The stigma surrounding both addiction and mental health has not diminished, despite modern resources, knowledge, and experience. There are still far too many who believe that both are the fault of the afflicted individual, too many who believe that the patient is a burden rather than someone to love and support. Only with an open mind and willingness to take in the truths of mental illness can the population at large find comprehensive care for these individuals who need it the most.

Changing the Face of Mental Health

Right now, there need to be a lot of changes as far as mental health care and care for addiction within the United States. “Because of inadequate systems of care, our prisons have become de-facto psychiatric hospitals.” There is also a huge population of depressed and suicidal veterans who are not regarded in the same way as they were decades ago: that is, they are overlooked, ignored, and denied the care that they need.

The situation these days has been called a crisis because of how extremely dire it is. “One in five” lives with mental illness within the county and yet so much of that (“nearly two-thirds” of those people) goes unrecognized and untreated. Experts know that there are a lot of steps that are needed in order to even make small progress on this front, but they agree that changing the conversation in order to break the stigma is the first step. Those who are suffering may be so afraid of what others will say about them that they don’t own up to their illness, which obviously prevents them from getting the full amount of care and attention that they need. Despite the widespread cases of mental illness, affected individuals feel alone and even guilty, choosing silence over the “risk” of speaking out.

Change comes in phases as a result of a united effort. Utilizing compassion, empathy, and support, those without mental illness can be there in a real and solid way for their friends, family, and loved ones who are suffering. If you are living with a mental illness and aren’t sure how or where to find help, begin with a conversation with someone that you trust. It may be incredibly difficult and uncomfortable, but opening up about your experience will help them – and you – to find the right solution for whatever you may be dealing with. More than likely, he or she has had a difficulty with mental health themselves, or they at least know of another person who has. After all, it’s incredibly widespread, and those who have walked on that path before are better-equipped to aid others.

Even those without experiences to speak of are more than able to bridge the gap and to provide support. Public awareness is a big piece of the ideal in which everyone has access to the care and acceptance that they need. A helpful action recently has been the appearances of celebrities and other well-known figures emerging to admit to their own mental illness; seeing these people talk about mental health both makes them more human and relatable. This way, they can be clear role models of health for those who need guidance.

There is clearly a lot of work to do within the field of mental health, work with requires more than just experts and clinicians to change. The Bergand Group is fully committed to mental health care and the treatment of mental illness, so if you want a safe environment for recovery, or know someone who is in need of help, then get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.