What is the Blue Trailer Traveling Around Sullivan County?
Welcome Hudson Valley to this week’s edition of IN TOUCH, the public affairs and issues program that runs across Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley radio stations.
This week’s guest Julia Lybolt, Sullivan County Therapist with Bridge Back to Life. Bridge Back to Life Center originated in 1988 in the NYC area, until recently when in January 2022 where they had their ribbon cutting ceremony for the first and only mobile treatment unit for outpatient services for addiction counseling. The unit was a direct response to the opioid epidemic in Sullivan County. The MTU is designed to provide outpatient services for Alcohol and Drug addictions in the most rural areas in our county where some people cannot go to a traditional brick and mortar location within their area and sometimes have to drive almost an hour or more to get to one.
Julia is a returning guest to In Touch. When she was originally on, she spoke with our previous host and producer Paty Quin about how Sullivan County was the highest in all of NYS for Drug overdoses. Today, we caught up with Julia to see where things stand today, and how much the Mobile Treatment Unit has grown over the last year.
We invite you to join us and listen to a previously recorded conversation between Julia and myself here on In Touch.
This has been this week’s edition of IN TOUCH, the public affairs and issues program that runs across Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley radio stations. We want to give a big thank you to Julia Lybolt. For more information on Bridge Back to Life and their Mobile Treatment Unit, please visit bridgebacktolife.com.
You can also check them out and follow the Mobile Treatment Unit’s travel schedule on their social media, such as facebook.com/sullivancountymobiletreatmentunit, Instagram at instagram.com/sullivancountymobiletreatment and their Twitter Account @SullCountyMTU.
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Mental Health Awareness Month
As we’ve mentioned before, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Substance Abuse and Addiction, which we talked about today, only make up of portion of the grand scheme of Mental Health.
There are many reasons why people decide to drink and use drugs. But the increasing use of drugs and drinking can come with serious risks and devastating consequences.
Substance abuse affects an estimated 25 million Americans. In terms of people who are affected indirectly such as families of those struggling with addiction and those injured or killed by intoxicated drivers, an additional 40 million people are affected. The monetary cost to society and the economy because of reduced productivity, property damage, accidents, and health care are astounding. Alcoholism (heavy drinking) afflicts 16 million adults and almost 300,000 children annually. An estimated 21.6 million Americans (age 12 and older) are addicted to other drugs such as sedative-hypnotics or opiates, sedatives, hallucinogens and psycho-stimulants.
People with depression or other mental health problems are particularly vulnerable to alcohol and drug use. Some may choose to drink alcohol or take drugs to alleviate stress or emotional pain, but doing so often can develop or worsen mental health conditions.
People who use alcohol or other drugs should get checked for depression, anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses. It's also helpful to screen for the severity of substance abuse problems. Getting help through education, support groups, or counseling can help get people back on the right track
Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949 and was started by the Mental Health America (MHA) organization. Each year in mid-March Mental Health America releases a toolkit of materials to guide preparation for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month. During the month of May, MHA, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.
The 2023 Mental Health Month Campaign is focused on how surroundings impact mental health, and we are calling for individuals to look around, look within.
Topics that are being specifically addressed include:
- Safe and Stable Housing
- Healthy Home Environments
- Neighborhoods and Towns
- The Outdoors and Nature
The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to raise awareness and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.
For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit MHANational.org