Mental Health Awareness Month!

It is once again Mental Health Awareness month! During this month people try to bring to the forefront psychological issues that, many times, are shoved into the background and ignored. Many people struggle with placing as much importance on their mental health as they do with their physical health. Persons who suffer with these issues and concerns often attempt to “tough it out” or play into the idea that psychological illness is a sign of weakness and are embarrassed to seek professional help. During this time, people, such as myself, let others know that viewing mental illness as a weakness is false and that you do not have to live in pain and suffering. There is help available to those who need it. This is done by promoting education to let people know how and where to receive this help. Often, people don’t even know where to begin! Additionally, ensuring that the public is aware that mental health is as important as your physical well-being will go a long way in undoing the damaging stigma that has prevailed for so many years.  

How can we provide vital information to those who deserve this support?  Well, a great place to start is by giving people the information they need to act; something so simple, and yet so crucial to bringing change into someone’s life. By informing others through means such as: advertisements, educational programs through public and private schooling, talking to families, and medical professionals chipping in with their patients to help stop the stigma of mental illness. Many people in our communities can be reached that may, otherwise, have been left without knowledge or assistance. Providing training to professions that frequently encounter mental illness such as first responders, teachers, medical staff, supervisors and so many others will also broaden our reach. This promotes understanding and a feeling of security, which helps everyone involved. Many are unaware of the detrimental effects that depression, anxiety and other mental health needs can have on your physical well-being as well as your brain function. People’s home life and work life can begin to suffer as a result, causing an increase in symptomatic behaviors and negative consequences.  

How can I help?  I have been working with individuals, families, couples, and groups for over sixteen years.  I use a caring, non-judgmental approach focusing on each individual and discussing their needs and concerns. I use a variety of therapies and coping skills such as Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Theory (DBT). I use these processes and skills to eliminate or diminish mental health needs that impact people’s lives in negative ways, while providing the individual with the means to continue a more positive and productive life. If you find that you could benefit from support please feel free to call me, Randy Alexander, at Owens & Associates Counseling & Therapy Center, 847-854-4333, 9241 S. Rt. 31, Lake in the Hills, Il. 60156