By Rachel Evensen
In the wake of COVID-19, mental health has become a more prominent issue than ever. But individuals seeking treatment for their mental health issues often face stigma associated with their condition. To encourage patients to seek the care they need, St. Mary’s Health System has launched a campaign with the goal of sharing personal stories and educating the public on mental health.
The system has partnered with WGME-TV (Channel 13) to create the program “Mental Health Monday.” Monthly, one of St. Mary’s providers is interviewed about various mental health subjects, including depression, burnout, workplace anxiety and insomnia, acknowledging the challenges associated with these issues and encouraging patients to reach out for help.
St. Mary’s is also building a new General Psychiatric unit set to open in November, 2021, that will create a comfortable and positive environment for patients. This includes converting double rooms to private rooms, where each patient has their own TV and shower, comforts patients in other areas of the hospital already have.
Michael E. Kelley, M.D., chief medical officer of Behavioral Health, St. Mary’s Health System, shared, “In the end, the fight to end mental health stigma comes down to something as simple as speaking openly and honestly about mental health issues. When people share their stories, others know they are not alone. With support and treatment, these issues can be helped.”
As one of New England’s most comprehensive behavioral health care facilities, St. Mary’s Health System can put you on a path to hope, happiness and good mental health. If you have questions about our services or how to access them, please call 207.777.8700.