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Front Page » May 3, 2007 » Local News » Local community rallies to support mental health awarenes...
Published 2,762 days ago

Local community rallies to support mental health awareness campaign


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter


Local mental health supporters walk to aid in curbing the stigmas associated with mental illness. During Tuesday's ceremony, Mayor Joe Piccolo proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness month in Price.

On May 1, Price Mayor Joe Piccolo helped Four Corners Behavioral Health and New Heights Clubhouse kick off Mental Health Awareness Month.

The local event started at the Price Peace Gardens with opening remarks by Piccolo and Four Corners administrator Jan Bodily.

The mayor and administrator then led the group of participants on a walk to Washington Park, where a presentation was given by John Mitchell.

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning, according to Four Corners.

"Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are biological brain disorders that can result in diminished capacity for coping with everyday life," said Bodily during her opening statement.

Bodily reported that more than $100 billion is spent every year in costs related to untreated mental illness, including major depression and bipolar disease.

The Four Corners administrator stressed that curbing the stigma associated with mental illness will only be accomplished though public awareness and knowledge of the affliction.

"Depression and other major mental illness is not a weak A person is not just going to snap out of it. Treatment is needed just as it is for any other disease," continued Bodily.

According to the National Mental Health Association, dealing with mental illness within the family can be difficult.

Practical interventions and access to quality care are critical issues.

Appropriate intervention services are essential to mitigate risk and enhance healthy relationships between parents and children.

Support services should help families by addressing individual characteristics of the parent and child, strengthening bonds, improving interactions, increasing social supports and expanding access to services.

Jan Bodily of Four Corners Behavioral Health gives opening remarks at the Price Peace Gardens.

The association reports that families in which a parent has a mental illness may need a range of intervention strategies and services to maintain a stable environment and ensure positive outcomes for children.

Comprehensive interventions for parents with mental illness include:

•An assessment of parenting strengths, needs and goals.

•Comprehensive case management.

•Peer support.

•Self-help.

•Crisis and respite care.

•Marital and family counseling

•Child development and parenting skills training.

•Benefits and public entitlement counseling.

In many cases, parents who have received a diagnosis of a mental illness may need assistance in clarifying family roles and setting realistic expectations for children.

"I am so proud to be able to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month here in Price because, when thoughts are provoked, actions follow," commented Piccolo.

"And action is what brings about effective change," concluded the Price mayor.

Service providers such as Four Corners and the Clubhouse can help set expectations and provide lasting treatment.

For additional information regarding mental illness, Carbon County residents may contact Four Corners Behavioral Health at 637-2358.



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