WUFT News

Local healthcare, religious groups promote mental illness awareness

By on February 28th, 2013

Mental health organizations, law enforcement and city officials gathered at a forum on Thursday to talk about mental health issues in the Gainesville community. Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. and Trinity United Methodist Church hosted the forum in the Worship Center of the Trinity United Methodist Church.

A panel of speakers from the various organizations spoke about their organizations and then took questions from the audience.

After the forum, the President and CEO of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Inc., Maggie Labarta, said it is important for the community to talk about mental health issues.

“What we want to do is bring understanding to the community and have a conversation about how mental illness impacts all of us through relatives, friends, ourselves and just really build a conversation, build a dialogue that helps us do a better job of helping people who are mentally ill in our community,” she said.

Labarta said when tragedies like the shooting in Newtown, Conn. occur, people jump to mental health issues. She said an important thing to understand is most mentally ill people are not dangerous.

“They are not going to be the Newton or Aurora or Virgina Tech people,” she said.”They are mostly victims more often than not.”

She said neglecting these conversations leaves people suffering from mental illness feeling isolated and leaves them unwilling to reach out for help.

“We lose a huge amount of work productivity,” Labarta said. “A huge amount of talent is lost to these illnesses because they often go untreated and so part of what we are trying to do is help people understand these are illnesses, like other illnesses, that can be treated and managed.”

Treatment depends on the individual patient, she said. Treatments can range from counseling and medication to rehabilitation.

“Like cancer, mental illness has various types and so you treat each one very differently depending on how it manifests.”

The focus of the forum, Labarta said, was to make sure people understand these individuals exist in our community.


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

CDC Creates Stricter Guidelines For Treatment Of Ebola Patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created stricter guidelines for the treatment of Ebola patients. The new guidelines address training and hands-on experience, preventing skin exposure, and strict observation of putting on and taking off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


Hydrocodone has been moved to a stricter schedule II drug from a schedule III, making it more difficult to obtain for prescribed patients.

Hydrocodone Now More Difficult to Obtain for Prescribed Users

The Drug Enforcement Agency is tightening restrictions on oxycodone, making it more difficult for prescribed patients to obtain refills for their prescriptions.


Local Student Develops Epilepsy App, Wins $75,000

Amir Helmy’s science fair project idea has since developed into Seizario, an app that will allow epilepsy patients to monitor their seizures using the sensors from smartphones.


The University of Florida Student Health Care Center is offering free flu vaccinations for university students with a student ID.

Florida’s Fight Against Flu More Forceful This Season

More than 27 Florida counties are participating in a campaign to help fight influenza this season by giving free inhaled flu vaccines to students enrolled in elementary through high school. The campaign is being promoted by Healthy Schools LLC and Families Fighting Flu.


Ebola Preparation

Gainesville Officials Educated on Ebola Safety Procedures

Gainesville officials reassure residents of their knowledge of safety procedures taken in the case of a local Ebola case. Experts said residents shouldn’t worry about the spread of the infectious disease in Gainesville.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments