To recognize Mental Health Awareness Month this May, The Way Out Recovery Rehab Santa Clarita officials started a discussion about mental health on the radio airwaves.
On a recent “The Way Out Recovery Hour” on KHTS, Bob Sharits, show host and program director at The Way Out Recovery SCV, was joined by Jessica Cabanos and Laura Praskin, student ambassadors from the California Community College Health and Wellness Program.
The show began with Sharits drawing attention to the “stigma” of mental health and the notion that many people would rather not talk about it, instead pretending it’s not happening until it’s “directly in their face.”
“Mental health and those who suffer with illnesses in the mental health world, it’s not always right there -- you can’t see it,” Sharits said. “It’s one of those things that affects more people probably than any other thing in the world, and it’s one of the least talked about things.”
Related Article: Recovery Goals With The Way Out Recovery Rehab Santa Clarita
Cabanos talked about her experience with a loved one dealing with mental illness, and Praskin shared her journey of living with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Soon after being diagnosed, Praskin remembered feeling like other people would think less of her if she told them about her ADHD, and Sharits added that this is a common mentality for someone with a mental health issue.
“If I go around and I say, ‘Hey, I suffer from this thing, whatever it is -- ADHD, depression or addiction -- my brains says people are going to judge me,” he said. “They’re going to be like, ‘Oh, you’re weird’ (or) whatever, and it’s not the truth. It’s not the truth -- that’s the stigma.”
Open discussions about mental health can greatly help reduce this stigma, according to Sharits, which is what he called “a big piece” of what organizations like The Way Out Recovery SCV and the California Community College Health and Wellness Program do in the community.
He continued, “The more we talk about it and the more we put it out in the open, the less difficult it is for people to step up and go, ‘Hey, my friend, I see that you’re going through something. Is there anything I can do to help?’’