Mental Health Month aims to reduce stigma surrounding mental health treatment

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – May is Mental Health Month, which aims to raise awareness about the need for mental health services. 

Clinical Director William Catus at Life Strategies Counseling Services in Beckley says that Mental Health Month falls on a very important time right now, considering the challenges associated with the pandemic.

“Making everybody more aware of the problems like people being isolated, people being knocked out of their total routine. It seems that a lot of people I’ve heard refer to it as them being in their own prison,” Catus said.

A lot of the stigma surrounding mental health is the concern of even bringing it up with loved ones. But one of the most important aspects of mental health treatment is being able to talk about your issues openly.

With everyone stuck at home, Catus says now is as good a time as ever to speak to your family about mental health. 

“See what’s on each other’s mind. If your children are afraid or fearful or whatever, this is an opportunity to find out exactly what’s going on.” 

Another issue that people have with discussing mental health is they’re simply afraid of the topic, or think that their concerns will come off the wrong way. But Catus says facing those fears about mental health is necessary to make progress. 

“If there is depression, if there is anxiety, what is going on and ask these questions without being afraid that you’re gonna hurt somebody’s feelings.”

If you feel that you need mental health resources, try contacting local mental health clinics and scheduling a remote appointment through Telehealth.