Mental Health and the Importance of Crisis Intervention

If you feel depressed, hopeless, anxious, or out of touch – you are not alone. There is help available to you.

If you feel depressed, hopeless, anxious, or out of touch – you are not alone. There is help available to you.

There are many sad truths about mental illness, but perhaps one of the most troubling is society’s attempt to sweep these issues under the rug. While mental health and behavioral resources do exist, it can be difficult for someone who is not well to identify that they need help – much less seek it on their own.

At My Brother’s Keeper, we understand the importance of crisis intervention and know that people who are affected by poverty or mental illness often feel isolated, trapped, or beyond help. We strive to be a neighborhood caregiver in the Irvington community. Let’s talk about how our specialized staff connects people in need with the resources necessary to regain their health and stability here in Baltimore.

Understanding Mental Illness and Social Stigma

The social stigma surrounding mental health would have you believe that being diagnosed with a mental illness means you are “crazy” and that no one would understand. Because of this, many people are reluctant to seek help when they start feeling mentally distressed or unstable. In reality, statistics suggest that mental illness is far more common that we realize. Consider the following statistics from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • Roughly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (43.8 million) experience mental illness in a given year
  • Roughly 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. (10 million) experience a severe mental illness that hinders their ability to function in one or more major life activities
  • 6.9 percent of adults in the U.S. (16 million) had at least one major depressive episode within the past year
  • An estimated 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with a serious mental illness
  • An estimated 46 percent of homeless adults live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders
  • Of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, over half (10.2 million) were determined to have a co-occurring mental illness 

Check out the Black Mental Health Alliance in Baltimore and learn more about their #BlackMindsMatter event happening tomorrow, May 19, 2016.

What is Crisis Intervention?

A crisis is an intense situation or time period that leaves individuals with an immense feeling of danger, difficulty, or trouble ahead. Mental illness on any scale (from minor depression to full blown psychosis) can be triggered in response to a traumatic crisis or intense stress. Depending on the nature of the crises, some people have the ability to formulate an action plan to rise above the situation on their own (ex: seeking new employment after being laid off, contacting an insurance provider when your home has burned down). Whereas other people may respond to a crisis with further hopelessness, despair, or substance abuse (ex: feeling depressed about the issue and turning to alcohol, getting kicked out of a home for drug abuse and seeking your next high).

Crisis intervention services employ different methods to offer immediate, short-term assistance to individuals who have experienced a life event that is causing emotional, mental, physical, or behavioral distress. When someone in need has reached their breaking point, crisis intervention programs can help stabilize the burden and inspire hope for the future.

Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore

In addition to crisis management, MBK can connect those in need with the following social services: counseling, financial management, medical co-payments, addiction treatment referrals, therapy/mental health referrals, prescription assistance, and more.

To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.

You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.

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