ROTARY CLUB: Stafford meeting focuses on mental health

Stafford Rotary Club President Leigh Ann Poland, right, welcomes Cathleen Pessolano, executive director of Mental Health America of Fredericksburg.

Stafford Rotary Club president Leigh Ann Poland welcomed Cathleen Pessolano, executive director of Mental Health America of Fredericksburg to a recent meeting. Pessolano talked about her eagerness to advance the mission of the organization: to improve people’s mental health and wellness through advocacy, education and supportive services.

Pessolano pointed out that we must begin by changing the way we think about mental health. With health issues such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes, we don’t wait; we begin with prevention programs. Potentially serious mental illness is not dealt with in this same way.

Catching mental health conditions early is known as Early Identification and Intervention. Many times people may not realize their symptoms are caused by a mental health condition or feel ashamed to get help because of the stigma associated with mental illness.

All of us should know the signs and take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated, and we can live up to our full potential.

For more information, contact the Mental Health America of Fredericksburg Help Line at 540/371-2704.

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