A Word with Paige: May 2023

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of prioritizing our mental well-being

A Word With Paige May 2023

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of prioritizing our mental well-being. Yet, many people still feel a stigma attached to mental health issues, particularly those who have experienced interpersonal violence (IPV), such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse. IPV affects millions of people annually in the U.S. and can devastate survivors’ mental health.

Survivors of IPV may experience shock, fear, anxiety, confusion, and disbelief in the short term. They may also have difficulty sleeping, eating, or concentrating and struggle to understand what has happened to them. These normal reactions to an abnormal situation highlight the importance of providing survivors with access to support and care.

In the long term, survivors of IPV may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. These conditions can be debilitating and significantly impact a person’s ability to lead a fulfilling life. Survivors may also have difficulty trusting people and maintaining healthy relationships, which can further exacerbate their mental health problems.

IPV is associated with various mental health problems, including depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, substance misuse, functional symptoms, and worsening psychotic symptoms. It is essential to address the mental health needs of survivors of domestic violence and ensure they receive the support and care they need to heal and recover.

With help from our partners, the Faces of Hope Victim Center provides a warm and welcoming environment where people affected by IPV can receive help without judgment, strings, or fees. The Faces of Hope Foundation specifically offers crisis counseling, therapeutic groups, and educational classes to support community members experiencing trauma from abuse.

It is critical to recognize the impact of interpersonal violence on mental health and work towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues. I hope survivors of IPV know they are not alone. Help is available.

During Mental Health Awareness Month and throughout the year, let’s all work to reduce the mental health stigma and ensure that survivors of IPV receive the support and care they need to heal and recover.

 

Warmly,

Paige Dinger

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