We often hear the clinical terms used by doctors and other professionals to identify the symptoms of mental illness…but if someone hasn’t gone through it, would they know how to recognize it? May is Mental Health Month and the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board is raising awareness on the importance of speaking up about mental health. Mental health issues are real and recovery is always the goal. Just as physical health issues are more easily cured before they reach stage four, the best prospects for recovery in mental health issues is also before stage four. So often, clinical terms don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. We know that two people with the same diagnosis can experience the same symptoms, but may describe it in very different ways. Understanding the signs of mental illness and identifying how it may feel can be confusing. This confusion can sometimes contribute to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help.
This year’s theme Life with a Mental Illness, is meant to help remove the shame and sigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seek the help they need. Whether the person is in stage one and just learning about those early symptoms, or are dealing with what it means to be in stage four, sharing how it feels can be part of the recovery.
Research shows that by ignoring symptoms, we lose ten years in which we could intervene in order to change people’s lives for the better. Speaking out about what mental illness feels like can encourage others to recognize symptoms early on in the disease process and empower those individuals to be agents in their own recovery.
“Mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. We need to speak up early and in real relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone,” explained Amy Raynes, Executive Director, Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board at 456-6827 or an agency directly: Samaritan Behavioral Health at 456-1915; Recovery & Wellness Centers of Midwest Ohio at 456-7694; or Gebhart Counseling Solutions at 456-2805. Go to our website, www.pcmhrb.org/mental-health for additional supports, resources and to take a free mental health screening provided by Mental Health America. Screening can help catch mental health problems early. It is free, anonymous and confidential.
Source: Mental Health America and the Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board. Reach Elizabeth Murphy at 937-456-6827.