Missouri Highlands Calls Attention to Mental Health Month

May 12, 2015

                                        Missouri Highlands calls attention to Mental Health Month

                                                 Contact: Samantha Hill, RN- Marketing Director



Ellington, Missouri- May 5, 2015Addressing mental health before Stage 4this years theme for May is

Mental Health Monthcalls attention to the importance addressing mental health symptoms early,

identifying potential underlying diseases, and planning an appropriate course of action on a path

towards overall health. Mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most

critical points in the disease processbefore Stage 4.When we think about cancer, heart disease, or

diabetes, we dont wait years to treat them,” said Deana Payne, LCSW, and Behavioral Health Director of

Missouri Highlands Health Care. We start before Stage 4we begin with prevention. So why dont we

do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness? This Mental Health

Month, we are encouraging everyone to learn the signs, ask for help if needed, address symptoms early,

and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health.One of the quickest and

easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to

take a mental health screening. Mental Health America has online screening tools for depression,

anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder at mhascreening.org. MHAs goal is to get

every American screened and aware of their mental health, so they can address it #B4Stage4. MHA has

also developed a series of fact sheets available on its website (www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) on

realizing the critical importance of addressing mental health early, recognizing the risk factors and signs

of mental illness and how and where to get help when needed.

When feelings and emotions get overwhelming, its hard to know what to do,Payne said.

“Sometimes, these early symptoms might not ever become serious. Like a cough, they often go away on

their own, and are nothing to fear. But sometimes, they are a sign of something more severe and

shouldnt be ignored. Taking a screening is the first step to protect your mental health, and addressing

mental illness before Stage 4.Research shows that by ignoring symptoms, we lose ten years in which we

could intervene in order to change peoples lives for the better. During most of these years most people

still have supports that allow them to succeedhome, family, friends, school, and work. Intervening

effectively during early stages of mental illness can save lives and change the trajectories of people living

with mental illnesses.

Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work,concluded Payne.

When you address symptoms before Stage 4, people can often recover quickly, and live full and

productive lives.

Missouri Highlands Health Care, a non-profit organization and federally qualified health center,

endeavors to meet the primary and preventive health care needs of the residents of Carter, Reynolds,

Shannon, Iron, Ripley, Butler, and Wayne counties in Missouri. Missouri Highlands Health Care commits

to providing high quality, cost effective care and services to all patients, regardless of payer source.

Missouri Highlands Health Care places particular emphasis on care provided to uninsured and

underinsured patients. We accept Medicaid, Medicare, most insurance and offer a sliding fee scale for

patients that are uninsured or underinsured that is based on household income and size. Missouri

Highlands provides preventative and primary medical care, preventative and restorative dental care,

behavioral health services, prescription assistance programs, telehealth services and case

management/referral services. For more information, visit our website at www.mohigh.org and like

Missouri Highlands Health Care on Facebook.