May is Mental Health Awareness Month: 8-14th May is Mental Health Awareness Week

What is Mental Health Awareness Month?

The clue is in the title; it is a time for action. A time marked on every mental health organization’s calendar to begin new campaigns relevant to our mental health cause.

 

What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

Annually for a week during May, international, national, regional, and local groups, organizations and individuals lend their voice and together raise awareness about mental health issues.

 

But you do all of that already!

Of course, we all work year round to attempt to educate and inform our communities as well as working to end the stigma and to encourage and assist more people to get help when they need it. However, this is a week when all of us, working together, can make a much louder noise. And maybe someone who hasn’t heard us before will get access to help when they need it for themselves or others.
 

Okay, got it.  So what are you doing this year?

Our most recent campaign is starting May 1st  “Help a Friend” is just that. It shares how to help a friend in need, in the simplest yet most effective of ways.

For Athens and our Georgia community, we have created a paper pamphlet describing three things anyone can do, right now, to help a friend. Drop by the Space and pick one up we are open seven days a week from 12 pm. Take a couple with you for your work, you will be surprised how many people ask for them. I was.

We have also created a really useful and very handy business sized card with crisis and important line numbers. You can have those resources at hand, readily available right there in your wallet.  If you can’t get to Nuçi’s Space to pick one up you can download this image scale it to suit your needs and share it via social media or email.

img crisis line numbers

 

That’s all well and good, but I’m in California. How can I help my friends?

The Trevor Project, Hope Line, Lifelines and text lines are all still valid; they help and support nationally. But aside from that, well it’s funny you should ask. We were thinking the very same thing and so for later in Mental Health Awareness Month we will be distributing our free E-book. (This is taking a little longer than anticipated but it’s coming soon!)

A book for everyone who wants to be prepared and able to help their friend.

You will have access to all the information you need to access the right resources to find the best agencies available to help your friends.

The information in the E-book can be distributed electronically,  to make sharing resources a piece of cake no matter where you are. We welcome its inclusion on social media, newsletters, websites, and e-mail or you can even print it and hand it out.

 

That’s kinda awesome Nuçi’s Space!

I know right!

Not only that but our ‘Help a Friend’ campaign is helping us.

It is being used to spread our message of Mental Health Awareness,  and how to help your loved ones even further afield as we build on the campaign with the addition of the E-Book to make it a national resource.

#helpafriend Putting life-saving resources in your hands

 

 

First Call of the Morning…Genetic Testing

 

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The first call of the morning was…Genetic Testing.

He had always been hesitant about taking medication for his condition due to the (commonly held) fear of not being able to find the right drug or combination of drugs.  Recently he heard about Genetic Testing and wondered if we had any information on it.

I sent him an email with all the information he needed and the Genetic Test is incorporated into his moving forward therapy plan.

For some people finding the right drug or combination of drugs can take a lot of time and trial and error often accompanied by unwanted side effects adding to the problems the brain illness has already wrought. This is where the test comes into its own.  So many of the drugs suitable for a specific condition can be ruled out, leaving fewer to try, cutting out months,  even years of trial and error.

Resources

A simple quick and painless DNA cheek swab test is available right here in Athens via Athens Behavioral   (706) 316–1908 .You don’t need a prescription or an appointment. You can walk in any Friday and if you have insurance the test will cost $20.00.

Without insurance however  (not mentioned on their web page) the cost is a whopping $4000.00.  DNA tests are of course readily available elsewhere between $250 and $500

Highlighting a regular start to the day at Nuçi’s Space  ‘The First Call’ is literally the first call put through to our counseling advocate that day. 

First Call of the Morning…California

 

blog header img telephoneThe first call of the morning was an Athens musician recently moved to California and in need of mental health services. He wanted to know if there was some place like Nuçi’s Space on the west coast. Sadly there isn’t but we did manage to get him fixed up with a list of sliding scale resources that helped him out.

He found a counselor and a psychiatrist.

 

National calls such as these are frequent at Nuçi’s Space

When in good mental health a Google search or a telephone call is something we can usually do without a second thought. In the grip of anxiety or a depression,  however,  such simple tasks seem insurmountable and can become not only impossible but the source of even more severe stress and anxiety.

 

Whilst we have no therapy partnerships outside of Georgia we can still search your city for helpful resources to ensure you have a solid starting point when you are unable to do such tasks yourself.

 

Resources

You can check out  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention &  National Institute of Mental health  as starting points for lots of useful information.  Espanol

During office hours you can call us 706-227-1515 or E-mail lesley@nuci.org

 

Highlighting a regular start to the day at Nuçi’s Space  ‘The First Call’ is literally the first call put through to our counseling advocate that day. 

 

Peer Support

 

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When three people in the same week ask if Nuçi’s Space has a mental health support group, there is only one thing to do.

Our Mental Health support group meets weekly, Monday evenings 5.30-7.30. It is free and open to anyone needing peer support.  Call 706-227-1515 for details.

We are a diverse peer lead and peer driven group that has the advantage of a volunteer counselor present for most  sessions.  Because of this, our group is able to develop and grow in a way that benefits both the group and its individual members to the fullest.

All too often, a condition or a diagnosis is seen to be  the whole of the person. Bipolar for instance is regularly used  as a discriptor before either hair color or profession  And it is easy to forget there is a person living with that descriptor whilst constantly learning how to normalize and overcome the problems associated with it.

As a group we focus on ourselves, our feelings and help support each other through problems and life’s challenges  sharing from our skills and experience, therapy and proven coping mechanisms.

Together we are stronger.

 

Survivors of Suicide Support Group

Survivors of Suicide (SOS)

The Survivors of Suicide group was the first support group at Nuçi’s Space.

Survivors of Suicide group meet 3rd Wednesday every mnth 5.30

Over 16 years ago Linda Phillips started this group before Nuçi’s Space was open or even completed, so strong is the community need for such a group. Now you can find us in the library at Nuçi’s Space. Still meeting every third Wednesday of the month. We cry, we laugh, we remember… and month by month we learn to understand and accept our grief and our loss. And we  heal.

The Survivors of Suicide (SOS) group is for the loved ones left behind. It is a free group open to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Kathy is now the person who facilitates the group; she  is a survivor herself, healed after losing her son and finding her way to us. She is a warm compassionate woman who gives us hope that we, too, can heal with time.

 

The First Meeting

It can be hard, especially if the pain is still raw – and as everyone is unique, with a unique set of circumstances, no one can know exactly what another is going through. But  the group  does understand, and the group supports… and the group does not judge. It is a safe place where you can quietly sit  or fully open up about how you feel and what you have been through,  all the while  knowing that everyone accepts  you  and no one thinks of your situation,  your emotions or your grief as a burden or a trouble… and simply being in the presence of others who are going through the same thing and understand can be of help just on its own.

The attendees  are all at  various stages regarding our healing, and include the very recently bereaved  to those with loved ones many years  passed, young to old,  many different backgrounds and circumstances. Because of this, there is within the group a wealth of understanding, experience, advice and comfort available from many differing perspectives.

If you have any questions or concerns about the group, or if you  need more help – say for instance,  need to access grief  counseling services – please call us at 706-227-1515, or drop in to Nuçi’s Space and ask for Lesley, and we will make sure you get good care.