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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Change Direction on Mental Health

mental health
Nearly two years ago, the vocalist of the band Linkin Park committed suicide at his home in Southern California. Despite the band’s massive success, Chester Bennington, 41, had struggled beneath the surface with trauma, depression, and addiction.

May and June are great months for raising awareness about mental health disorders. June is PTSD Awareness Month and May was Mental Health Month. Bennington’s struggles and ultimate suicide are tragic; however, both serve as a catalyst for encouraging more people to talk about the importance of mental health.

Depression is the number one cause of poor health around the world. It affects millions of people in the United States and hundreds of millions around the globe. Substance abuse affects an estimated 25 million Americans. Post-traumatic stress disorder disrupts the lives of about 7.7 million Americans.

When addiction and co-occurring mental illness present in a patient, the result can be deadly. Imploring celebrities and average Americans to talk about mental health can save lives. When people disregard the stigma attached to mental illness and open up, it erodes some of the fear men and women have about seeking help.

Raising Awareness of Addiction, Depression, and PTSD

During PTSD Awareness Month, we can use social media to reach large audiences about the treatable mental health condition. The National Center for PTSD provides resources for anyone who would like to spread the message that treatment works. The organization states that:

“Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life.”

This month, Chester Bennington’s widow Talinda is calling on everyone to share with the world why mental health is essential. She has asked for and received the support of many celebrities and some experts in the field.

The Campaign to Change Direction is “a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture about mental health, mental illness, and wellness.” Last week, Talinda challenged people to take part in the campaign’s “A Week to Change Direction.”

“I challenge you to do a 30-second video on why mental health is important to you,” Bennington said on Instagram. “For me it’s very personal. And I’ve dedicated my life to change the culture surrounding mental health.” 

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Even though the Week to Change Direction Challenge is over, many individuals are still posting videos with the #ChangeDirection. Notable figures who have published videos about mental illness include Dr. Jennifer Ashton (ABC Chief Medical Correspondent), actor Ken Jeong (“Hangover”), and bassist Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses).

SLO County Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illness, then we invite you to reach out to The Haven at Pismo. Conditions like depression and PTSD accompany alcohol and substance use disorders regularly. It is vital that men and women living with mental illness seek evidence-based treatment immediately.

At The Haven, we can help you or a loved one lead a productive, fulfilling life in recovery. Begin recovery today: 805.202.3440.