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Singing out for Children’s Mental Health
One of the highlights of Mental Health Month is Children’s Mental Health Week, May 6-11, 2013—and Tuesday during that week traditionally is considered “Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.”
In the nation’s capital, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) and other mental health organizations seized the day to speak out on the need for a full array of effective services and supports for youth with mental illnesses.

SAMHSA sponsored a press conference with U.S Department of Health and Services (HHS) Secretary Kathryn Sebilius and 21-year old singer, songwriter and actress Demi Lovato, who lives with bipolar disorder.

“I think it bears repeating that we have no higher obligation as a society, as our president reminds us, than keeping our children safe and protecting their health. It’s our most fundamental task,” said Sebelius.  We can do better. We need to do better and we must do better. Early detection and treatment can make a huge difference.”

When you have a mental health issue or you’re suffering through substance abuse, you’re going to have days when you struggle,” said Lovato, who was named honorary chair of the day. “But healing is the first step to resilience.”

To read more, click here. Facts presented in the briefing include:

  • Thirteen percent of young people ages 8 to 15 live with mental illness. For ages 13 to 18 the number increases to 20 percent.
  • One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24. Early identification and intervention is needed to improve outcomes, before conditions become more serious, more costly and more difficult to treat.
  • Despite the fact that effective treatments exist, average delays  of  between  8-10 years occur between the onset of symptoms and intervention—which  coincides with critical developmental years. Only about 20 percent of youth with mental health conditions get the help they need.

Group therapy can be vital for emotional, psychological recovery
groupIn addition to traditional outpatient individual therapy, Monarch offers a variety of Group Therapies, which could have significant benefits such as reducing mental health symptoms and addressing personal goals.

Group members experience emotional support, empathetic understanding, and authentic encouragement from one another. Individuals can increase self-confidence through revealing their interior lives. Group therapy is instrumental in healing many types of emotional and psychological struggles that people experience: depression, anxiety, anger, fear, shame, etc.

 Participants learn to accept support from others. Members feel less alone in the world through understanding that what they’re going through is not altogether uncommon, and they can often rely on others for support. Understanding other people's problems, goals, and solutions helps members clarify their own.

Committed attendance is encouraged, as the commitment to the group is in itself therapeutic. When members "show up," they do so not only for themselves, but for others as well. Currently, Monarch offers numerous group counseling sessions in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Robeson and Stanly counties.

 For more information about Monarch’s group therapies, click here.

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