Established in 1990, the National Alliance on Mental Health has sponsored the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness week in an effort to educate and raise awareness of the struggles associated with mental illness.
“The important thing to understand is that these people do get better and live productive lives,” said Catherine Schueman, administrator of Highland Rivers Community Service Board of Gordon County.
Highland Rivers serves 11 counties across Northwest Georgia.
The Gordon County branch has a number of behavioral treatment programs and groups, according to Schueman.
For adolescents dealing with substance abuse, Highland Rivers offers an after-school program called The Club-house where teenagers can go and play video games, eat and build their life skills during a two-hour group session.
For youths struggling with anger management, there is Creative Expressions, an art-based treatment program for patients to express themselves in a productive way, according to Schueman.
Highland Rivers in Gordon County has three licensed individuals on staff and also offers family, group and individual counseling.
The center accepts approved volunteers, said Schueman and also offers an intern program for college students.
Those wishing to get involved with the fight against mental illness and to help raise awareness can contact the center at (706) 625-8369.
Individuals needing immediate assistance for mental health, addictive disease or crisis services can call the Georgia Crisis Access Line 24-hours a day and seven days a week at (1-800) 715-4225.