Behavioral and Mental Health Is Everyone's Concern

A recent article in Psychology Today stated, “Behavioral Health includes not only ways of promoting well-being by preventing or intervening in mental illness such as depression or anxiety, but also has as an aim preventing or intervening in substance abuse or other addictions.”

While we continue to enhance and grow our Mental and Behavioral Health Programs, we also continue to educate the public about this increased need. We believe that these programs will become some of our most sought out applications in the future. The burden to understand this growing need falls on all of us.

According to healthypeople.gov, “The burden of mental illness in the United States is among the highest of all diseases, and mental disorders are among the most common causes of disability.”

Whatever you choose to call it, Behavioral and Mental Health diagnoses are growing – and at a continually increasing pace.

There are certainly some compelling studies that indicate that technology, social media, increased violence in the news, and a prevalence towards violence in movies and video games correlates to the growing diagnosis of both Mental Health, Behavioral Health, and related illnesses. Among the most common diagnosis are anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and phobias – some leaving a person (without the right assistance) incapable of leading a fulfilling life.

Furthermore, studies are beginning to show a connection between social media influence and increased behaviors like alcohol consumption and drug use, further complicating the issues and needs.

Most of our community understand that Skills of Central PA was built on helping individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. We see this same need playing out today in people living with Behavioral or Mental Health diagnoses. This need is where our person-centered expertise becomes helpful. Like Intellectual Disabilities, there are many shades of Mental and Behavioral Health issues – even in people who may have been diagnosed with the same disability. Understanding individual triggers, causes, symptoms, and treatments does a world of good; helping those diagnosed to realize their choices does even more. Peer support programs can lead to increased success by pairing people struggling with mental health conditions with trained peers who draw on their own successful recovery living with such conditions.

It’s imperative that all people understand diagnosis is just the beginning.
We will continue to delve into the research, educate our employees with up to date and outcomes based training, and grow our resources well into the future.

So how can you help?

You can spread the word about existing services. Not everyone is as fortunate to experience the real-life stories of those benefiting from psychiatric rehabilitation, outpatient programs, peer support, and drop in centers.

One of our participants, David, recently shared, “Programs like Clubhouse at Skills change lives. They open their doors with kindness and work with us with open arms.”

Regardless of the severity of a person’s Mental or Behavioral Health diagnosis, there is help available.

Nicki Tice, Director at our Opportunity Clubhouse, summed it up nicely, “Our participants, like David, see so much growth. There are no time limits on their involvement in our programs. It’s very progressive. We see people get jobs, live independently, and begin to work on updated priorities.”

It is our goal to continue to grow our Mental and Behavioral Health Programming throughout Pennsylvania and to support partners with a similar mission. We hope it’s your goal to be an advocate for those that live with a diagnosis.

To find out more about our Behavioral Health Programming, contact us here.