Plumas Rural Services has provided licensed mental health services in Plumas County since 2001. The agency’s therapy staff has grown. From left: Adrianne Bliss-Williams, Midge Gannon, Kandice Doerring, Heather Caiazzo, Liz Page, Beth Grant and Dana Nowling. Not pictured: Jenna Artaz, Breanna Black, Julie Hatzell and Leslie Wall. Photo submitted
May is Mental Health Awareness Month across the country. It is an opportunity to become aware of the mental health struggles prevalent in the community, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, self-harm and more.
Mental illnesses can be especially painful for those experiencing it, because they are often hidden illness, with few to no physical markers, and illnesses that are not openly discussed due to stigma. In fact, stigma is frequently seen as the biggest barrier to mental health care.
There is inadequate understanding around what causes mental illnesses and how they can be helped. Mental health challenges can arise from genetic and biological factors or from life events, such as trauma, abuse or family violence.
Untreated mental health issues and unaddressed trauma can lead to more struggles, including substance use/abuse, unmanageable behavior or even suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Plumas Rural Services provides services and resources to support those who have experienced traumatic life events, including domestic violence services (counseling, support shelter, etc.) and the child abuse treatment program (free licensed therapy for child victims of abuse, neglect, and bullying).
In a greater context, mental health must be seen as not only addressing diagnosable mental illnesses, but promoting positive mental health as well. Life events can take their toll on mental well-being in ways that may or may not rise to the level of clinical diagnosis, but which can be managed in ways that improve quality of life. These may include issues such as…