May is Mental Health Month: Pathways to Wellness
Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer: Mental illness is treatable and people can live productive lives
May is Mental Health Month. As part of Monarch’s ongoing commitment to education and awareness, the organization is encouraging the community to support the people they know who are among the more than 54 million Americans who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and persuade them to seek help.
“We want people to understand that while mental health and substance abuse conditions are common, they are extremely treatable and individuals can go on to recover and lead full and productive lives,” said Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Brown, MSW, LCSW. “Too many people living with a mental health condition never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost or lack of health insurance coverage, which is as high as 50 percent,” according to Mental Health America, a national nonprofit located near Washington, D.C. dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives.
Monarch, a statewide organization that serves thousands of people with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities, offers a variety of behavioral health services, psychiatric assessments, medication management and other related-support services in Anson, Bladen, Columbus, Cabarrus, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Lee, Mecklenburg, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly, Union and Wake counties. The organization provides crisis assessment services in Guilford and Robeson counties. For more information, call (800) 230-7525 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.
Because Monarch physicians, clinicians and other experts know how essential mental health is to overall health and well-being, they support education awareness and aim to help families and others who may be reluctant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it.
“We know how life changes and challenging circumstances can have an impact in our lives. It could be a veteran struggling with the invisible wounds of war or someone coping with the stress of losing a loved one, being a caregiver, or divorce,” Brown explained. “Sometimes, people are dealing with depression associated with a chronic disease like diabetes or cancer. All of these can take a huge toll on mental health.”
Brown said there are tested tools available that can help every person face difficult times and challenges and improve their resiliency.
“We have extensive experience and know how to identify and effectively treat mental health conditions,” he said. “It is important that we educate our communities and share how crucial mental health is to overall health.”
Mental Health Month has provided an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health issues for more than 60 years. Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association) launched Mental Health Week, which eventually expanded to be observed the entire month of May, in 1949.
The theme for Mental Health Month this year is “Pathways to Wellness,” which is a call to action for Americans to identify strategies that work for themselves individually to attain better overall health status. Many organizations, including Monarch, engage in efforts to promote Mental Health Month.
The following organizations offer additional important resources about mental health. To learn more, visit:
Mental Health America – www.mentalhealthamerica.net/
National Alliance on Mental Illness – www.NAMI.org
National Institute of Mental Health – www.nimh.nih.gov
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) – www.samhsa.gov/ or www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/
American Psychological Association (APA) – www.apa.org/
Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges from more than 50 North Carolina counties. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and is CABHA certified. Monarch, which operates The Arc of Stanly County, is an affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people living in our communities, please call (800) 230-7525 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.