Since 1949, May has been observed as National Mental Health Awareness month. On May 5th Vice President Biden delivered his remarks on mental health at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting  and  stated that, “Nearly one in five American adults experience a mental illness in any given year.  Less than half received mental health services. And only about half of children with mental problems receive treatment. The top three reasons given for not receiving help are cost, belief they could handle the problem without treatment, and that they did not know where to go for services.”

The top three reasons given for not receiving help are cost, belief they could handle the problem without treatment, and that they did not know where to go for services. Vice President Biden
 We may cope with our stress by minimizing our discomfort. We might compare our troubles to others and say “mine isn’t as bad as hers.”  Or, we might tell ourselves that mental health support is for someone else because we are embarrassed at not being able to handle our problems ourselves.

My continued goal as a mental health professional is to remove stigma and shame from individuals, parents, and families seeking guidance for mental health concerns.

Mental health providers can help you with such issues as depression, anxiety, addiction, or trauma. And they can also assist you in determining what may be needed, or how to adjust to changes in your environment such as; loss, illness, traumatic events, and so forth.

Our mental health is not separate from us. We are emotional beings who came by our issues honestly. Many of us have not learned good coping strategies for today’s fast paced world, or for some of the unexpected things that have happened to us. Please join me this May in reducing our isolation and moving towards a better understanding of our emotional needs. We have an opportunity to seek relief for our loved ones and ourselves through counseling. We do not have to suffer alone there is guidance and support available.

Debra Collins, LMFT Consultant, Trainer, Writer, Therapist and Coach Debra Collins is a licensed therapist who provides solid support and guidance in expanding her clients understanding of their strengths and their motivation to change. Through the use of Motivational Interviewing, Debra partners with her clients to explore their ambivalence and build their confidence to create change in their lives. Debra adopts a strength based client centered approach whether she is working with individuals, offering consultation to organizations, or providing training to institutions and businesses.

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