Providing Help Before It’s Too Late
With reports of shootings, stabbings and suicides constantly in the headlines, the need for mental health care has never been greater. Here’s what is happening locally.
photography by Denise Ritchie
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office works hand in hand with the Mental Health Association to bring an increased awareness of mental health issues to the public. Deputy Jeff Luther and Sheriff Deryl Loar address issues that often have a link to mental illness, and one of them is domestic violence.
Mental illnesses: (noun) medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feelings and moods, ability to relate to others and a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four adults – approximately 57.7 million Americans – experience a mental health disorder in any given year.
Roy never thought he would be one of them. After all, he was an excellent student, had many friends and was musically talented; life was good. Then things changed. “My mental illness came out of nowhere. I was about 14 when I really knew things weren’t right. That’s when I started self-medicating, drinking, and hanging out with the wrong group. I was in complete denial. Our disease is so baffling that we tend to sweep the problem under the rug,” says Roy, who was formally diagnosed with schizo-affective bipolar disorder at age 15.
Read the entire article in the Summer 2013 issue