Imagine you’re at the park with your small child who takes a nasty spill off of some playground equipment. You rush to the child and can immediately see a bone is broken. What do you do next? Try to get the child to meditate? Tell them to suck it up, that they’ll be fine? Say it’s not that bad? Or do you seek proper medical attention promptly?

While the example may seem extreme, it’s past time we treated mental illness with the same urgency and care as visible injury. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime. That is a large amount of people and more than likely you will know someone or be that someone.

So what’s the problem? Stigma surrounding mental illness still exists hurting not only those receiving treatment but can prevent people who need it from seeking care. Another challenge is mental illness is not a visible disability so it makes it even harder for those who don’t understand mental illness or haven’t experienced it firsthand have a hard time grasping it.

What can you do? Stop stigma with your words and actions. Show empathy and sincere concern if someone disclosed their mental illness. Don’t participate in gossip or speculation about family, friends or colleagues who may be suffering.

The bottom line is mental illness is a disease that can successfully be treated and managed. To those who need help: There is nothing shameful about seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. Whatever your care team looks like is ok. Getting support and help is the right choice, a smart choice that will aid in your recovery. To those supporting someone with mental illness: listen, don’t be judgmental, don’t try to fix your person, talk to them and ask what they need.

Together we can overcome stigma and educate about mental illness. Mental health matters! Need help? We are here when you need us. Visit our Network of Care for mental health and substance use resources at www.dmmhrsb.org, call 1.800.684.2324, or text helpline to 898211 for free confidential support 24/7.

Maryhaven has developed the Families in Recovery Program to provide education, training and
counseling support to families that are confronted with substance abuse problems. Chronic substance abuse can have devastating effects on families. Although concerned others are often motivated to get help in persuading the substance abuser to seek treatment, they are often in dire need of help themselves. Numerous negative effects of ongoing substance abuse on family members have been documented. These negative effects include declines in psychological and social adjustment, deterioration in relationships, loss of family cohesion, and increased interpersonal conflict, including domestic violence.

Living in an intensely emotional environment of fear and manipulation, family members of an addict must deal with high levels of stress and anxiety. It is not unusual for family members to feel like they are losing their sense of normalcy and self as their loved one’s addiction makes the family dynamics increasingly dysfunctional.

Maryhaven’s Families in Recovery Program offers both individual counseling and family counseling services. A unique part of this program is the fact that families can access these services even if their family member is not currently in treatment with Maryhaven. In an effort to cope with this uncontrollable situation, family members may resort to hiding the truth from themselves and others, avoiding genuine connection to minimize painful conversations, and feeling intense levels of guilt and shame. These coping mechanisms can keep family members from seeking help. But just as the whole family suffers when one member is an addict, whole family is part of the recovery process. Without a family recovery program, family members may suffer effects that last a lifetime. An integral part of Maryhaven’s Families in Recovery Program is the twelve week educational program that helps families understand the complexity of addiction and helps them develop positive skills to deal with the complex issues they face. These programs are located in both Morrow and Delaware counties.

Dealing effectively with addiction is a learned skill that families must master and practice daily if they are to experience true healing from the trauma of addiction. You might feel hopeless in the face of the terrible addiction of your loved one. But with the help and support of Maryhaven’s Families in Recovery Program help is only a phone call away, a news release states. Participation in Maryhaven’s Families in Recovery Program is free and open to anyone residing in Delaware or Morrow counties. The program is funded by the Delaware and Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

For information on the Families in Recovery Program contact Ben McDay at 740-203-3800.

July is Minority Mental Health Month – READ MORE HERE!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Did you know that 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime? The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board (DMMHRSB) will have various activities and content planned in May and throughout the summer to increase public awareness, fight stigma and provide connection to local resources and support. You may see both our Mental Health Matters banners throughout the downtown Delaware area, and our messaging in local and social media.

The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board also supports our local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Their theme this year is “Why Care?” Please visit our website for more information on the “Why Care?” initiative and the supports offered by NAMI of Delaware and Morrow Counties.

In addition, the DMMHRSB is sponsoring First Responder Appreciation activities throughout the month of May.  This year’s theme “Bringing Help, Bringing Hope. Thank you!” is part of a statewide coordinated effort to thank individuals who spend their days and nights working tirelessly to save lives, often without knowing if the work that they do helps those that they serve. DMMHRSB thanks ALL First Responders for their dedication and perseverance in the face of the opioid crisis in our communities.

The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board provides a comprehensive continuum of mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment and support services in the Delaware and Morrow Counties.