May marks the beginning of much-anticipated warm weather in New England and, more importantly, the 69th Mental Health Month, sponsored by Mental Health America. The focus this year is on incorporating mental health into the broader wellness conversation, and both Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center stand strongly behind this message.

Addiction and substance use disorders are often combined with and exacerbated by mental health issues such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. These are called Co-Occurring Disorders (COD), and reputable addiction treatment providers will treat both the causes and the symptoms of each illness.

Not only is this best for the long-term sobriety and well-being of the client and their loved ones, it makes economic sense for the country. According to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, cost-benefit ratios for early treatment and prevention programs for addiction and mental illness range from 1:2 to 1:10. This means a $1 investment yields $2 to $10 in savings related to health costs, criminal and juvenile justice costs, educational costs, and lost productivity.

That’s why we’ve implemented a variety of initiatives for properly identifying and treating clients with COD. Continued mental health struggles often lead to relapse, and we want to ensure that are clients are stable and well prepared to lead successful, happy and healthy lives.

For example, our Trauma Informed Care Certificate Program ensures that our staff is equipped to recognize clients who may have experienced past trauma, and address it adequately with a personalized treatment plan. Our newly announced Spectrum Education, Training and Consulting group is led by Vice President of Clinical Development – Romas Buivydas – a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and offers a variety of trainings to private providers and public-sector agencies to help them better fight the opioid epidemic. Included in these educational events is a five-day training for professionals on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This intensive training provides clinicians with the basic knowledge and skills needed to use EMDR safely and effectively with clients impacted by physical and mental trauma.

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health and/or an addiction, head on over to Mental Health America’s website for a variety of self-help tools, such as the A Letter to Risky Business worksheet, which helps participants work through the reasons they turn to high risk behaviors, how these behaviors harm them and how to take control. You can also take a variety of health screenings, including one for alcohol and substance abuse.

The New England Recovery Center is also ready and willing to help 24/7. Get in touch with us today at 844-500-6372.

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