March 1, 2017 (Jackson, Miss.) –The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) is recognizing Mental Health Day at the Capitol on March 15 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
DMH employees, advocates, and others will be in the Capitol rotunda to share information about mental illness and mental health services available through the state’s public mental health system. DMH operates six programs that provide services to people with mental illness and substance use disorders. Mental illnesses are health conditions that affect a person’s thinking, mood, or behavior. Though many people may not realize how common mental health issues are, about one in five people will experience a mental illness during his or her lifetime. Mental Health Day at the Capitol gives employees and advocates a chance to meet with legislators and discuss with them some common issues related to mental health and mental illness.
“People can and do recover from mental illness and live successfully with healthy careers, friends, families, and all the other components of a meaningful life. That is the message we want Mississippians to hear in regards to mental health,” DMH Executive Director Diana Mikula said. “Prevention efforts work, treatment is effective, and even with a diagnosis of a mental illness, you can reach your full potential.”
DMH operates six programs for mental health and works closely with the state’s network of 14 regional Community Mental Health Centers in order to provide mental health and substance use services to Mississippians in need. Over the past several years, the department has expanded the availability of community-based services through evidence-based practices like Mobile Crisis Response Teams, Programs of Assertive Community Treatment, and supported employment programs.
DMH has also expanded the use of Certified Peer Support Specialists, who are people with or family members of people with mental health issues. Peer support helps bring the insight and personal experiences of someone in recovery from a mental illness to other treatment providers.
“Our mission is to support a better tomorrow for Mississippians in need of our services, and our focus on recovery and community services has no doubt made a difference in many people’s lives,” Mikula said.
“We welcome everyone to join us in Mental Health Day at the Capitol and in our work to promote good mental health for all of our fellow citizens.”
DMH is supporting a better tomorrow by making a difference in the lives of Mississippians with mental illness, substance use disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities one person at a time.