Valley Baptist Health System brings awareness to mental health

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas — Valley Baptist Health System is bringing an awareness of behavioral health issues and how good mental health is important to the quality of life. For over 70 years, the month of May has served as Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Director of Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen’s Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit, Anthony Manuel, MSN, RN said awareness can play a key role in providing support to those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages, races, and walks of life. That being said, mental illness may directly impact someone we know such as a family member or friend suffering from depression, anxiety, or an adjustment disorder or it might be something we’ve had to face to face in our own lives. That’s why awareness is important so that the burden of mental illness can be reduced and the stigma eliminated,” Manuel said. “If individuals aren’t aware that they have a mental illness or are afraid to bring it up, it can produce unfavorable outcomes if left untreated.”

Opened in early 2018, Valley Baptist-Harlingen’s 12-bed Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit is equipped and staffed to specifically match the needs of older adults.

The unit is designed primarily for older adults who are experiencing emotional, behavioral, or mental health issues ranging from depression to changes in sleeping patterns or insomnia. Patients receive comprehensive behavioral health care from a team that includes a wide array of specialists from psychiatrists to physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

While health officials have hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic is entering its late stages, officials said the pandemic and its associated grief and stress make it more important now than ever to pay close attention to caring for mental health, said the news release.

Visit Valley Baptist for information on behavioral health services offered.

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