Fairborn community forum highlights mental health


FAIRBORN — Mental Health is defined as how individuals think, feel and behave upon being presented with life’s situations, according to Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties Director Dr. Greta Mayer.

She discussed these topics and listed local resources for such to the Fairborn community during January’s citizens forum.

“[Mental health] is how people view themselves, their lives, how they relate to others in their lives, and how they handle stress, evaluate problems and explore choices,” Mayer said in an email interview. “Mental health is important across the lifespan — from birth and childhood, to adolescence through adulthood, including seniors.”

The MHRB aims to support effective mental health treatment, including those that aid, prevent, advocate and educate individuals on alcohol and drug abuse.

While the State of Ohio has seen a spike in deaths related to heroin use in recent years, its mission has not changed. However, Mayer said it has experienced a sense of urgency as it fulfills its goals.

“Families and those with mental health and substance use problems often face stigma, with many people having misconceptions about their problems, which feels very isolating,” she said. “It’s important to build a healthy support network. Like other health problems, addiction is a chronic disease that will need long-term support. Asking for help is truly a sign of strength.”

She listed TCN Behavioral Health, Inc. as the most extensive mental health provider, which targets both addiction and mental health issues, within Greene County. It includes established youth and adult offices in Xenia and Fairborn and possibly Beavercreek in the future.

She suggested contacting insurance providers to ensure which private therapists in the area are included in its network. Recovery rates are high for those who seek talk therapy alone, according to Mayer. However, a combination of medication and talk therapy may be recommended for afflictions causing disruptions to an individuals ability to succeed in school, function in a work environment or keep a healthy relationship.

“Most services are affordable,” she said. “The cost varies and is based on each person’s financial situation. Services are also available for persons who are homeless, unemployed and those without insurance. Getting an assessment is the first step.”

Families of addicts may struggle with the fact that their loved one(s) may not be ready to accept treatment in their addiction. However, support groups that allow members to learn about addiction in order to best support their loved one are available, and doing so can serve as an opportunity to role-model seeking help in a time of need

“There are groups, such as Families of Addicts, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon and faith-based groups in the area,” Mayer said. “I encourage friends and family members who care about those with addiction or mental health problems to seek professional help for themselves. Their lives are dramatically impacted by the person with addiction.”

Mayer, a Fairborn resident, was happy to see the turnout at the community forum, as community leaders, individuals involved in Fairborn businesses and churches, treatment experts and citizens sat together and offered their attention to this topic. Mayer felt that this displayed a concern in the community regarding mental health, which she said is important in offering help.

She urges community members to reach out to the MHRB and its treatment providers for questions.

“Just like physical health problems, mental health problems are common with about one in five people experiencing a conditions with significantly impacts his or her life,” Mayer said. “People with mental health problems can and do get better. Early identification, engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.”

By Whitney Vickers

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Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532 or via Twitter @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.

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