Treatment search

Expert urges people struggling with mental health issues to seek treatment

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – If you sometimes feel anxious or depressed, you are not alone.

Tens of millions of Americans feel the effects of mental health problems each year, and the National Institute of Mental Health reports that only about half of those people receive treatment.

“One in four people at some point in their life will suffer from some kind of mental illness or struggle with substance abuse,” said Donna Leslie, executive director of the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority. I mean, again, that’s another area that has a huge stigma around it.

That’s why the Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority fights stigma by educating people that asking for help is not only okay, but encouraged.

“People don’t understand mental illness. They are afraid of it,” Leslie said.

She pointed out that there are many links between culture and mental health stigma. She said it can make people refrain from asking for help.

Your brain, like any other organ, needs to be kept in check for your overall well-being.

Help can come by talking to a professional or, in some cases, being diagnosed to receive medication.

“Just like I will go for a physical every year. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about going to the counselor about anything you feel like you’re having difficulty,” Leslie said.

There are several resources for those who need help. The Alabama Department of Mental Health has many warm and direct lines listed on its website.

The Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority is also available for crisis or preventative care. All you have to do is dial 334-279-7830.

“We provide services. Like I said, we’re available 24/7,” Leslie said. “If you need to call us, if you’re in crisis, or if you need to plan something, we do outreach on an outpatient basis.”

The Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority also plans to open a new crisis center on May 16.

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