What is Mental Health?
Mental Health is how you feel about yourself, others, your life and how you are able to meet and handle the demands of life. Mental health is not the absence of problems, but the ability of the person to address the problems with appropriate coping skills.
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders that can profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, moods, ability to related to others, and capacity for coping with the demands of life. Mental illnesses include disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bi-polar disorder.
What is addiction to alcohol/other drugs?
Contrary to popular belief, addiction is NOT a moral or character defect. It is a brain disease characterized by many factors including a strong craving for drugs/alcohol, continued use despite harm or personal injury, the inability to limit drug use/drinking, physical illness when using stops, and the need to increase the amount used in order to feel the effects.
What is alcohol/other drug abuse?
Abuse is a pattern of drug use/drinking that often results in harm to one’s health, can cause problems with interpersonal relationships, can impact one’s ability to fulfill responsibilities at work, school or home, and can cause legal problems. Abuse can lead to addiction.
Untreated mental illness and addiction are key factors in virtually every domestic and/or social problem Ohio faces including crime, child abuse and neglect, homelessness, chronic welfare, and the rise in learning disabled and conduct disordered children. If we fail to treat the disease, there is little hope in stemming the consequences.
Is treatment effective?
Yes. In fact, due to recent advances in brain research, medications, and psychotherapy, treatment is more effective than ever now. Treatment and interventions for people with mental illness are becoming more specialized and effective, on par with—and often more successful than—medical interventions for “physical” illnesses. Likewise, treatment of addiction is as successful as treatment of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.
Mental health and chemical dependency professionals use a variety of approaches to give people tools to deal with ingrained, troublesome patterns of behavior and to help them manage symptoms of their illness. Sometimes this involves a single method, or it may involve elements of several different methods such as therapy and medication.
What prevents people from seeking treatment?
A recent study conducted in April 2008 found that financial considerations are the leading barrier to receiving care, either through lack of insurance coverage (52%) or concerns over cost (42%). Sixty-eight percent cited access to care and lack of knowledge of the process as a reason for not seeking treatment. Stigma, concerns over others finding out, and issues related to privacy were mentioned by 56% of adults responding.
Sources: Behavioral Health: Developing a Better Understanding, “The Cost of Mental Illness When Gone Untreated,” Vol. I, Issue I; Behavioral Health: Developing a Better Understanding, “Cost of Untreated Addiction," Vol. I, Issue II; Harris Interactive & American Psychological Association Study, April 2008.
As a result of local levy funds—approximately one-third of the Board’s budget—mental health and alcohol/drug services are available to residents of Erie and Ottawa Counties on a sliding payment schedule based on income and family size. That means access to care is not affected by lack of insurance, the cost of treatment, or inability to pay.
The Mental Health & Recovery Board (MHRB) of Erie and Ottawa Counties is the local government agency charged with planning, developing, funding, managing and evaluating a range of mental health and alcohol/drug prevention, treatment and support services and programs.
For more information
If you or someone you know would like to find out more about available mental health and/or alcohol and drug services, please contact us.
Bayshore Counseling Services.................................................................................................419-626-9156
Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services.............................................................................419-557-5177
Mental Health & Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties..............419-627-1908 or 1-800-627-4999
CRISIS HOTLINE 1-800-826-1306
For Information on the local resources you may need DIAL 2-1-1