Sponsored by Central Florida Health Care
by TERESA SCHIFFER
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, making it a great time to work toward reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues so that more people are empowered to get the help they need in order to lead healthy, productive lives.
Dr. Yadira Torres is a licensed clinical psychologist with Central Florida Health Care who specializes in providing therapeutic services in English and Spanish to children, adolescents, and families. She believes it’s important for the public to understand what mental health is.
“When we talk about mental health,” Dr. Torres explains, “what we’re really talking about is our emotional and social well-being and how this impacts how we think, how we feel, and how we behave. Our mental health is really important, including the role it plays in how we connect to others and how we make decisions, how we manage stress, and how we carry our life from day to day.”
Mental health is just as important as physical health. But is poor mental health the same as having a mental health condition? With so much information available online these days, it’s easy for people to get confused about whether what they are experiencing is a persisting condition or simply a temporary decline in their mental health state.
“It’s important to realize that having poor mental health and having a mental health condition are not the same,” Dr. Torres clarifies.
“It is very common for us to experience rough patches – sadness, anger, and a variety of feelings. What’s different is that when we talk about a mental health condition, we’re talking about a prolonged state. We’re talking about a few weeks, or in the case of anxiety, six months.”
A mental health condition will involve the manifestation of various symptoms over a significant period of time. When this is the case, the recommended course of action is to seek treatment with someone like Dr. Torres.
Mental health conditions are more prevalent than many people realize, Dr. Torres says.
“Twenty-one percent of U.S. adults live with a mental health condition – that’s one in every five adults. It’s more common than we think. Since COVID, we’ve seen an increase in mental health conditions. Currently, about 46 percent of Americans will meet criteria for a mental health condition at some point in their lives.”
Certain factors can increase the likelihood of a child developing a mental health condition, Dr. Torres continues.
“Children who experience trauma are about 1.3 times more likely to develop a mental health condition as adults than children who don’t experience trauma. Research has found that the children of parents with generalized anxiety disorder are two to six times more likely than other children to receive a generalized anxiety disorder diagnosis.”
Central Florida Health Care offers a variety of specialty services related to mental health issues, including medication management. Patients can be diagnosed and treated for conditions such as depression, anxiety, trauma, mood disorders, bereavement, ADHD, externalizing disorders, and more. The clinic is able to provide treatment for patients as young as 6 years old and can continue to provide care throughout most of the patient’s life.
If you believe that you could benefit from mental health services at Central Florida Health Care, you are encouraged to reach out to their call center, where a dedicated mental health professional can help you schedule an appointment. You will need to let them know whether you are looking for medication management services or psychotherapy.
Generally, the most challenging part of getting the mental health care that you need is simply making that first phone call. Once you are able to speak with a professional, you’ll find that they are well equipped to help you determine what type of services would be most beneficial for your specific needs.