Get Tested for Stigma: Learn About Mental Illness Awareness Week

This year, Oct. 7–13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, a time to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. You can get involved at www.nami.org/miaw.

One in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. Those problems can contribute to the onset of more serious mental health disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Approximately one-half of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14. Unfortunately, long delays—sometimes decades—often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help.

It is critical to learn to recognize early symptoms of mental illness and talk with a doctor or mental health counselor about any concerns. Early identification and treatment of a mental health disorder can make a big difference for successful management of a condition.
For example, major depression is a mental health disorder that is more serious than “feeling blue” or temporary sadness. Be alert to any combination of the following symptoms:

• Depressed mood (sadness)
• Poor concentration
• Insomnia
• Fatigue
• Disturbance of appetite
• Feelings of guilt
• Thoughts of suicide

Bipolar disorder involves cycles of both depression and mania. It is different from normal “ups and downs” that many people experience. It involves dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. Symptoms are not the same in everyone; some people may experience intense “highs,” while others primarily experience depression. Mania involves combinations of the following symptoms:

• Euphoria
• Surges of energy
• Reduced need for sleep
• Grandiosity
• Talkativeness
• Extreme irritability
• Agitation
• Pleasure-seeking
• Increased risk-taking behavior

Schizophrenia is a different type of mental illness but can include features of mood disorders. It affects a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to other people. Untreated, it also may include psychosis—a loss of contact with reality. Symptoms include:

• Difficulty with memory
• Difficulty in organizing thoughts
• Lack of content in speech
• Emotional flatness
• Inability to start or follow through with activities
• Inability to experience pleasure
• Delusions
• Hallucinations

Other types of mental illness include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder) and borderline personality disorder. Mental Illness Awareness Week is a time to learn about them all.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, there will be many opportunities to learn more and provide support. In addition, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11. Organizations around the world are encouraged to offer free, anonymous questionnaires that can help individuals identify potential signs of depression. Learn more at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/ndsd.

NAMI offers helpful information through its website (www.nami.org) and HelpLine (800-950-NAMI (6264)). With affiliates in hundreds of communities nationwide, NAMI also offers free education classes and support groups.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of mental illness should see a doctor or mental health specialist to discuss their symptoms. Many treatment options exist. Chicago Behavioral Hospital provides free assessments for anyone experiencing symptoms of mental illness. An assessment can be scheduled by calling 844-756-8600.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, please take the first step to #CureStigma. Get tested at www.curestigma.org. Find out if you have stigma and help become part of the antidote to cure the barriers that prevent people from finding help and support.

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Chicago Behavioral Hospital is Sponsoring Maine Township’s 36th Annual Agency Day

 

Chicago Behavioral Hospital is proud to be the main sponsor of Maine Township’s 36th Annual Agency Day!  The event will be held on Friday, May 4, 2018, from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm at Manzo’s Banquet in Des Plaines, IL.  This year’s workshop ‘The Future Belongs to the Organization Who Prepares for It Today’, will present the many changes impacting the future of the non-profit and behavioral health fields.  The presenter, Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, is an international speaker, trainer, and consultant in the behavioral health field whose work has reached thousands throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean and British Islands.  Registration closes Monday, April 30, 2018, at 12:00 PM. (847) 297-2510 xt. 275

Mental Health Services for Women Opens

Chicago Behavioral Hospital opened an inpatient and intensive outpatient women-only program for the treatment of mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, and suicidality. Women who have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or prescribed medication can also receive treatment in The Women’s Program at Chicago Behavioral Hospital.

“We offer trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management for women of all ages and all walks of life,” says the Chief of Operations.

The program is offered on the newly renovated floor of the hospital and also in the outpatient program on the campus of the hospital.

“Women do not have to go through the hospital program to start the intensive outpatient program, if she does not need inpatient treatment she can start group therapy right away,” the outpatient program director said.

Chicago Behavioral Hospital offers free assessments available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a mental health professional. In the assessment the patient and family can work together with a licensed clinician to choose the best option to begin treatment.

What makes Chicago Behavioral Hospital different from other hospitals is an evidence-based approach to behavioral healthcare. CBH plans to open a faith-based program that will be provided in collaboration with Meier Clinics, a nationally known provider of faith based counseling and mental healthcare based in Wheaton, IL.