State launches online series to help ID mental health conditions early

We’re here for you helping guide you to resources that can help you and your loved ones.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission is launching a new online series to help identify behavioral issues early.

We’re taking a deep dive into what they look like and how they can point you in the right direction.

“Our hope is that the outcome is going to be that people intervene earlier people get help earlier before they get into a real crisis,” Trina Ita, an Associate Commissioner for Behavioral Health Services with HHSC said.

“When people learn more about behavioral health, they can overcome challenges and the stigma associated with mental illness to seek treatment and take that first step toward creating a better life for themselves and others,” said Sonja Gaines, HHS deputy executive commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services

“Over 40 million adult Americans have an anxiety disorder,” the anxiety learning module points out.

Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder are a few of the mental health conditions you can be diagnosed with — they impact 3 million Texans each year.

“Behavioral health is something that impacts so many,” Ita said.

Conditions and disorders behavioral health experts say were not talked about, and carried a stigma, until now.

“COVID has brought awareness to mental health in a way that I don’t think anything else could,” Julie Strentzsch, Chief Operating Officer for Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, said.

The pandemic didn’t just helped start the conversation — Health and Human Services said it has seen an increase in the need for services.

“People have experienced job loss, people have lost loved ones, you know, things that were normal for all of us became not normal anymore,” Ita said.

A few of the reasons why the Health and Human Services Commission put together 10 interactive learning modules to better understand the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

“Our mental health is important, and that when we are not feeling good, not just in our body, but in our soul, it is really critical to reach out to someone, and these modules are ways to do that,” Strentzsch said.

The 30-minute lessons are just one tool at your disposal — as behavioral experts say the effects of the pandemic have yet to be seen.

“Mental health is going to be something we’re going to be talking about for the next five to 10 years,” Strentzsch said.

Health and Human Services said these lessons are meant to help normalize mental health and the best intervention is early intervention.

If you or someone you know needs help you can find the eLearning series here to empower you and your families with more knowledge and understanding of behavioral health conditions.

San Antonio Centro Seguro HOTLINE: 210 – 340 – 0990 can help guide you to the assistance you need.

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