Being Aware of Mental Illness

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- How we decide to handle our issues makes all the difference.

An individual may seek treatment, but if they don't stick with the medication or therapy it does no good.

However if they do, it's very hard to tell a difference between someone who is mentally ill and someone who isn't.

Ginger Neff, a psychotherapist, is familiar with the broad range of mental illness.

"Mental health issues, conditions and diagnosis exist on a continuum from minor to very severe," said Neff.

This makes it easier for someone mentally unstable to slip through the cracks in the hiring process.

"If they're choosing to use a medication or go to psychotherapy, or to have a solution to their problems, typically you wouldn't know if someone has a mental health issue," said Neff

Patricia Craft, a board member of the Valley's Society for Human Resources, said the most important thing employers look for is based on capabilities.

"If you are going to be responsible for handling something there needs to be some indicator that you will be able to handle that responsibility," said Craft.

Which Neff said most people with mental illness can.

The most common resource for professionals is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.

Neff said you'd be surprised how many symptoms of mental illness apply to just about everyone who picks up the book.

"Any person can, and you can find something that they can relate to. What makes a mental health diagnosis or condition a problem is when those characteristics and those issues, interfere with those individuals daily living," said Neff.

Neff said that if someone close to you starts acting different, starting to miss work a lot when they've never missed a day, or becomes less social when they're usually outgoing, those could be warning signs of someone who needs help.

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