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ECMC Highlights Mental Health Awareness Month (May)

As the Regional Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (COE), Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation today announced it is emphasizing Mental Health Awareness Month.  Throughout the entire month of May, ECMC is bringing greater attention to mental health by holding conferences and instructional sessions for staff and partnering organizations and increasing awareness with the general public.

For the general public, mental health information will be available at community education tables set up in ECMC’s Main Lobby from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on May 15, 22 and 29.  From May 18-22, art work created by ECMC behavioral health patients will be displayed in various areas of the Medical Center and the new Outpatient Behavioral Health Center building.

For staff and partnering organizations, throughout the month of May, ECMC is also hosting such instructional events as: “Verbal De-escalation in a Mental Health Crisis” – presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and ECMC; “Come to Group,” (group therapy) by Sandra Daignault, LCSW, author – presented by ECMC administration and Michael Cummings, MD, executive director, Regional Behavioral Health COE, ECMC; “Mental First Aid for Health Providers” – presented by The ECMC Foundation; “Dealing with a Mental Health Patient in Medical Crisis;” and “Our Experiences as a Patient” with panelists from the Mental Health Association.

ECMC has initiated a mental health awareness campaign consisting of: mental health medical minutes airing on television and accessible at www.ecmc.edu; print advertisements; articles in area health publications; and street pole banners installed along Grider Street – all to bring greater attention to mental health concerns.

One in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year.  One in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  In addition to the person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.  Fifty percent of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent of mental health conditions develop by age 24.  Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when patients begin treatment early and play a strong role in their own recovery process.*

An estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7 percent of the population—had at least one major depressive episode last year.  People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience depression, but it does affect some groups of people more than others.  Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.  With early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle choices, many people get better.  When left untreated, depression can be devastating, both for the people who have it and for their families.*

There is help for those individuals with mental health conditions.  Knowledge is the first step in recovery.  For more information about mental health services, call ECMC at 716-898-5400.



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