One in five people will be affected by mental illness at some point in their life, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Local 4 is dedicating special coverage in all newscasts Wednesday to this important topic. Here's what to expect:
- On Local 4 News Morning, Dr. McGeorge takes a closer look at a drug-free way to help ease some symptoms of depression, anxiety and more.
- The stigma associated with mental illness can be harmful. During First at 4, Sandra Ali looks at the project an Oakland County woman has started to help stop the stigma so many suffering with mental illness face.
- Then on Local 4 news at 5 p.m., Dr. McGeorge shows us where to start if we or someone we love needs some help with their mental health.
- Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz focuses on first responders at 6 p.m. They come face to face with mental illness every day. Are they properly trained? Experts examine a police run gone bad.
- Then at 11 p.m., he spent years in the spotlight as a Detroit Lions quarterback, but in private, Eric Hipple's family suffered in silence. Hipple opens up about his teenage son's suicide and the warning signs he wants every parent to know.
Call our phone bank
The Local 4 phone bank will be open from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. with experts from Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, Oakland Community Health Network and Macomb County Community Mental Health available to take calls and answer questions from viewers.
The number to call starting at 4 p.m. will be (313) 298-WDIV (9348).
Mental health resources
Looking for help or information in your neighborhood? We've gathered some information for certain counties in Metro Detroit to help you get started.
The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority is a safety net organization that provides a full array of services and supports to adults with mental illness, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, children with serious emotional disturbances and persons with substance use disorders.
DWMHA provides empowerment to persons within our behavioral health system, serving nearly 75,000 citizens in Detroit and Wayne County.
Helpline: (800) 241-4949 (24/7)
TTY: (800) 630-1044 (24/7)
DWMHA: (313) 833-2500 (8am-4:30pm M-F)
Oakland Community Health Network Community-based, local public mental health system that manages specialty support and services to persons with:
- Serious mental illness
- Serious emotional disturbances
- Intellectual developmental disabilities
- Infant mental health
- Substance use disorders
Most people who receive services through Oakland County’s public mental health system, which is managed by OCHN, have Medicaid insurance coverage.
Access (Central Screening Center for Oakland County)
By phone 248-464-6363
Monday & Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Tues/Wed/ Fri, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
In person - 1200 North Telegraph Rd., 32E, Pontiac, MI
Walk-in hours: Monday & Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Tues/Wed/Fri, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m
Macomb County Community Mental Health offers many services to help in difficult situations. Some of these situations may include:
- Suicidal thoughts or feelings
- Information on mental health/illness
- Substance abuse/addiction/recovery information
- Relationship problems
- Economic problems causing anxiety/depression
- Family problems
- Any other concern that is causing you distress
- To help a friend or loved one
MERG offers trained crisis teams who respond on-site to community disasters affecting groups of people. MERG helps to stabilize the work, school, or community setting by responding immediately to the stress of unexpected community crises.
Crisis hotline: 586-307-9100
Quick links to other communities:
- Monroe Community Mental Health Authority
- Washtenaw County Community Mental Health
- Livingston County Community Mental Health Authority
- Lenawee County Mental Health Authority
- St. Clair County Community Mental Health
- Genesee Health System
Mental illness: The signs, treatment, crisis resources
Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. Here's some helpful information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Knowing the warning signs
Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn't always easy. There's no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness.
Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance
Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, their most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following:
- Changes in school performance
- Excessive worry or anxiety, for instance fighting to avoid bed or school
- Hyperactive behavior
- Frequent nightmares
- Frequent disobedience or aggression
- Frequent temper tantrums
Where to get help
Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step.
Reach out to your health insurance, primary care doctor or state/country mental health authority for more resources.
Contact the NAMI HelpLine to find out what services and supports are available in your community.
If you or someone you know needs helps now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.
Receiving a diagnosis
Knowing warning signs can help let you know if you need to speak to a professional. For many people, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in a treatment plan.
Unlike diabetes or cancer, there is no medical test that can accurately diagnose mental illness. A mental health professional will use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, to assess symptoms and make a diagnosis. The manual lists criteria including feelings and behaviors and time limits in order to be officially classified as a mental health condition.
After diagnosis, a health care provider can help develop a treatment plan that could include medication, therapy or other lifestyle changes.
Getting a diagnosis is just the first step; knowing your own preferences and goals is also important. Treatments for mental illness vary by diagnosis and by person. There’s no “one size fits all” treatment. Treatment options can include medication, counseling (therapy), social support and education.
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