Daily Record graphic by Colton Ashabranner, Source: Mental Health First Aid USA
May is Mental Health Month:
Almost half of adults will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetimes, but not even half of them will receive professional help, according to Mental Health First Aid.
There are resources available for San Marcos and Hays County residents with mental health needs. The Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers (MHDD) offers community mental health services in 19 counties in Central Texas, including Hays County. Hill Country MHDD operates the Scheib Center in San Marcos as a community mental health clinic.
“Through the Scheib Center, we offer lowcost or no-cost mental health services to children and adults in Hays County,” said Teresa Thompson, clinical director with Hill Country MHDD. “We have several clinics in Hays County.”
The Scheib Center provides outpatient services for people from age 3 and up, Thompson said.
“We provide therapy, skills training, case management, psycho-social rehab services, crisis services, psychiatric medication management services, integrated health care services, family partner services, peer support services, substance abuse services, veterans services and Mental Health court services,” Thompson said.
Scheib also offers a Youth Crisis Respite Center, which Thompson describes as a place that gives young people ages 12-17 a place to go and receive support.
“It is a short-term home environment, with 24-hour supervision, and is intended to give youth and family a break from the stressors in their lives, which aids in preventing and reducing mental health crisis that may be present,” Thompson said. “The home is located in San Marcos, but youth and families who lives outside of San Marcos or in other counties may access/utilize this resource.”
To receive a screening for Crisis Respite services, residents can call the crisis hotline at 1-877-466-0660 and request a screening for respite. Those seeking Crisis Respite services can also contact the center directly at 512-667-9868 for more information.
Among its other services, the Scheib center also works with officers trained in Mental Health First Aid and crisis response, Thompson said.
“These officers are from the city police and county sheriff’s office and work hand in hand with our agency to assist people in Hays County who are experiencing a mental health crisis,” she said.
Hill Country MHDD also offers Mental Health First Aid training in Hays County --training that helps non-professionals identify and help people having a mental health crisis.
“We have been very active in providing this training to teachers, law enforcement, and many other groups within the community,” Thompson said.
May is Mental Health Month, and many mental health organizations are launching campaigns to raise awareness. Mental Health America has started its #4Mind4Body campaign to remind people of the importance of good mental health and offer tips for staving off mental illness and other health concerns.
“A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” a press release from Mental Health America states. “It can also help people recover from these conditions. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health.”
Mental Health America is focusing on animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.
“Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy,” the press release states.
Mental Health America offers a variety of resources at their website.
For more information on Hill Country MHDD and the services it offers, visit Hill Country MHDD's website