At this time of year, many people consider making a resolution or two, which often involves taking better care of their physical health.
Julie Kramp, executive director of The Center for Counseling & Consultation, suggested that taking care of mental-health concerns should get equal billing.
“Those who make New Year’s resolutions usually strive to eat a healthier diet, exercise more, drink less alcohol or reduce stress,” Kramp said. “These are all worthy goals.
“However, it also would be good to consider how many of these issues have a mental-health component. If you realize that your mental health is having a negative effect on you and your family, our community has many resources that can help.”
One of those resources could be a support group.
Gail Sullivan, The Center’s clinical director, noted that a group “can help you realize that others struggle with similar issues. You may find it easier to discuss concerns with others who understand what you are going through; you can learn from their experiences too.
“There also is the element of accountability in a group of people that share common goals,” Sullivan continued. “Group members are good about being honest with one another and can elicit more information from peers, especially in cases where denial or avoidance may be part of the problem.”
A few statistics reveal that mental-health issues are not uncommon.
For example: one in five Americans has experienced some form of mental illness; only 44 percent of adults with diagnosable mental illness seek treatment, in part because of the stigma; between 70 and 90 percent of those who seek proper treatment notice a significant reduction in symptoms; and most people with mental illness lead productive lives.
Local resources and hotlines
• The Center’s crisis line number is 1-800-875-2544; it is available 24/7.
• Hand ‘n Hand is a consumer-run organization with members that connect to support each other in resiliency and recovery. They meet at 1:30 p.m. Fridays at the First Presbyterian Church, 24th & Washington. Contact Verna by calling 620-617-5456.
• Grief support groups are valuable to those who have lost a loved one – whether the loss is recent or happened years ago.
• Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon
• Psycho-social rehab services that are designed only for The Center’s clients
• The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers online support groups via its website; its number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
• Suicide Prevention: 988, a national hotline; 1-800-273-TALK; or text 741741.
• Teen dating abuse: 1-866-331-9474
• Family Crisis Center: 1-866-792-1885 or 620-792-1885
• Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK, Press 1; or text to 838255
• Substance Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.