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Valley Baptist Health System creates awareness for World Mental Health week

Jan 7, 2019

Mental illness affects millions of Americans each year and Valley Baptist Health System is creating awareness to combat stigmas surrounding this important topic to encourage education and treatment.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions and due to misconceptions many won’t seek treatment due to shame, fear or silence that prevents many people from seeking help needed.

Warning signs that a loved one may be suffering from a mental condition:

  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than 2 weeks (e.g., crying regularly, feeling fatigued, feeling unmotivated).
  • Trying to harm or kill oneself or making plans to do so.
  • Out-of-control, risk-taking behaviors that can cause harm to self or others.
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or fast breathing.
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight; significant weight loss or gain.
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Drastic changes in behavior, personality or sleeping habits (e.g., waking up early and acting agitated).
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating

One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24.  For those suffering from a mental condition or change in behavior, it is important to talk to your doctor, connect with other individuals and families and learn more about mental illness.

“Creating awareness for mental health is so important because it breaks down barriers for family members to have open and honest communication,” said Nedra Moncrief-Craig, Program Director for Geriatric Behavioral Unit for Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen.  “If you notice a change in yourself or your loved one’s behavior it is crucial to talk with your doctor.”     

To learn about services available at Valley Baptist Health System visit: https://www.valleybaptist.net

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