Mental health professionals encourage people to spread awareness

May is mental health awareness month and mental health professionals want to help people gain more knowledge

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- May is mental health awareness month and mental health professionals want to help people gain more knowledge of how serious it actually is.

Oktibbeha County Community Counseling administrator Ray Evins Jr. has been with C.C.S for 30 years and has seen many changes, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the lack of spreading the word of the seriousness of mental health.

He hoped the month of May will jump start more people into having the conversation.

“Sleep habits being changed, appetite being changed for a considerable period of time, and any major changes in emotions that is not tied to an event I would say look at those things to say whether or not if a person is in need of talking to someone,” said Evins.

Evins said for mental health awareness month he and his staff hang posters and signs, and each county goes to its board of supervisors with a presentation to make them aware of the observance.

They also show appreciation to their staffs; counselors and therapists see and deal with others problems but Evins said he also encourages self-care.

“If we’re going to take care of mental health that means we have to take care of our mental health so we make sure staff are handling the stress properly. We also encourage staff to take their personal leave to just take days to renew themselves, rest and revitalize,” said Evins.

Evins and other mental health professionals know there’s a stigma around mental health and that’s a big reason why people don’t get help initially.

He said men are more hesitant but those around them have to be willing to help.

“Our friends and family can tell that you’re not acting the same so we have to be caring enough and patient enough to recognize that even in our male friends that it’s best if they talk to someone,” said Evins.

When a person does decide to seek help they don’t force them to find a solution.

“What we don’t do in counseling is we don’t give answers because we believe every person’s situation is different so what works for you may not work for me and what works for me may not work for you so it’s helping that person determine what will work best for them,” said Evins.

Community Counseling services covers seven counties in our area. Those areas include Clay County, Choctoaw County, Lowndes County, Noxubee County, Oktibbeha County, Webster County, and Winston County.

Evins encourages families and friends to sit down and talk with loved ones regularly because you never know what’s going on with a person until you ask.

Categories: Local News