How Centerstone, MusiCares Unite For Mental Health
MusiCares partners with many organizations to provide a range of lifesaving services to the music industry. Today, let's focus on the mind and mental health.
Based in Nashville, Tenn., over the course of its 60-year history, Centerstone remains one of the largest not-for-profit community mental health and substance abuse treatment centers in the country. Given their respective missions, it was a natural fit for MusiCares and Centerstone to join forces when they were introduced by Jane Brock, the manager of a local Nashville band, Lines In The Sky.
"The services that MusiCares offers those in the music industry is impressive," says Becky Stoll, Centerstone vice president, crisis & disaster management. "We think Centerstone can assist in getting members connected to mental health and substance abuse services, including during times of real crisis."
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in five Americans live with a mental illness. Given these numbers, Stoll points out that it's likely we all know someone dealing with mental illness — "someone we love, someone we work with or someone we interact within our communities."
While this is certainly true, not everyone has experience dealing with mental health issues.
"Often loved ones and friends have not had exposure to mental health problems or the mental health treatment system, so talking about it with someone they care about is frightening," says Stoll. "Luckily there is a strong referral and crisis system of care in the U.S. so nonmental health-oriented individuals are not alone."
But when will someone know when it's time to take action?
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms such as talking about self-harm or suicide, persistent sleep or appetite difficulties, dramatic changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal or loss of interest in pleasurable activities, significant feelings of anxiety or fear, angry or violent behavior, hallucinations, or misuse of substances, Stoll recommends it may be time to seek professional support through an organization such as Centerstone.
Seeking support can begin by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.8255), which can help in times of crisis, but also serve as a strong referral network of local resources to get help and ongoing care. For example, Centerstone's Crisis Care Center located in Nashville (1.800.681.7444) is considered one of the NSPL Crisis Care Centers.
Just like caring for a medical condition, people should be aware that treating mental illness is not a one-step process. It can involve keeping regular therapy appointments and being open and honest about pertinent issues, taking any medications as prescribed, and leaning on supportive friends and family members.
"The treatment for a mental health diagnosis is not a one-visit process, but that first visit is a huge step in getting on the right path to feeling better," says Stoll.
Similarly, those looking to recover from substance abuse issues should look at treatment similar to combating a medical condition — it takes more than willpower, and a lot of professional and personal support.
"When it comes to dealing with a substance abuse issue, one of the biggest misconceptions is the belief that if an individual truly wanted to stop using alcohol and/or drugs they would simply quit," says Stoll. "We now know much more about the biology and complexity of addiction and that sobriety is not based on 'willpower.' Those with addictions to alcohol, prescription drugs and/or recreational drugs need those in their lives to offer not only help in finding a referral to professional help but most importantly compassion."
As organizations such as MusiCares and Centerstone work together to provide world-class mental health and substance abuse treatment to those in need, Stoll hopes that the stigma surrounding getting help for these conditions will diminish.
"Professionals working in the mental health field want everyone struggling and suffering with either a mental health issue, a substance abuse issue or both to know you do not have to suffer alone," says Stoll. "Every year, millions of individuals do seek treatment for these types of issues and they get better just like other medical conditions. The hope is that the more people seeking treatment for these issues and not being shamed for doing so will lead to it becomes less stigmatizing and show the world that healthcare is responsible for treating the whole person."
(Photo: Becky Stoll, vice president of crisis & disaster management visited New Mexico in September (National Suicide Prevention Month) to teach at an American Indian/Alaska Native Zero Suicide Academy. She’s pictured here with Rick Vigil, governor of Pueblo of Tesuque, and Dr. Don Warne, chief of public health for North Dakota State University.)