From Our Team
Posted on March 7, 2016 by Enrique Mata
As warm weather and more daylight approach our calendars quickly fill free time with outdoor work or activities for the kids. As outdoor activities gain traction remember to stay connected to friends and loved ones who may not be as agile or are at risk for isolation.
The importance of maintaining relationships that provide support, friendship, love, and hope cannot be emphasized enough. Being isolated from these types of support is a significant contributor to poor mental health and can lead to mental illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 1 in 5 American adults ages 18 and older have a mental illness.
Anyone regardless of age, culture, race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, or location can experience a mental illness. Because these type of illnesses are widely misunderstood, friends and family members may be reluctant to talk about the topic or may not know where to turn for care and support. Paso del Norte Health Foundation, through its Think.Change initiative helped to increase availability of education programs including; “Mental Health First Aid”, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “Family to Family” and “NAMI Basics,” and “De Mujer a Mujer.” These programs provide a base of knowledge about mental health, mental illness, and available treatment options.
Set aside time to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about mental health and to maintain connections with friends and family at risk for isolation. Whenever possible, be sure to include them in everyday plans, going out to the park, watching a baseball game, catching a movie, etc. Understanding and support are powerful, and can make a real difference in a person’s quality of life. If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent severe anxiety, depression, grief, or mourning, seek out professional help. One of the most important factors in recovering from a mental illness is understanding and acceptance of friends or relatives. Take time to arm yourself with the facts, then use your knowledge by reaching out to those around you who may be at risk for isolation and poor mental health.
To learn more about available education programs contact the following:
For Mental Health First Aid (MHFA): MHFA Courses in El Paso County. Victor Ramirez, Jr., 915-887-3410 Ext. 18857 or 915-479-4874, email@example.com
MHFA Courses in Luna County, New Mexico Brian Marshall, 575-543-1018 ext. 1018, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMI El Paso’s Family to Family and NAMI Basics programs in El Paso County Dr. Patti Fernandez, Ms. Denise Uga, Ms. Nellie Mendoza or Ms. Krystel Rosales at: 915-778-5726, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The “De Mujer a Mujer” Program for Women: Pema Garcia at: 915-860-9528 or email@example.com
To learn more about mental illness treatment and support services: Emergence Health Network: (915) 779-1800 www.emergencehealthnetwork.org National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255 - http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ The Anxiety and Depression Association of America [ADAA] http://www.adaa.org/ U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA] (800) 662- 4357 http://www.samhsa.gov/
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