Mental Health Awareness: A Guide for 2019

October was recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, but while that has passed us by, the discussion shouldn’t be limited to a single time of the year. It is more important than ever to address this delicate subject and oft-misunderstood mental illness in the light of the Thousand Oaks Shooting, and other prevalent tragedies like Anthony Bourdian and Kate Spade, which are a sign of the ongoing mental illness crisis in this country. Only now the stigma surrounding mental health is clearing, and it’s taken the deaths of iconic figures and repeated national tragedies to impact our communities’ perceptions enough to begin healthier conversations about mental health.

But how long is too long to wait? Other cultures have centuries on us dealing with mental illness. Ancient Native Americans handled PTSD by aiding and purifying soldiers of war through rituals when they came home. And yet as a society today, we cannot sit down teenagers and help them, or even recognize their signs of depression or other mental health disorders.

That is why the work Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is doing is so critical and important. Recently we have brought on CEO Sally Ann Schneider, who has over 30 years of extensive experience in the healthcare field, and an active history of involvement in community outreach and involvement. Schneider’s involvement only adds weight to the already existing inpatient programs & outpatient care at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital.  They have two dedicated programs to helping teens with psychiatric treatment, one of which is a dual diagnosis inpatient program for mental health and substance abuse, with outreach programs in schools. Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital’s outreach programs go above and beyond, extending aid to anyone in need, with additional specialized programs for veterans and their families through our Extra Mile Military Program, a specialized Women’s Connection inpatient program, a senior program for aiding in mental health diseases and illnesses and outreach to nursing homes, and a free 24/7 crisis assessment for all.

The hospital works with both intensive inpatient and outpatient care programs for those who require immediate mental health assistance, with a 24/7 line anyone can call. Our programs range from depression to substance abuse, offering premier psychiatric services that are aimed to reinforce the idea that no one should bear this weight alone and that mental illness can be helped.