Palm Point Behavioral Health’s Thomas Mahle: Mental Illness Can Be Diagnosed, Effectively Managed
By Thomas Mahle CEO/Managing Director Palm Point Behavioral Health // May 23, 2019
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In America today, approximately 45 to 47 million, or 1 out of 5 Americans, is suffering from a mental health issue, and approximately 1 in 25 adults is currently experiencing a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with one or more major life activities.
Sadly, the rate of suicide is at a 30-year high.
While more individuals are accessing care, an astounding 9 million are struggling with unmet needs. These are our friends, colleagues, neighbors and perhaps our own family members.
As CEO of Palm Point Behavioral Health, my staff and I have the privilege of serving many members of our community who are experiencing some of the most challenging times of their lives mental illnesses that are often invisible to the casual observer in ways that physical illnesses are not.
May is Mental Health Awareness month, providing an important opportunity for reflection and collective action to address barriers, including the ongoing stigma and stereotypes preventing many individuals from getting the care they need.
A recent poll of 1,000 Americans conducted by Research Now provides some noteworthy insights regarding perception and barriers. High percentages of respondents view mental health as equal in importance to physical health with illnesses like depression and anxiety cited among the top concerns, along with cancer and heart disease.
The same poll identified barriers to care and different perspectives regarding value for physical and mental health where historically the latter wasn’t taken as seriously.
The good news is that there is much hope — and today, positive outcomes are not only possible, but they are also experienced every day. Like chronic physical illness, mental illness can be diagnosed and effectively managed.
Individuals who were once in despair can regain their mental health and go on to live their best lives. This is highly rewarding and one reason I chose to work in this field.
What can we do within our communities to recognize the signs of mental health issues and assist those in need of care and treatment?
• Listen and show understanding: If you suspect a loved one is struggling, offer to listen and encourage them to seek professional help.
• Share the Lifeline number (800-273-TALK) a 24/7, free and confidential support line. Military veterans may press T for dedicated support. Suicide affects all demographics: different ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation and occupations.
• In case of an acute emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Suicide is often preventable when people at risk receive the support that they need.
• Our schools should encourage students to pursue careers in mental health fields, whether through nursing, medical or vocational programs. This is a growing field; we need the next generation of talented professionals.
Each of us can play a positive role to improve the lives of the millions of Americans suffering from mental health challenges, not just during this month, but every month in every community across the country.
For more information about Palm Point Behavioral Health, visit PalmPointBehavioral.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Mahle, M.S., is the Chief Executive Officer at Palm Point Behavioral Health Hospital and leads the 74-bed behavioral health facility that is greatly expanding access to inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment for the region.
Palm Point Behavioral Health Hospital currently offers a full continuum of inpatient services for children and adolescents, and adults using treatment modalities that are innovative and evidence-based.
The hospital offers Outpatient services to meet the needs of the community and provides inpatient and outpatient services for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.
Mahle has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the behavioral and acute health sector.
Before joining Palm Point, he served as CEO for Aurora Las Encinas Hospital, where he was responsible for the operations of a large Behavioral Hospital in the Pasadena, California area.
Prior to that, Mahle served as Administrative Director for West Palm Hospital/JFK North Campus for HCA, where he was responsible for the operations and financial oversight of an Inpatient Behavioral Hospital serving children, adolescents, adults and seniors and outpatient services within Palm Beach County.
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