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Sunday, February 25, 2024

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

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By Broderick Rhyant, M.D.,
chief physician executive
Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor

The reality of living with a mental illness is something millions of Americans face every day, and National Mental Health Awareness Month each May raises awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues, which helps reduce the unfortunate stigma so many experience. 
National Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized each May and helps to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and reduce the frightening and demeaning stigma for so many millions of Americans. With more than 900,000 people in the U.S. losing their lives to the coronavirus pandemic, mental illness is more prevalent now than ever before.

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental illness, you could be dealing with conditions that affect thinking, feelings or general mood; which may adversely affect the ability to function normally and the capacity to properly relate to others.
It may surprise you to learn that mental illness is much more common than what most people believe. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and 1 in 20 U.S. adults annually experience serious mental illness. In addition, 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

Symptoms of mental illness include feeling sad or down, a reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries, extreme feelings of guilt, extreme mood swings, withdrawal from friends and favorite activities, low energy and problems sleeping.

There is nothing and nobody in particular to blame for mental illness, and for many people, recovery — including meaningful roles in social life, school and work — is possible, especially when individuals start treatment early and play a strong role in their own recovery process.

To that end, the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, Indiana’s first community mental health organization, provides comprehensive care for all types of emotional and behavioral problems, including severe mental illness and substance abuse. It offers both inpatient and outpatient services in multiple locations throughout Indianapolis and often integrates treatment into a patient’s primary care treatment plan.
The primary mission of Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center is to serve individuals with serious mental illness and chronic addiction and seriously emotionally disturbed children and their families. Patients of all ages are welcomed, from children to seniors, with a philosophy of care that stresses strength-based and family-and community-centered treatment utilizing the Recovery Model of treatment.
Utilizing best practices resulting from ongoing research and medical advancements, care decisions are team-based and emphasize family and client participation. All clients are treated with dignity, confidentiality and respect. 

For more information or to request an appointment with the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, visit: https://www.eskenazihealth.edu/mental-health

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