Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Forum

Thank you to those pictured above who helped with the October 2nd Mental Health Forum on “Dual Diagnosis–Mental Illness and Addiction.”

The Brookings Empowerment Project sponsored the forum with additional support provided by Brookings Area United Way and Thrivent Financial.

Brookings Empowerment Project’s mission is to empower those with persistent mental illness through education as well as supportive and integrative services. One of the organization’s goals is to advocate for services that will help lessen the incidence of homelessness, loneliness, hospitalization, incarceration and suicide, thereby reducing the financial burden to society.

Dual diagnosis comes in many forms – any combination of mental illness and addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, etc.) can qualify an individual as a dual diagnosis patient. Those with dual diagnosis are high-risk patients.

The consequences of mental disorders and addiction are similar:  impaired social functioning, unstable relationships, financial difficulties, unemployment, poor physical health and increased risk of suicide.

Mental health conditions affect millions of Americans every year, and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Among the warning signs of mental illness are repeated use of drugs or alcohol, withdrawal from friends and family, severe mood swings and drastic changes in behavior or personality.  Abused substances can include alcohol, heroin, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines and prescription drugs.  Each substance acts on different pathways in the brain, resulting in possible multiple additions.

For additional forum information, email bep.57006@-gmail.com.

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