatment
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you sometimes find yourself feeling anxious or depressed, you are not alone.
Tens of millions of Americans feel the effects of mental health issues each year, and the National Institute of Mental Health reports that only about half of those people receive treatment.
“One in four people at some point in their lives are going to experience some kind of mental illness or struggle with substance abuse,” said Donna Leslie, executive director of the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority.” I mean, again, that’s another area that has such a huge stigma around it.”
That is why the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority is fighting the stigma through educating people that asking for help is not only OK but encouraged.
“People don’t understand mental illness. They are afraid of it,” Leslie said.
She emphasized that there are a lot ties between culture and the stigma of mental health. She said this can lead people to restrain from asking for help.
Your brain, like any other organ, needs to remain in check for your overall wellbeing.
Aid can come through talking things out with a professional or in some cases being diagnosed to receive medication.
“Just like I’ll go and get a physical exam every year. There’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of going to talk to the counselor about whatever it is that you’re feeling like you’re having a difficult time with,” Leslie said.
There are several resources for those needing help. The Alabama Department of Mental Health has many hot and warm lines listed on its website.
The Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority is also available for crisis or preventative care. All you have to do is dial 334-279-7830.
“We provide services. Like I said, 24/7 we’re available,” Leslie said. “If you need to call us up, if you’re in crisis or if you need to schedule something, we do outpatient services outreach.”
The Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority also plans to open a new crisis center on May 16.
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