SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Coosa Valley Medical Center held its monthly Community Links forum for November on Monday at the B.B. Comer Library. Community Links is an event that CVMC uses to spread awareness about numerous health related issues. Monday’s topic focused on mental illnesses, specifically depression, and how to treat it.

Community Education Coordinator for CVMC, Candice Hightower, presented issues concerning mental illnesses and her personal struggle with depression. She explained there are four different types of depression: clinical, manic, bipolar, and seasonal. Each have different symptoms, so it can be difficult for family and loved ones to recognize signs of depression.

For those seeking treatment for depression and mental illness, the decision is not always as easy to make is it sounds. The biggest obstacle for those seeking treatment can be the stigma behind mental illnesses. “Mental illnesses are real and can be treated like any other sickness,” Candice explained.

Family members need to watch for disturbed appetites, changes in sleep patterns, and lack of interest in involvement. Family members and friends also need to remember this is not something you can just “snap out of,” and should not say this to someone who is struggling.

Hightower also wanted to make the distinction between being sad and depressed. “We all get sad, but it is conditional. Depression is something that is a consistent issue.”

Coosa Valley Medical Center partnered with the library five years ago to start Community Links. Physicians, community educators, and others come to speak on topics dealing with health. This month, the topic was depression, last month’s topic concerned types of surgeries are offered in Sylacauga, and in February, the topic will be focused on heart health.

“The main purpose of Community Links is we want to connect our community and teach our community about different health topics so we can have a healthier community,” said Vanessa Green, Chief Business Development Officer. Keeping care close to home and neighbors taking care of neighbors is very important to Coosa Valley Medical Center, which has won awards for quality, but wants to add a personal touch to the clinical side of its organization to best benefit the community.

There are resources in Sylacauga such as a local psychiatrist and a family physician to contact if you notice symptoms in yourself or others. There are also crisis numbers to call if you want to talk to someone before seeing a local doctor: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) and 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Jennifer Keith for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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