Mental health experts work to stop stigma

SUNBURY — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and members of the Behavioral Health and Intellectual Development office and Northumberland County Counseling Services want to clear up some of the common misconceptions.

 

Judy Davis, an administrator for the BHIDS, says there is a lot of stigma involved with mental illness.  “Society views that individual often times as someone who has a tendency toward violence and is confused and eccentric,” she said.  “Some of those things may be accurate; however, we need to think of mental illness as a disease of the brain.  That’s what it is.  It’s a disease that can be treated chemically with medication and people can do really, really well.”

 

Chris Minnich, Clinical Manager of Northumberland County Counseling Services, said another recent misconception is a link between gun violence and mental illness.  “They are really separate issues in many cases,” Minnich said.  “The propensity for gun violence does not necessarily connect with someone with a serious and persistent mental illness.  That is a common misconception which we continually everyday try to inform the public about.”

 

Minnich, Davis and other mental health educators were guests on WKOK’s On The Mark program Tuesday.  You can download that program online at WKOK.com.  (Codi Jade)

 

onthemark320