The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mental health issues, informed treatment focus of SE seminar

By Matthew Berger/reporter

Mental health problems are not to be taken lightly, a guest speaker told SE Campus students Nov. 7.

“Mental health problems are common, and there is a stigma attached with mental health problems,” said James Turnage, a clinical director with Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County.

People are not well-informed about mental health problems and often do not know how to respond to a mental health diagnosis, Turnage said.

“A mental disorder or illness is a diagnosable illness that affects a person’s thinking, emotional state and behavior,” he said. “It also disrupts a person’s ability to work, carry out daily activities and engage in satisfying relationships.”

Anxiety, out of all the mental health problems, is the most common as 19.1 million American adults suffer from anxiety.

“Mental illness can be more disabling than many chronic physical illnesses,” he said. “A person suffering from a mental illness such as severe depression is comparable to quadriplegia.”

There is a difference between mental and mood disorders, Turnage said. Mental disorders consist of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia while mood disorders consist of bipolar disorder, post-partum depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

“There is an action plan,” Turnage said. “Assess for risk of suicide, listen nonjudgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help and encourage self-help and other support strategies.”

There is a recovery stage to mental health problems, Turnage said, but a person has to be willing to seek help.

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