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Why is Mental Health Awareness Important?

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In this Ochsner Donor Conversation Series video, Maida Jones, vice president of philanthropy, sits down with Dr. Nigel Girgrah, chief wellness officer, to share their personal experiences and advice for those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

The COVID-19 pandemic might have put us all in the same storm but that doesn’t mean we’re all in the same boat. People react to stress in different ways. For those already challenged, the uncertainty, loss and anxiety of this time can be hard. This conversation addresses that it’s OK to ask for help and support during this challenging time.

Untreated mental health problems will not only affect your mind but your physical health and relationship with others. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults live with a mental health condition, but only half of them receive treatment. It’s important to seek different treatment options, such as mental health counseling or psychiatry services.

Jones said, “Three different times, I ended up in the ER because of head pain and high blood pressure. I was told whatever you are dealing with you must stop, stay calm and talk to someone because you are going to hurt yourself. So, I decided to seek counseling.”

Mental health counselors can help you restore your mental health, live a healthier lifestyle and eliminate personal stressors. Whether you are seeking help for depression, anxiety, a failing relationship, emotional effects of a medical illness or life change or an addictive disorder, Ochsner’s team of specialists and subspecialists can help you sort through your pain and confusion.

If you want to schedule an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist, please call:

  • New Orleans region: 504-842-4025
  • West Bank: 504-595-8111
  • Baton Rouge: 225-761-5820
  • Northshore: 985-898-7420

Additionally, the national Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7, or chat 24/7 via their website:

If you feel suicidal, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

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