Westcott Behavioral Health To Host Presentations For Mental Health Month

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

HMC Mental Health MonthIn recognition of Mental Health Month, Westcott Behavioral Health at Hamilton Medical Center (HMC) is hosting some events to help remove the stigma of mental illness. All events are free of charge and open to the public.

The theme for Mental Health Month this year is “Life with a mental illness, a call to action for people to share what life with a mental illness fells like.” 

“Giving voice to what it means to live with mental illness will help remove the stigma of speaking out so more people experiencing mental illness will come out of the shadows and seek the help they need to begin the journey to recovery,” said Katherin D. Weiss, director of Westcott Behavioral Health at Hamilton Medical Center.

On Thursday, May 11, “MINDSTORM, a powerful 3D experience when 10 minutes will seem like a lifetime” will be presented.  The 10-minute presentations will be shown multiple times from noon to 3 p.m. in the Dr. Starr Conference Room on the first floor of HMC. This program will enable participants to experience a glimpse of what it’s like to live with schizophrenia, a way to understand and empathize with people who have mental illness.

On Thursday, May 18, “In Our Own Voice – a Model of Hope and Recovery” will be offered from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Mensa (Service Level at HMC). This compelling presentation offers participants insight into how people living with mental illness learn to reclaim productive and meaningful lives. Discussion will follow the presentation.

“Mental illness is common, it’s treatable and help is available,” said Weiss. “Talking about mental illness is the key to reducing the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental illness.” 

According to Weiss, talking about what mental illness feels like sends a powerful message to people standing in the shadow of stigma that they are not alone. Speaking out about what mental illness feels like can encourage people to recognize symptoms and empower them to be agents in their own recovery, she said.

On Wednesday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 23, table exhibits with mental health information and handouts will be available in the main lobby of Hamilton Medical Center. A mental health professional will be available to answer questions.

Mental Health Month was initiated more than 65 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental health for everyone. Research shows that not recognizing symptoms and seeking treatment costs people with mental illness approximately 10 productive years of their lives. Sharing what life with mental illness feels like can build understanding and support for people with mental illness. Giving voice to what it means to live with mental illness can reduce the stigma of mental illness and is crucial for recovery. 

Photo: Pictured are Westcott Behavioral Health associates.  In the front, from left, are Vickie Long, Brenda Jarrett and Aloha Edmondson. In the back are Cynthia Brock, Michael Jackson and Katherin D. Weiss.