Mental health professionals encourage people to raise awareness

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health professionals want to help people learn more

Starkville, Miss. (WCBI) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health professionals want to help people better understand just how serious it is.

Oktibbeha County Community Council Administrator Ray Evins Jr. has been with CCS for 30 years and has seen many changes, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the lack of publicity about the seriousness of health mental.

He hoped May would inspire more people to have the conversation.

“Sleep patterns being changed, appetite being changed for a considerable period of time, and any major change in emotions that is not related to an event, I would say look at those things to say whether or not no a person needs to talk to someone,” Evins said.

Evins said for Mental Health Awareness Month, he and his staff hang posters and signs, and each county goes to their board of supervisors with a presentation to raise awareness about adherence.

They also show their appreciation to their staff; counselors and therapists see and deal with other people’s problems, but Evins said he also encourages self-care.

“If we want to take care of mental health, that means we have to take care of our mental health to make sure that staff are dealing with stress properly. We also encourage staff to take personal time off to simply take days to renew, rest and revitalise,” Evins said.

Evins and other mental health professionals know that there is a stigma around mental health and it’s a big reason why people don’t get help in the first place.

He said men are more hesitant but those around them must be ready to help.

“Our friends and family may tell you don’t act the same way, so we have to be caring and patient enough to recognize that even in our male friends, it’s best they talk to someone,” said Evins said.

When a person decides to ask for help, it does not force him to find a solution.

“What we don’t do in counseling is we don’t give answers because we believe that everyone’s situation is different, so what works for you may not work for me and what works for me may not work for you, so it helps that person figure out what will work best for them,” Evins said.

Community counseling services cover seven counties in our region. These areas include Clay County, Choctoaw County, Lowndes County, Noxubee County, Oktibbeha County, Webster County, and Winston County.

Evins encourages families and friends to sit down and talk with loved ones regularly, because you never know what’s going on with someone until you ask them.

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