Having a mental illness is never an excuse for exhibiting undesirable behaviour but it could be a factor that influences it. Failing to maintain your mental health with your medical provider would be negligent and therefore unacceptable in some instances. There is no room for blame or fault. As matter of fact I don’t like to use either of those words when dealing with any type of illness.

Getting help for some due to lack of funds is difficult but not impossible to obtain. There are many rescourses available to those in need. Part of the problem though is that many people don’t realize they need help or just plain don’t want it which is sad because their live could change dramatically if they sought help. Family members can be instumental in getting their loved ones to the right people who can help to turn their lives around.

Places to contact for help:

Mental health help is so essential. If you feel that you, or a loved one, need help for mental health, it’s important to take action right away. Reach out to people who can help you by making a referral or by providing a diagnosis and treatment. Realizing that something just isn’t right represents the first step in treating a mental disorder. Actually getting help for mental health disorders is the second, and most important, step.

There’s a wide variety of resources available for getting mental health help. Many communities have mental health support services and mental health support groups that can help you.

The list below includes the types of people and places you can contact when seeking mental health help:

  • Primary care physicians (i.e. family doctor)
  • Mental health professionals (i.e. psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, certified counselors)
  • Pastors, priests, rabbis or other religious leaders
  • Community mental health centers
  • Private clinics specializing in mental health
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
  • Local medical or psychological societies

Start with your family health care practitioner. He or she knows your medical history and can determine whether your mental health symptoms are caused by medications or another illness. If your doctor determines that nothing else is responsible foryour symptoms, he can refer you to a mental health care professional. And if you suspect you may have a moderate to severe mental health issue, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression, you should seek mental health help from a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of mental disorders — from mild to severe.

Mental health support groups are designed to augment, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his or her mental health care provider. Read the list below for links and a short explanation of each mental health support group and any associated mental health support services:

  • National Alliance on Mental health (NAMI) – the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization focused on building better lives for the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness. NAMI has support groups across the country.
  • Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) – provides information on depression and bipolar disorder and support groups across the USA.
  • Mental Health America (MHA) – Dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, education and research.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – provides information and support for patients and health professionals.

Mental Health Help for Those in Crisis

If you are in a mental health crisis or are thinking about harming yourself or comtemplating suicide, seek help immediately:

  • Call 911

Go to the closest hospital emergency room

Call the toll-free, 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

A trusted friend or family member can help you make these calls or provide transportation to the hospital emergency room. If you know someone who is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to intervene and get the person to an emergency room or to see a mental health professional. You can find comprehensive information on suicide here.

So, is mental health an excuse for bad behavior? Yes and no. Yes, because sometimes it cannot be helped and no, because some people use it to their advantage. However, we have to own up to our wrong actions, and it is never too late to make an effort to seek help. Another issue is enabling the person to continue making the same mistakes over and over. i a person to stay “stuck” is not helpful to anyone. Learning what your part is in any situation is your responsibility. Sometimes we need to use tough love in order to make any situation better. It’s a loving thing to do and you should not feel bad when learning to say no to certain behaviors.

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