WVU Medicine University Healthcare
Berkeley Medical Center
2500 Hospital Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health Month and the theme this year is Risky Business, a call to educate ourselves and others about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses.
Mental Health Month was started 68 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and that mental illnesses are common and treatable.
“People experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently,” said Valerie Gorman, crisis services coordinator at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center. “Some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of mental health problems.”
According to Gorman, activities like recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending and disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.
WVU Medicine University Healthcare is encouraging people to learn about what having mental illness feels like by attending Mental Health Month events at Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center. All events are free of charge and open to the public.
On May 24, “In Our Own Voice – A Model of Hope and Recovery” will be offered at Berkeley Medical Center at 6 pm in Meeting Room 1. This compelling presentation offers participants insight into how the more than 58 million Americans living with mental illness and substance abuse issues cope and reclaim rich and meaningful lives.
May 22 – 26, the “Express Yourself through Art” exhibit will be featured in the main lobbies at Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center. This exhibit is an expression of the human spirit with art, created by people with the lived experience of mental illness in celebration of hope and resilience.
“It is important to understand early symptoms of mental illness and know when certain behaviors are potentially signs of something more,” Gorman said. “We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness. This needs to be done in a compassionate, judgement-free way.”
MHA has developed a series of fact sheets (available at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may) on specific behaviors and habits that may be a warning sign of something more, risk factors and signs of mental illness, and how and where to get help when needed. MHA has also created an interactive quiz at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/whatstoofar to learn from Americans when they think specific behaviors or habits go from being acceptable to unhealthy.
“Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated services work,” stated Gorman. “When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early, and provide effective treatment.”
Introduced January 1, 2005, University Healthcare brings together Berkeley Medical Center (formerly City Hospital), Jefferson Medical Center (formerly Jefferson Memorial) and West Virginia University Hospitals to form a new not-for-profit healthcare delivery system for the Eastern Panhandle.
The Eastern Panhandle is growing and changing – and we are too. We’ve listened to the communities we serve and evolved with you so that we can ensure we provide our area with access to the best care possible.
We’re growing to better meet your needs – and we’re not done yet! We’re still the same healthcare systems you’ve come to know and trust, but now we’ve partnered to provided accesses to even more resources, and we’re bringing WVU’s commitment to superior healthcare close to home.
These changes mean new specialties, new services, new physicians, the latest technology, renovated facilities, and a unified healthcare delivery system that’s committed to improving the health status of Eastern Panhandle residents by providing high-quality health and wellness services, expanding access to care and participating in the education of healthcare professions.
Welcome to University Healthcare – The first-choice, quality medical care you and your family deserve.