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May 2024 is Mental Health Awareness Month in Llano County, commissioners declared during a regular meeting on Monday, May 13. The declaration seeks to draw attention to the issue of mental illness in the county and promote treatment.

“Llano County … calls upon the community to increase awareness and understanding of mental illnesses, reduce stigma and discrimination, and promote appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions,” reads the conclusion of the proclamation.

According to the proclamation, 398 Llano County residents sought services from Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers in fiscal year 2023. 

The centers provide mental health services and support for residents in 19 counties across Texas. Mental health refers to a range of conditions and circumstances, including chronic behavioral problems, excessive substance abuse, life crises, and developmental disorders.

In a 2022 needs assessment survey conducted by the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers, 42 percent of those surveyed said the stigma associated with mental health issues was a barrier to them seeking care.

“Creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve is crucial to ending the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness,” reads the proclamation.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five U.S. adults has some form of mental illness. The same stat goes for children 13-18 who have reportedly had or are currently dealing with a seriously debilitating mental illness.

The proclamation states that one-third of the U.S. population lives in a county with a designated shortage of mental health professionals.

The Llano County Mental Health Center, located at 100 Legend Hills Blvd, Suite B, in Llano, is one local resource. Call the center at 325-247-5895. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission offers a suite of resources for those seeking mental health care.

dakota@thepicayune.com

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