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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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loobielouthepiemaker

My Friend Is Being Sent To A Psych Ward

9 posts in this topic

Posted

So my friend was diagnosed with Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder about 8 months ago, and recently I found out that all the scars on her arm were not from her cat, but the fact that she's been self harming since she was about three. I guess it was a bit naive to believe her really. She's been on a few different meds and different doses since her diagnosis but none of them have really made much difference yet. The other day, she told me that she'd tried to **** herself but failed. This was the first attempt that I've heard about, but there may have been more. Today she wasn't at school because she had a 'headache' (she told me later that it wasn't true, but I'm not 100% sure what happened) and then she told me that she's being transferred to a psych ward soon. I have no idea what to do. The weight of all these secrets is just building up on me and I'm getting really stressed. I feel really selfish for feeling like I'm suffering when I know that whatever she's experiencing must be worse, but I really don't know how to react when she tells me this stuff. I need to keep her hanging on until she finds the right meds! Please help!

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Posted

Hi loobielouthepiemaker

Your friend is so very lucky to have a friend like you. I think she is in the best hands right now, going to the psych ward will enable her to get the help that she needs. They can adjust or change her meds and monitor her to make sure that they are working and that she is stable. The hospital may be a really good thing for her.

I know it is really hard on you too, as you don't know what is going on, but just know that it is very hard for someone with any form of mental illness to talk about it with others, as they fear being judged, stigmatized and ridiculed.

Just be there for her when she needs you and let her know that.

She will be fine in the psych ward and they will get her stable.

Trace

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Posted

loobie,

First off - sorry to hear this news.

Secondly, while this news about your friend is hard to take, at least she is being taken care of. I have had no experience of this so it would be no good giving advice, except be patient.

More importantly, take care of yourself - this is obviously stressful for you too. Keep in touch with us on the forum and let us know of how you are feeling as well.

Sorry couldn't be more help

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Posted

Hello,

I remember how hard it was for my wife when I was admitted to the psych ward. She never told me. She just made sure to visit me and bring me treats. It is embarrassing to be in a psych ward in a society that has yet to fully accept the sick people need help. We are not lesser human beings just because we are sick. So a headache may have been her way of hiding her embarrassment. All but a few of my friends thought I was in the hospital due to severe headaches, getting tests and care. Only a handful of people know that I see a therapist and that I am on medication. This is strange for me, since I have always valued honesty in relationships.

Depression is very personal. Just like when another part of our body is in pain, we protect it. We can get defensive in many different flavors. This is all compounded by shame and intense privacy that often goes so deep, the person feeling the depression is sometimes out of touch with their feeling as the pain is too much to handle. It is far more complicated, but regardless, no matter how many people stay in touch, it

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Posted

Wow, what an awesome friend you are. I think the best thing you can do for her is keep letting her know that you are there to support her.

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Posted

Your friend is lucky to have you. Here are a few things that have helped when I've been in the hospital:

1. Write letters. I still have some of the letters friends sent me when I was in the hospital 4-5 years ago. Be honest, and express how much you care for your friend. Try not to make it sound like you are disappointed, blaming your friend, etc.

Letters/care packages are great because they are something your friend can keep reading over and over.

2. Talk to the friend about visiting. the hospital policies, if he/she wants to be visited, etc.

3. Ask your friend what do to if someone asks where he/she is. Is your friend comfortable with the full truth? Is there a "cover-up story" (mono, pneumonia, etc) that they want to use?

4. If they have them, you might want to attend sessions for family/friends of people with mental illness. You might gain a better understanding of what your friend is going through.

5. When your friend is discharged, try to spend a lot of time with them. Show them how much you care, keep them busy/distracted, etc.

Best of luck to you and your friend!

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Posted

Hey there,

Wow

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Posted

I just wanted to say, like others have, that you're a wonderful friend. It would do all of us here well to have a friend like you who genuinely cares and is there no matter what. I make sure to thank all of those who help me cope with my anxiety as much as I can because it's not often that these kinds of people bless our lives.

I think the best advice I can give is to just, well, be there. She's going to need some one to talk to, to confide in, and just know is there for her no matter what. That's a HUGE part of anyone's support system for sure. You're doing a great thing right now just being a close friend to her. If you'll notice many of us struggle with isolation issues and long for a true, long lasting friendship. You've done that for your friend and that's something you may not even realize is so very important. Thank you for coming here and sharing your story and I hope your friend can find the help she needs and get well. Just understand it's not a quick fix and it will take time, probably lots of time. She'll need you more than ever in the coming days, months, and years. Stay with her and show her she has a true friend, which as we all know, she does.

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Posted

Dear friend: I hope you will check back with this forum, and know that having a friend like you is a gift for someone in your friend's position. I know from experience that people often are "dropped" by friends (and family, too, unfortunately) due to discomfort or fear or disapproval (!!) at a time when they need friends the most. I hope you are able to continue to be there for your friend, but also keep your boundaries so that her illness does not become an intolerable stressor for you. Best of luck, M of P

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