We'll begin today's story by saying that mental health is a huge issue and as a survivor of mental and behavioral health issues in the past, this is being written by a staunch advocate of the need for mental care equal to or more so than physical care. Your all around health is paramount of course, but so much depends on the state of your mental wellbeing that it's often the first crack in the ice to a much bigger problem in life and the result of things like depression, addiction and other issues that most think can be resolved if they just "tough it out" can lead to a myriad of other problems, and they snowball....rapidly.
It's with this thought that we made a visit to Hackley Community Care to talk to their Behavioral Health Department, because, let's open up a little honesty here. What we've all been through for the last 18 months....it's taken it's toll in one way or another on most everyone and fatigue and distress have just become part of the daily routine. We've seen increasing need for help from people. There are cases of addiction going up. Sadly, the ability to cope has caused some to take their own lives and the overall demeanor of things has seemed to change. Add in all we had to deal with pre-pandemic and you can easily see how our brains and spirits are on overload and so many are looking for somewhere to turn.
Well, Hackley Community Care offers all of the services you may expect for kids all the way to elderly people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, emotions and more. Their Behavioral Health Team offers a comprehensive look at what the needs of an individual are and where they are in life's journey. They can help with diagnosis of a problem as well as referrals to where treatment can be sought and help those who are struggling in a world that seems isolated and alone come to understand that they are not alone and that professional and communal help are often the keys to coming to terms with what's happening. Again, to reiterate, there is absolutely no shame in asking for a hand and no "tough guy" can manage this alone. It's not a matter of toughness, it's a matter of having the tool kit needed to be able to navigate situations and reactions to them. Coping can be a learned mechanism.
MaryAnne Kowalski is the Director of Behavioral Health Services for Hackley Community Care and we sate down in her office to talk a little about this essential part of your overall well being, take a listen.
To close today, I need to share a perspective with you. It's been 18 years since I came to the realization that I couldn't make life happen on my own. My mental health was in such poor shape, I was dealing with addiction, a suicide attempt, a lost marriage, job problems, family issues and more. It took me to come to the realization that I needed a serious amount of help to get all of that put in the rear view mirror and it took years of committed work with both a one on one counsellor as well as group input to sustain my sobriety and realize what life could be. Today, it's become a gift greater than anything I could have ever possibly imagined. It doesn't exclude me from "bad days" or bad moods, but I have learned that it's on me to manage what comes my way and to not let it build up. I am a strong advocate for anyone seeking help be they a child, teen or adult because without it, it's literally living in a trap. It's no way to exist and with Hackley Community Care right here offering these services to pretty much anyone in need in Muskegon, I beg you to reach out and get the help you need. You are the world to someone, I promise you that and to take care of yourself first has to be top of mind, because without you being able to do that, you can't for them. Take that first step and reach out to Hackley Community Care Behavioral Health and see just how much it can help. You will be forever grateful you did, and more over, there will come a day when you can be the anchor for someone else who needs a hand, and that is when the gift truly emerges.