(Alton, IL) – May is Mental Health Month – a time to better understand how important mental health is to overall health. Saint Anthony’s Health Center is calling on the community to help the one in four American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition.

As part of the Mental Health Month recognition, free depression and anxiety screenings for adults are being offered on Wednesday, May 23, with appointments available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. in the Psychological Services Counseling offices in Saint Clare’s Professional Building. For a confidential appointment, please call 465-2264.

“We want people to know that while mental health and substance use issues are common, they are extremely treatable,” says Susanne Ringhausen, MA, LCPC, CEAP, Director of Psychological Services for Saint Anthony’s. “Individuals who receive treatment go on to recover and lead full, productive and satisfying lives.”

Ringhausen said too many people who are living with clinical depression or serious anxiety never seek or receive help due to fear, stigma, lack of information, or lack of resources.  “We want to help our families, friends and co-workers who may be reluctant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it.”

She says that mental health is essential to overall health and well-being.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.  “At some point, whether facing a life change, personal crisis, family issue, the stress of caregiving, divorce or losing a loved one, we can all benefit from a helping hand.” 

There are many tested techniques available to help a person facing difficult times, Ringhausen adds. “We have incredible amount of knowledge about how to identify, successfully intervene and even prevent mental health conditions.

“It’s important that we spread the word about it.”

In addition to free screenings, the community is invited to visit Psychological Services during an Open House on May 23, from 3 to 5 p.m. Wellness tips, door prizes and refreshments will be offered.  Therapists will also be available with informational displays to educate the public.

Saint Anthony’s Psychological Services offers outpatient counseling provided by experienced and trained mental health professionals who specialize in treatment for anxiety, depression, drug-alcohol abuse, marital-family conflicts, parenting issues, PTSD and other mental health or behavioral concerns.  Counseling is available for adults, adolescents, and children ages 6+.

For more information about Psychological Counseling Services, please call 618-474-6240.

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