Raggio: Understanding treatment on World Mental Health Day (column) | SummitDaily.com

Raggio: Understanding treatment on World Mental Health Day (column)

Sharon Raggio
Guest Columnist

On World Mental Health Day, let's take a moment to assess our own mental health and our community's ability to provide care should we need it.

Today, there is more and more focus on mental health. There is growing understanding that mental health is an essential part of a community's well-being and success. Therefore, people are looking inward to assess one's own mental health and looking outward to understand the well-being of the community.

A statistic we share often at Mind Springs Health is that one in four adults is affected by a diagnosable mental illness in a given year. Signs and symptoms of poor mental health vary depending on the disorder, but some common examples include: inability to concentrate, consistently feeling sad or down, changes in sleep patterns or appetite, inability to cope with stress, withdrawal from friends and activities and/or extreme mood changes.

Some people can effectively manage mild symptoms of mental illness with coping mechanisms like exercise, art-therapy and/or socialization. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of mental illness that begin to feel more unmanageable, there are affordable and effective treatment methods available.

Community mental health centers such as Mind Springs Health are located across the Western Slope of Colorado and accept most insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare. Mind Springs Health offers individual, family and group therapy for mild to severe mental illness. Therapists and counselors are trained in evidence-based practices, meaning the treatment provided has been proven to work.

For more urgent situations, the Western Slope has a crisis response system that can provide care when it is needed. You can call the 24/7 Colorado Crisis Services Statewide Hotline at 844-493-TALK (8255) or the 24/7 Mind Springs Health Local Crisis Hotline at 888-207-4004. Crisis hotline workers will help you through the situation whether that means talking on the phone, sending a crisis worker to your location or calling in additional resources.

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If you or a loved one experience severe symptoms of mental illness and are at risk of harming themselves or others, West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, is a safe and healing environment to receive treatment in. West Springs Hospital is the only psychiatric hospital from Denver to Salt Lake City and is currently in the process of a state-of-the-art renovation that will allow twice as many community members to receive life-saving care.

We also know that individual well-being impacts community well-being. Communities are made up of individuals and we are social beings that naturally seek connections. If you know a friend or even an acquaintance who may be experiencing difficulty, please do reach out, connect and refer them to treatment. Treatment works and together we can strengthen our community's well-being.

We have a responsibility to our community to push forward and promote positive action for the growth of mental health, crisis and addiction services. I know we are capable of creating a community where behavioral health is deemed essential to total wellness in conjunction with physical health because we are a forward-thinking and compassionate community.

Sharon Raggio is the President and CEO of Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital. With 13 outpatient locations across Colorado's Western Slope as well as West Springs Hospital in Grand Junction, Mind Springs Health offers compassionate, trauma-informed care to those seeing addiction treatment and mental health support. Sharon can be reach at SRaggio@MindSpringsHealth.org. Learn more about Mind Springs Health at MindSpringsHealth.Org. Read the latest updates on Building Sanctuary | Rebuilding Lives, the campaign for Mind Springs Health and West Springs Hospital at BuildingSanctuary.Org.