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• Hosted by: Keira McGuire

HealthSmart: Matters of the Mind

Written by Keira McGuire, witf Producer and Host | May 20, 2009 6:18 PM

brain-scan.jpgMental health disorders occur from childhood to old age, to both men and women, and to people of all socio-economic groups. Each year, 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental illness and 30% of those will have a diagnosable drug or alcohol addiction. From anxiety to schizophrenia, many of these disorders are as controllable as asthma or diabetes.

This episode of HealthSmart, takes a look at the biology behind mental illness and how medicine and therapy work to regulate the brain's chemical functions. Then, from science to stigma, viewers experience firsthand what it's like to live with a mental illness and how a shift in recovery-oriented care is improving treatment.

Segment 1 - Science
A mental illness is a health condition that changes a person's thinking, feelings and / or behavior. These diseases affect many aspects of a person's life and can cause distress and difficulty in functioning. Everyone has some risk for becoming mentally ill. Factors such as genetics, environment, and social influences interact to increase or decrease a person's risk for developing a mental illness.

Featuring James D. Hegarty, MD, MPH, DFAPA, Founding Medical Director, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute

Segment 2 - Stigma
The stigma associated with psychiatric disorders is one of the greatest challenges to recovery. Yet, the majority of people who need treatment do not get the help they need. With treatment and support, people with a mental illness can lead long, productive lives.

Featuring Sue Walther, Executive Director, Mental Health Association in Pennsylvani

Segment 3 - Co-occurring Disorders
Many people who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs suffer from another mental health disorder at some point. It is essential that these people are treated for both disorders at the same time to improve the likelihood of recovery. If left untreated, both usually get worse and additional complications often arise.

Featuring Ed Smith, Diagnosed with a Co-Occurring Disorder and Joseph Troncale, MD, FASAM, Caron Treatment Center

Segment 4 - Depression
It's normal to feel down from time to time, especially as a response to loss or a life changing event. This describes depression as a mood. Depression as a diagnosis is much different. Clinical depression is a debilitating medical illness that needs professional care. Depression affects how you think and behave and can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may not be able to go about your usual daily activities, and depression may make you feel as if life just isn't worth living anymore. There are effective treatments for depression ranging from talk therapy to electroshock therapy.

Featuring Kathy Dougherty, MD, Medical Director, Lancaster General Psychiatric

Segment 5 - Recovery
The concept of recovery has becoming increasing popular with mental health professionals, family members, and consumers. Recovery represents an ongoing process of learning to live with a mental illness, despite its limitations...similar to treatment for a chronic disease like diabetes. It's important to understand that recovery from mental illness is not only possible, it happens all the time.

Featuring Shelley Bishop, Regional Adult Behavioral Health Specialist, Northwestern Human Services

Additional Information

OpenMindsOpenDoors is a Pennsylvania initiative aimed at ending discrimination against people with mental illnesses. The campaign is coordinated by the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania. Find out how you can take action.

PA Co-occurring
A new resource in co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders brought to you by The Department of Public Welfare, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center, Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions.

Double Trouble
Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR) is a twelve-step fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their particular addiction(s) and manage their mental disorder(s).DTR is designed to meet the needs of the dually-diagnosed, and is clearly for those having addictive substance problems as well as having been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorders. History behind Double Trouble

Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance
Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance, Inc. is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of all persons who are affected by alcohol and other drug addictions. PRO-A members are persons in recovery, family members and other community supporters.

Pennsylvania Recovery and Resiliency
Consumer Satisfaction Team Alliance of Pennsylvania mission is to promote consumer satisfaction endeavors and to provide support, resources, and information to approximately 40 Consumer and Family Satisfaction Teams in Pennsylvania. We support Consumer and Family Satisfaction Teams as an essential vehicle for the consumer voice in the commonwealth.

Support the Journey
Support the Journey was born out of inspiration to offer messages of hope and support with people recovering from mental illness and addiction. They provides messages and products that help us to remember our potential for recovering from emotional darkness, as well as, offers an opportunity to show others that they can as well.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Pennsylvania
HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
NAMI is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help support and advocacy organization of families and friends of people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders. This site includes links to local affiliates and support groups, an 800-number help line, information about mental illnesses and their treatment, and brief articles describing the results of research studies on mental illnesses and their treatment.

National Mental Health Association
1-800-969-NMHA (6642)
The NMHA is the oldest and largest nonprofit organization in the United States that addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness. This site provides information about a variety of mental illnesses and their treatments, as well as a directory of local NMHA affiliates. The directory will help you locate mental health resources that are relatively near your school. This site also includes news regarding the advocacy efforts of the NMHA and a list of additional mental health resources.

Pennsylvania Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
The Pennsylvania Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services has information for individuals, families and the general public about treatment services.

National Institute of Mental Health
1-866-615-NIMH (6464)
The mission of the NIMH is to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. This site provides current and authoritative information about the latest research on mental illness.

Find resources in your community or call a Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE.

Disclaimer: Anyone considering treatment should do their own research to determine the best treatment method and facility for the person in need, and seek professional advice, as appropriate.









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