By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer
Make plans to attend a Mental Health Awareness Day at the Pioneer Family Medical Clinic of Weir on April 12 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Free lunch will be provided by the Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw Outpatient Behavioral Health program. The public is encouraged to join the staff of Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw Outpatient Behavioral Health program for an educational lunch and learn. During this time, learn about different common mental health issues and meet the staff to learn about the program. “Let the community know we are here and let them learn about us,” said Ameila Kelley, RN and program director. Ameila Nolen, program’s social worker, said normal people experience mental health issues and they are here to help. “A stigma is attached to mental health issues. If you talk to people, it’s not as taboo,” said Nolen. This Medicare program is designed for seniors that may be suffering from depression, grief or psychiatric issues and is medically supervised. “Life has thrown you a curve ball and you need help to adjust,” explained Nolen, about common mental health issues. Group time is one part of the Outpatient Behavioral Health program. This lets people know others are going through the same thing and provide a team support effort, according to Nolen. These staff members will be available to provide free and confidential mental health assessments, answer questions related to their program and schedule referrals to the program. “It’s great for family members and friends to learn about the program or ask general questions,” said Vaughan Hill, community educator with PCH-Choctaw. Family members that may recognize differences in a loved ones mood or behavior should plan on attending to receive helpful information. Lunch will be provided. Call 662.285.1961 for more information. This same informational event will be held at the Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw on May 24. “Anyone is welcome at either location. If you can’t make it to either day call 285-1961 for more information,” said Kelley.