logoTinyContact: Danielle Lamson
Communications Manager
610 Campus Drive
Abingdon, VA 24210

May 3, 2013

ABINGDON, VA (May 3, 2013) – Mental Health Month was started 64 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for everyone. Recently, President Barack Obama proclaimed May to be National Mental Health Awareness Month and stated, “As a Nation, it is up to all of us to know the signs of mental health issues and lend a hand to those who are struggling. Shame and stigma too often leave people feeling like there is no place to turn. We need to make sure they know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness — it is a sign of strength.”

As the mental health service provider for Washington County and Bristol, VA Highlands Community Services, wants the community to become further aware of the critical importance of mental health services.

Executive Director Jeff Fox states, “Highlands Community Services is here to provide the highest quality continuum of behavioral health care available. It is beyond time for our nation and community to understand that mental health is just as important as physical health and that we must continue to increase the support that individuals with mental illness need. There is no need for stigma or shame. We are all here to support one another, to provide professional, respectful services full of hope and genuine empathy. HCS leads the way in our community and will continue to provide a solid system of care. We hope that other areas provide the same.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Also, May 9, 2013 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. According to the Campaign for Children’s Mental Health, the Surgeon  eneral reports that 1 in 5 kids has a mental health problem. Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services estimates that between 92,000 and 111,000 Virginia children and adolescents have a serious emotional disturbance. Only one in five, however, receives needed treatment.

Former client Kristen says this about local HCS services, “For me, Highlands Community Services means a second chance. They helped me conquer my issues and work through what I needed to. When I was going through really rough times, they helped me realize that someone was on my side. Recently, I have graduated from high school and secured a job. HCS taught me how to have impulse control and a positive attitude. I don’t know where I would be without their help”.

Highland Community Services has exhaustive services for the children and families of its community. Serving thousands of adults, children, and families each year, the goal of the agency is to provide a full continuum of care and to increase access to mental health services…improving lives and discovering possibilities along the way. Services are amazingly broad and include everything from free parenting classes to intense psychiatric services for those with serious mental illness.

Highlands Community Services is a multi-faceted Community Service Board providing Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Intellectual Disability services to the residents of Bristol and Washington County, VA. To learn more call 276.525.1550 or log onto www.highlandscsb.org .


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Highlands Community Services

improving lives,
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