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SUPPORT STRUCTURES

Helping Those in Need

March 19, 2014, 11:00 AM
Helping Those in Need
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Despite the fact that we have all the technology in the world to connect with whomever we please whenever we want, there is still a great disconnect from the reality behind mental health issues that plague the general population. No problem is insurmountable, and we have a few suggestions as to how one might answer those nagging questions that lead to inertia on part of those who need to help their community in need.

Helping Individuals with Mental Health Problems

Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.

Fact: Studies show that people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.


Myth: Therapy and self-help are a waste of time. Why bother when you can just take a pill?

Fact: Treatment for mental health problems varies depending on the individual and could include medication, therapy, or both. Many individuals work with a support system during the healing and recovery process.


Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a mental health problem.

Fact: Friends and loved ones can make a big difference. Only 38% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get the treatment and services they need by:

  • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help
  • Helping them access mental health services
  • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true
  • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else
  • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or using labels such as "crazy"

Myth: Prevention doesn’t work. It is impossible to prevent mental illnesses.

Fact: Prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders focuses on addressing known risk factors such as exposure to trauma that can affect the chances that children, youth, and young adults will develop mental health problems. Promoting the social-emotional well-being of children and youth leads to:

  • Higher overall productivity
  • Better educational outcomes
  • Lower crime rates
  • Stronger economies
  • Lower health care costs
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased lifespan
  • Improved family life
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A good mood or hunger pangs can make a big difference in what you bring home from the grocery store. Both feelings tend to lead to a pile up of unnecessary junk and other impulse buys. And once these items are in your home you may feel obligated to eat them!

Have a plan of attack this week! Write a grocery list and stick with it: even include a few healthful snacks so you don’t feel deprived. Still tempted to stray? Stick to the perimeters of the supermarket (where you’ll find the most whole foods) or bypass the junk entirely with a trip to the farmer’s market.

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