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Mental Health Awareness Month: Let’s Break the Stigma - Hannah Mittleman & Lara Schuster Effland

By Lara Schuster Effland, LICSW
Improved access to mental health treatment starts with awareness. Reduce stigma during Mental Health Awareness Month with tips from ERC Insight, Chicago.

 

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Mental Health Awareness Month is an invitation for all of us to work together to end the stigma of mental illness — by sharing our stories about mood, depression, anxiety, traumatic stress and more.

Perhaps you have experienced mental illness — or maybe someone close to you has been affected.

It is time to stand together to increase awareness and education so that everyone knows this:

No one is alone. Help for mental illness is available.

Our mission is to build awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma and improve detection and treatment. This is an especially important mission because mental health recovery success rates are higher when symptoms are acknowledged and treated more quickly.

Facts about mental health in the U.S.

Mood, anxiety, substance abuse, and traumatic stress disorders can develop at different stages in our lives. And, with so many recent environmental and cultural stressors (natural disasters, poverty, recessions, illness, international conflict, war, etc.), rates of mental health-related concerns have climbed. Here are some of the more common ones:

Anxiety disorders — Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in America; over 21 percent of adults (42.5 million) are affected by these debilitating illnesses each year.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)PTSD, an anxiety disorder, affects over 14 million American adults (4.4 percent of the adult population) in any given year; PTSD can occur at any age or stage in life.

Depression — Major depression is also one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting 6.7 percent (more than 16 million) of American adults each year.*

When mental illness occurs, it can make us feel isolated or out of control. We try to do all that we can to try to cope with, or compensate for, our feelings, thoughts, and urges. Sooner or later we find out that it is just too difficult to manage on our own.

Better awareness means better mental health treatment

Acceptance can be a difficult place for people affected by mental health concerns to start, so let’s encourage ourselves and our loved ones to begin with awareness and detection. Our goal here at Insight Behavioral Health Centers is to prepare our clients with the knowledge and skills necessary to be masterful over their struggles and disorders, and feel in control of their well-being.

We have an entire support team dedicated to answering your questions about mood, anxiety, substance abuse, and traumatic stress disorders and we know how to help.

Please give us a call at 312-298-9936 or visit our website to learn how evidence-based treatments and group therapy can be one of the strongest tools in fighting the battle for recovery from a mental illness.

Recovery begins with a willingness to start. We look forward to hearing from you.

*Source: Mental Health America, 2016

Hannah Mittleman, LCSW is Director of Residential Services and Lara Schuster Effland, LCSW is Senior Director at the Mood and Anxiety Program at Insight Behavioral Health Centers with locations in Illinois and Austin, in partnership with Eating Recovery Center.

 

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Lara Effland, LICSW
Written by

Lara Schuster Effland, LICSW

Ms. Effland has been working in the field of eating disorders for 13 years in multiple levels of care throughout the country. Ms. Effland received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago with a concentration in clinical practice. Ms. Effland specializes in co-occurring eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders, with a focus primarily on mindfulness and evidenced based behavioral interventions, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and mindfulness meditation and theory.

Ms. Effland became the Regional Managing Clinical Director of Eating Recovery Center’s and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center's Washington site in March of 2017. Her experience in co-occurring disorders complements the exemplary eating disorders care at Eating Recovery Center of Washington. Ms. Effland regularly speaks and trains nationally on the topic of eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders. Her goal is to continue to bring compassion, competence, and integrity to patient care and to ensure that all staff at ERC are given all the support they need to be the best they can be.

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center are accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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