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Many Mississippians Avoiding Treatment of Mental Health Issues

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Oct 2012 04:51pm | comments
The state mental health facility in Whitfield.

1 out of 5 Mississippians will face some mental health issue this year. As M-B's Jeffrey Hess reports many avoid getting help.

Undiagnosed mental health problems, means many Mississippians are not getting much needed treatment.

Dr. Marty Allen with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health says people with mental health problems often avoid seeking help for their condition.

"So many of us think you just need to suck it up and get over it and move on and it is a sign of weakness if you are depressed. All of us get sad and unhappy and things happen in our life that cause us stress, but it is when it those things continue for two and three weeks that you should seek some attention," Allen said.

There 12 state-run mental health programs.

Allen says the 15 Mississippi Community Mental Health centers are able to adjust their fees so that patients can afford treatment.

62-year old Sharon Carruthers struggled with bi-polar disorder, causing deep debilitating depression followed by unruly manic states.

She didn't seek treatment until she was nearly 60 years old.

"For me it was like waking from the world of the insane, which I didn't now I was in, to the world of the sane. And what a difference these last three years have made in my life. I am a person that is anti-depression and I know that you have to go somewhere to get help," Carruthers said.

Every year, the state spends around 200-million dollars treating patients with mental health problems.

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The state mental health facility in Whitfield.


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