May is Mental Health Awareness Month. To illustrate this theme we will be adopting a more relaxed, blog-style post throughout this article.
There are many areas of mental health that we could discuss but we will be focusing on The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) theme of “You are not Alone.” The idea of the theme is to let people know that there are support resources available to you regardless of your circumstances or background. I hope that we can create a safe-space environment where you can ask for the help you need.
As a Care Coordinator, I enjoy highlighting the theme of “support resources” because I use strengths based approaches in my work. Essentially, this means that you have the resiliencies it takes to find solutions to the problems within your life, but that you might need some help from others along the way. Remember, asking for help is a way to stay connected: with your friends, family, community and mental health professionals.
Mental health impacts individuals of all ages, races, socio-economic status and identity. Your mental health struggles do not define who you are as a person, but the environment in which you live can greatly influence your behaviors and thought patterns.
So, what can your mental health professionals offer you?
CHCS offers clinical social work services (counseling) as well as a recovery support group (the 2nd Monday of the month). We can also offer outside referrals to local therapists, psychiatrists and behavioral health specialists based upon your preferences and needs.
Our Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Kathryn, is a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist. This means she will speak with you about your environment from childhood to adulthood. She can help you adopt coping techniques into your every- day life that will help you to be your best self.
Attached to the end of this post are online support resources. I highly recommend the Georgia Crisis and Access Line: they provide a free, confidential 24/7 talk line as well as an ACT team that will come to your home if you have thoughts of harming yourself or someone else.
In the words of the artist Demi Lovato, “It’s okay not to be okay.”
The NAMI helpline is staffed with licensed clinicians and volunteers who are available to speak with you confidentially and for free. They are available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., ET.
Call: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or Text NAMI to 741-741.
Veterans Crisis Line
A crisis line for all United States Military veterans and their family members. The line provides crisis support and connection to resources.
Call: Phone: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline assists callers in crisis 24/7 whether they are considering suicide or not. You will be connected with a crisis center in your area to speak with a trained crisis worker who will listen to you, ensure you are safe and help identify options and resources.
Call: 800-273-TALK (8255)
The Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL)
GCAL is open 24/7 to assist callers with routine mental health concerns as well as crisis mental health concerns. They provide services free of charge through use of licensed mental health professionals. They provide telephonic crisis intervention services, dispatch mobile crisis teams, assist individuals in finding detox beds or inpatient mental health beds and provide resources and connection to affordable mental health services in your area.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
This is a hotline for victims of domestic violence and their family members. Victims may call to locate confidentially located emergency shelters within their area or access other local resources. Others may call for resource connection or advice on how to help a victim.
Call: 1-800-799-7233 or text SAFE
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network: Peer Support, Wellness and Respite Centers
Anyone located in the state of Georgia can visit one of 4 centers across the state free of charge. Locations are operated by Certified Peer Specialists. There are no doctors, nurses, psychiatrists or social workers/case managers. You can stay for 7 days and centers operate a variety of games and crafts during the day. Locations are in Bartow County, Colquitt County, Decatur and White County.
Visit https://www.gmhcn.org/peer-support-wellness-respite for more information and contact information to the Center of your choosing.
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network
GMHCN offers a variety of programs and activities virtually and in-person. Check out the “Resources” tab of their website for a full list of programs. Programs include: Double Trouble in Recovery (online support group via Zoom for those struggling with mental health and substance use), online wellness resources (wellness activities held through Zoom), Peer to Peer Warm Line (24/7 peer supported mental health connection), Pipeline Newsletter, ReVerb Podcast and more!
Call Peer to Peer Warm Line: 888-945-1414
The Link Counseling Center
The Link provides family and individual counseling services on a sliding fee scale and utilizes telehealth options for those outside of Atlanta. They also provide grief support groups, a Suicide Survivor Support Group and free of charge weekly grief support groups for children 4-19.
Equality Clinic Augusta
A free clinic for all low income individuals in the CSRA with a specific emphasis on providing complete and competent care to the underserved LGBTQ community. They provide primary care, gender transitioning support, rapid HIV screening, PrEP, free bloodwork, free clinical pathology tests, oral health screenings and mental health support.
The Shepard Project Augusta
The Shepard Project is a youth hangout/safe space for LGBTQ, allies and friends.
Call: (803) 617-8352
Support, Education and Advocacy for LGBTQ youth and their families and friends. They host online support group meetings on Zoom.