GREEN BAY, Wis. — The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted struggles people are having with mental health and substance abuse.
Clinical supervisor Tina Baeten with the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay joined Spectrum News 1 to talk about misconceptions surrounding the topic, signs to look for in friends and family members, and resources for those who are struggling.
Baeten says mental health and substance issues have no boundaries, she says some people think it is a weakness, or thinks of people with those issues on extreme ends.
"They think of alcoholism or addiction as being people who are homeless or having lost everything, and they think of mental illness the same way,” Baeten said. “And there really is no boundaries, it affects every socioeconomic group, every race, gender, across the spectrum of all.
Those issues can become apparent to friends and family, Baeten says to watch for significant changes in patterns of behavior.
"Changes with eating patterns, social patterns, sleeping" she added. "They're not reaching out, they're not talking as much, they seem especially withdrawn."
Baeten says she also notices the shame people feel for reaching out for help. She says they often feel incompetent or ineffective. But she says people should reach out to a professional even when things aren't that bad, for an objective viewpoint outside of family and friends.
Resources are available at the Jackie Nitschke Center for those who need help, including 28-day residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, relapse prevention, recovery homes, group therapy, and co-occurring services that work with those who have both substance use disorders and mental health disorders.