May is Mental Health Month: B4Stage4

B4Stage4” is this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month and calls attention to understanding what daily life is like for someone diagnosed with a mental health disorder. When people have cancer or other serious illnesses, we try to catch it early for more effective treatment. That is also what should be done when people experience mental illness.

May is Mental Health Month was started 64 years ago to raise awareness about mental-health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for everyone. Christian Health Care Center (CHCC) embraces the concept of May is Mental Health Month, but as a health-care facility providing a broad range of mental-health services, and founded as the first psychiatric hospital in New Jersey, CHCC is committed to raising awareness about the importance of mental-health issues and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental-health issues.

Mental illness affects everyone—every race, religion, socioeconomic status, and culture. Seek out help when you or a loved one needs it. CHCC offers a broad spectrum of high-quality, compassionate care. As a non-profit organization we deliver care to our community based upon the Christian principles on which we were founded more than a century ago. We are here to help you.

“Learning how mental illness can affect a person’s daily life and understanding what he/she is going through, is perhaps one of the most important aspects of reducing stigma and improving access to the appropriate care with the right practitioner,” said Rebecca Dauerman, RN, CHCC’s Mental-health Services Vice President “Very often, someone with a mental illness is misunderstood. One such misconception is that people with a mental illness are lazy and weak, and if they tried hard enough they could snap out of it. It is important to understand that mental illness is not a moral or willpower

failing; mental illness is treatable. With the right help, a person suffering with mental illness can lead a healthy, productive life and can maintain a quality level of daily functioning.”

Fear about the onset of the next episode, confusion about the illogical, and at times irrational nature of their inner world may be some of the feelings experience by individuals with a mental illness. They may also experience anger and bitterness due to the manner in which the mental illness is affecting all aspects of their life. They may be hypersensitive to criticism and feel as if others, including those closest to them, do not understand them or what they are going through. They may feel rejection from friends and relatives, and consequently isolate themselves. They may experience an overwhelming sense of despair, loss of interest, lack of energy, or motivation.

It is crucial that we understand the need to recognize those that are struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental-health issues. Communication is key to this effort. Make sure that you are open and available when you are needed. Make sure that you are educated and, whenever you have the opportunity, educate others. This will help to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Last year, Wyckoff Mayor Kevin Rooney declared Wyckoff a stigma-free zone, making a commitment to the Wyckoff community to support training, education, and dialogue about mental illness. CHCC is pleased to be part of this initiative and donated $5,000 to support this very important cause.

“It is very appropriate that CHCC is part of this initiative given that it was founded in 1911 with the purpose of changing the delivery of care for people facing mental and emotional challenges,” said Douglas A. Struyk, CPA, LNHA, CHCC President and CEO.

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