‘It should always be in our mind:’ May isn’t the only month Mental Health Awareness is important

PASCO, Wash. — Mental Health Awareness month ended was May, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still be talking about it. Though awareness and representation has been getting better, there is room for improvement. There is a high need for mental healthcare in the Tri-Cities, according to John Miller, the case management supervisor for Lourdes Counseling Center.

READ: Mental Health Awareness Month

“You have a lot of people out there needing a lot of services. There’s limited number of agencies, as far as community health in itself,” Miller said.

Lourdes is one of the limited services that provides mental health support to the people of the Tri-Cities.

“Mental health care is where we’re talking about meeting an emotional need,” Miller said.

With rates high, support for people who are struggling is a must. Funding is a step in the right direction, but we also need therapists, doctors, nurses and more healthcare professionals. Miller said that in order to get well-rounded care with regards to mental health, we need to have those individuals in place that assist with mental health issues.

“They need those services and that support to meet the need for recovery,” Miller said.

In order to get people the help that they need, awareness is necessary to build this support.

“It’s having those individuals in place and health care and the behavioral sciences that assist with mental health issues. All of those are going to be needed for well-rounded care with regards to mental health in itself,” Miller said.

Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is the first step. It’s an ongoing process, but it will get better as awareness spreads.

In the last few years, awareness has changed the way most see mental illnesses. The goal is to get more people the help they need, without any shame for the people involved.

“Mental health is a constant. It’s something that we deal with on a daily basis.”

RELATED: ‘You’re not alone:’ Tri-Cities experts discuss Mental Health Awareness Month

RELATED: New mental health hotline ‘988’ launching in July