Doing Away with Stigma

Walking through a grocery store recently, I took my cart down an aisle in search of sweetner. i'd been to this store several times, but it was apparent someone had decided it was time to rearrange where everything could be found. My usual spot was no longer the right one.

Anyway, as I made my way down the new aisle where I could find what I was looking for, I passed a couple of people engaged in conversation. It was clear they were discussing someone they both knew. Just as I passed by, I heard a comment that struck me as odd.

"You know, she's been psycho for years," one of them said. "I think she was in that mental hospital down in Cincinnati. Her family just doesn't know what else to do."

Maybe they realized they'd been a little louder than they thought, because they looked at me and my look of surprise and, perhaps, disappointment, and moved on.

That whole episode told me we've got a long way to go when it comes to mental health stigma. Groups like NAMI and Mental Health America have been fighting it for years. MHRS has also worked locally, taking the message that mental illness isn't a dirty phrase to schools, community groups, and more.

But it's clear we all can do so much more - and we at MHRS are going to do out part to help the community. Soon we will be launching a new Speakers' Bureau to talk with community groups, neighborhood associations, congregations at places of worship, and more about what's happening in mental health care locally. We'll also talk about what stigma means and how to avoid it.

Until then, there's plenty you can do to help us out. Here are just  a few:

  1. Talk about it. If you know someone who's been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, speak up and let people know what it's like for that person - and for you, too, as a supporter.
  2. Be conscious of the words you use. Language matters. Some people get used to using mental health conditions as adjectives to describe mental illness, like the people at the store using the word "psycho". Those terms don't help.
  3. Educate yourself and others. Find information about mental health issues and learn how people living with a mental illness might feel.
  4. Let media know when they stigmatize mental illness. If you see a show that includes making fun of a mental illness or one with a problem storyline, write or call them and let them know.

There are lots of things you can do to help break the cycle of stigma in our community and beyond. Give us a call or visit our website for helpful resources. Breaking that cycle starts with all of us!

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4 Great Reasons to Get Help for Opiate Addiction Today

Posted on: October 30, 2017
Tags: Rx drugs, Recovery, Counseling, Addiction, Opiates, Heroin,

Opiates, such as heroin, are highly addictive drugs. At first, the signs of addiction may not always be prevalent, but prolonged use of opiates can lead to tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction. Individuals battling an addiction to opiates will often continue using the drug despite the negative consequences to their relationships, finances, and physical and mental health. Many individuals will also deny their addiction to opiates, because they are afraid of judgment from family or friends, or because they are not fully aware of its negative effects on their life.

With recovery, there is hope for healing from the pain of addiction. If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to opiates such as heroin, now is the time to seek help for treatment. Here are four reasons to start looking for help today.

1. Recovery is better with support

Maybe you or a loved one has tried to quit using drugs like heroin in the past with no success. This fear of failure can fill people with self-doubt, tricking them into believing they will never succeed in recovery. It’s true; recovery is challenging, ongoing process. But with the support of counselors, medical professionals, and peers in recovery, individuals with a substance use disorder can stay encouraged and motivated to overcome these challenges.

2. There are options for recovery

When it comes to treating addiction, no two individuals are alike. When you make the decision to enroll in a recovery program, you’ll work directly with a counselor to create an individualized treatment plan that works for you. Many of our outpatient provider partners will help you work around a busy work schedule, with treatment options in late afternoon and evenings to avoid the need to use their vacation time or sick leave. This customized approach to treatment ensures that you are in control throughout the recovery process.

3. Recovery can be affordable

Many people avoid starting recovery because they are unsure if they can afford it. We understand this concern. That’s why we work to knock down any cost barriers that prevent individuals from receiving treatment. Regardless of ability to pay, we encourage treatment. We have service contracts in place with our provider agencies to offer a continuum of care and income-based assistance. Recovery is possible, and we can help you find an option that works for you.

4. Now is the time

The effects of addiction are far-reaching. An addiction to opiates like heroin can lead to financial concerns, strained relationships, and damaged mental and physical health. Heroin addiction can tear families apart with the devastation of an overdose. That’s why now is the time to start looking for help with addiction. There is hope for recovery, and it can start with you.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opiates like heroin, there is no better time to reach out for professional help. Complete the confidential form below to receive more information on the different types of treatment options and our local provider network. We’re standing by to listen and answer your questions without judgment.

If you want specific information on treatments or are wondering how to obtain an intake packet for recovery, contact one of the providers in our network directly to get started. 

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(At Least) 3Things You Can Do to Stop Opiate Addiction

Posted on: October 23, 2017
Tags: Partners, Recovery, Rx drugs, Emotional wellbeing, Addiction, Opiates, Heroin,

There's no doubt the opiate epidemic has burned across our area, state and nation. According to some estimates, overdoses killed more Americans in 2016 than in all of the Vietnam War. Overdose deaths the year before that topped all deaths that resulted form car crashes and gun violence. You'd think, based on those numbers, people would be powerless to do anything about addiction in our communities.

But that's not entirely true. There are things you can do to combat the epidemic in your community. Here are just a few:

  1. Get rid of old, unused medications. Your medicine cabinet or kitchen cupboard may have old meds you haven't used in awhile. Some of them might be opiates. Take them to the nearest disposal location. You can find them at area police or sheriff's offices in Warren and Clinton Counties. Here's a list.
  2. Get involved with a coalition. Substance abuse prevention and drug-free coalitions are groups comprised of organizations and individuals that work to stem the tide of new addictions from starting. The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Warren County meets the first Thursday of every month at the Warren County Administration Building. Learn more about their work.
  3. Learn more about your workplace's Employee Assistance Program. Strong EAPs help people find help and reduce the costs to organizations, like lost productivity.

MHRS is working on prevention efforts through local substance abuse prevention groups and school-based education efforts. We always encourage community involvement in finding workable solutions. Your voice matters. Join the conversation.

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