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  • Meredith Shaw

Why Don' t We Talk About IT?

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

Wouldn't it be ideal if scheduling a mental health check-up was a standard practice, like an annual physical, eye exam, dental cleaning, mammogram or pedicure? It's far easier to schedule an appointment for your automobile oil change, or a rabies shot for the family pet.

And yet with one in in four people reporting signs of feeling anxious, worried, depressed or overwhelmed, mental illness remains a difficult subject to discuss. We need to treat "IT" like any other diagnosed physical ailment or disease, and to proactively take steps to to ensure that anyone, can access the services they need.

So in a perfect world, scheduling a mental health check-up would be accessible to all, and a standard practice. There would not be any shame or stigma attached with making a call or a connection for help. The dial is starting to move and conversations are becoming more open. But there's so so much more that needs to be done. We must all learn the signs of mental illness and to support those who may not be able to verbalize their feelings. Picture the child that may be on the autism spectrum and cannot give voice to the internal feelings he or she may be experiencing. Or the teenage son, who might appear sullen and uncommunicative, masking a deeper ailment. It's time to pull away the curtain of stigma of talking about mental illness and have open conversations. Learn the signs.

Tri-Town Council recognizes that having these discussions isn't easy. But knowledge is power and we'd like to help parents, caregivers, educators and other supportive adults learn how to initiate the difficult conversations, no longer avoiding or walking on eggshells, when it comes to "IT". On Wednesday, November 6th, at 7pm, join licensed clinician Jon Mattleman, MSW, and a young speaker, Jenna, who will share their experiences with mental illness, "Just Talk About IT". This will be an open and interactive workshop focusing on adolescent mental health, and how to recognize the warning sighs of stress, anxiety, depression and crisis.

If you are not able to attend this workshop, please see other resources on TTC's website. Know the five signs: 1) Not feeling like you? 2) Feeling agitated? 3) Are you withdrawn?

4) Caring for Yourself? 5) Feeling hopeless?

(Printed with permission,

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