SAN ANGELO, Texas – While May might have been Mental Health Awareness Month across the United States, it is still important to be aware of the resources available to those suffering with mental health challenges. The discussion surrounding mental health has surged amid the ongoing pandemic, and help is available right here in the Concho Valley
The crisis counseling hotline at Mental Health & Mental Retardation Services of the Concho Valley has taken a lot of calls. “Many times with those turned out to be with family members who were sick [or] they were unable to visit,” explained Brent Jenkins, a crisis counselor with MHMR of the Concho Valley. “Many times they were about having lost their job and not sure, you know how they were going to be paying their bills. A lot of times it was just about isolation.”
In addition to help for those facing mental health challenges, those wishing to help others can receive training, in mental health first aid. Dr. Nancy Woods Hernandez with MHMR, said that the training is provided at no cost, and can be particularly useful for law enforcement and other first responders. Kirstie Carroll, trained in mental health first aid outreach, says everyone needs to continue working to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to be more mindful.
In addition to the programs and services offered at MHMR, Shannon Medical also offers help for those living with mental health challenges through there behavioral health department.