ALTON — May is Mental Health Month, a time to better understand how important mental health is to your overall health.
OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center is calling on the community to help the one in four American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition.
As part of the Mental Health Month recognition, free depression and anxiety screenings for adults are being offered on Wednesday, May 25, with appointments available beginning at 9 a.m. in the Psychological Services Counseling offices in OSF Saint Clare’s Medical Office Building. For a confidential appointment, call (618) 474-6240.
“We want people to know that while mental health and substance use issues are common, they are extremely treatable,” said Susanne Ringhausen, manager of psychological services for OSF Saint Anthony’s. “Individuals who receive treatment go on to recover and lead full, productive and satisfying lives.”
Ringhausen said too many people who are living with clinical depression or serious anxiety never seek or receive help because of fear, stigma, lack of information, and lack of resources.
“We want to help our families, friends and co-workers who may be reluctant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it,” she said.
She said mental health is essential to overall health and well-being. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
“At some point, whether facing a life change, personal crisis, family issue, the stress of caregiving, divorce or losing a loved one, we can all benefit from a helping hand,” she said.
There are many tested techniques available to help a person facing difficult times, Ringhausen adds.
“We have incredible amount of knowledge about how to identify, successfully intervene and even prevent mental health conditions,” she said. “It’s important that we spread the word about it.”
In addition to free screenings, the community is invited to a Lunch & Learn seminar on Common Mental Health Conditions and Suggestions for Maintaining Mental Health and Wellness. Professional staff will be on hand for a brief panel discussion. The seminars take place from noon to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, at OSF Saint Clare’s Medical Office Building, Auditorium, 815 E. 5th St., Alton, and on Thursday, May 26, at OSF Saint Anthony’s Perpetual Help Center, 1 Saint Anthony’s Way, Alton. A free boxed lunch will be offered. To register online go to osfsaintanthonys.org and click on View Classes & Events, or call (618) 465-2264.
OSF Saint Anthony’s Psychological Services offers outpatient counseling provided by experienced and trained mental health professionals who specialize in treatment for anxiety, depression, drug-alcohol abuse, marital-family conflicts, parenting issues, PTSD and other mental health or behavioral concerns. Counseling is available for adults, adolescents, and children ages 6 and older.
For more information about Psychological Counseling Services, call (618) 474-6240.