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Mental Health Month

Lake County Behavioral Health Department recognizes May as National Mental Health Month.

Lake County, Calif. (May 4, 2017) - When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It is important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. Yet, people experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

That is why this year’s theme for National Mental Health Month—Risky Business—is a call to educate ourselves and others about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive Internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.

National Mental Health Month was started 68 years ago by Mental Health America, to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by 22.3 million people, with more than 8,500 entities downloading MHA’s toolkit.

This month, we are encouraging people to educate themselves about behaviors and activities that could be harmful to recovery – and to speak up without shame using the hash tag #riskybusiness – so that others can learn if their behaviors are something to examine. Posting with our hash tag is a way to speak up, to educate without judgment, and to share your point of view or story with people who may be suffering—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.

“It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more,” said Todd Metcalf, Administrator of Lake County Behavioral Health. “We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgment-free way.”

Lake County Behavioral Health provides integrated recovery-oriented mental health and alcohol and other drug services in clinic locations. The Department operates and supports several wellness centers in the community to meet the needs of unserved and underserved populations.
Mental health services are designed to provide strong community-based partnerships with individuals and families who are dealing with serious mental illness, including those who have co-occurring (mental health and substance abuse) disorders. Recovery-oriented services include assistance with establishing stable housing, access to physical health care, medications management, trauma-informed counseling and peer supports. Behavioral Health assists with management of mental health crises for all members of the community and provides for inpatient or temporary residential care as appropriate.
“Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work,” concluded Todd Metcalf. “When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early—and provide effective treatment.”

For more information, please contact Lake County Behavioral Health at 707-274-9101or 707-994-7090.