Valley Group aims to tackle mental illness

Mental health is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted these days.
But there is help in the valley for those who suffer from psychological and behavioral disorders.

Duet Partners In Health & Aging helps adults who live alone at home and no longer drive by offering services ranging from accompanying these individuals to doctor’s appointments to a visit to the person’s home and s ensuring there are no health issues.

“(We do) those little things that people need help with,” said Wendy Cohen, senior director of services at Duet.

The non-profit organization promotes health and wellness and provides free services to homebound adults, family caregivers, religious communities and grandfamilies.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was started by Mental Health America in 1949. The designation aims to raise awareness of the negative effects of mental illness.

Duet serves approximately 375 people in areas such as Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix and Scottsdale.

“Twenty percent of people over 55 have some sort of mental health problem,” she said.

The pandemic has had a negative impact on those suffering from mental illness, and limited social contact has not helped those who were already in a state of loneliness, Cohen said.

Depression and anxiety have increased in some people during the pandemic.

Duet program volunteers are responsible for helping individuals combat isolation by making regular phone calls or speaking with individuals in their lives.

Duet volunteers can do things like changing a light bulb or replacing an air filter that customers might need help with along the way.
“(Volunteers) fight isolation and depression by making a human connection,” Cohen said.

The nonprofit, like others, is constantly looking for volunteers to help, Cohen said.

Each volunteer is required to attend an orientation and complete a background check to enter homes. Each volunteer also receives their fingerprints before they can help those in need.

Duet staff aim to create a safe environment for those who need help, she said.

Mental illness knows no borders.

According to reports released this week, Naomi Judd of singing group The Judds died by suicide after suffering from mental illness. The Associated Press reported that her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, were “broken” by the death of their mother.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy,” the statement read. “We lost our mother-in-law to mental illness. We are broken. We navigate deep mourning and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her audience. We are in uncharted territory.

According to the World Health Organization, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%. The report states that “concerns about the potential increase in mental health problems had already prompted 90% of countries surveyed to include mental health and psychosocial support in their COVID-19 response plans, but gaps and concerns major ones remain”.

“The information we currently have on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health around the world is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO. “This is a wake-up call for all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting the mental health of their populations.”

Symptoms of not eating well or sleeping well can be signs that a family member has some kind of mental illness, said Dr. Jerimya Fox, licensed professional counselor and behavioral health doctor at Banner Behavioral Health. Scottsdale Hospital.

Fox said there has been an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional stress as a result of the pandemic.

“Paying attention to mental health equals physical health,” Fox said.
You don’t need a mental health diagnosis to see a behavioral health specialist, Fox said.
Banner Health offers free admission and evaluations with a licensed therapist.
“(Individuals) reduce the need for medical services if they receive appropriate mental health care,” he said.

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