May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental illness is real and far more prevalent than any of us can imagine. There are so many people suffering with mental issues today, especially in our community with the triple-whammy that started with the pandemic and then came two hurricanes and an ice storm. We are all still dealing with that, and it's been more than a year of just that tremendous stress. The loss of property, businesses, and jobs added to the loss and mental anguish of not having job security or a house to live in.
The fact is, people of all ages are truly struggling mentally all around the nation. Our lives have been turned upside and when you add other struggles like clinical mental disabilities like depression, PTSD, addiction, or relationship and family problems, many folks are at their breaking points. The good news is there are solutions, and you can apply today to get assistance whether it's for you or someone else. There is help, and it's not only local, but also available in person or via telemedicine virtual counseling and appointments.
Having a mental illness doesn't mean you're crazy. Everyone has issues with having clear thoughts. We have all had periods in our lives that required help from someone and there is nothing wrong with that. May is Mental Health Month, and the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) wants to spread the word that this is a national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year, we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. We all need an outlet and sometimes a medical examination to determine the root of the problem. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. We are human and sometimes life can be a lot to bear.
The Black community and many people of color are especially vulnerable with the escalation of police brutality and killings, racial hatred, and crimes only compound another problem: admitting we are having a mental breakdown in the first place. Shame a lot of times or denial a lot of times keep us from seeking help. Besides, the poor or disenfranchised have to work and often can't afford mental health services/prescriptions, can't take off to see a doctor, don't put their health first, or don't have insurance to help with mental wellness.
You don't need money to get information. Knowledge is power, and if you are a person of color, contact the Black Mental Health Alliance. There are plenty of local mental health centers and resources, including Better Help, SWLA Mental Health and Counseling Services of SWLA, located at 2711 Ernest St, Lake Charles, LA 70601. If you or someone you know needs help to conquer mental health issues, you are not alone and help is a click or call away. Get help today and be the best you that you can be.