Promoting mental health

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Promoting mental health

MICHIGAN CITY —Healthy Communities of La Porte County brought together speakers and vendors for the Healthy Minds Matter resource program at the NECA building on Thursday.

Among other general health vendors, Frontline Foundations, Samaritan Counseling Center and Swanson Center represented the mental health caregivers at the event.

Jennifer Olson, executive director of Healthy Communities, said this event is to help the community become aware of these providers, to reduce the stigma and to provide open discussion about mental health.

Glenn Silver of Swanson Center and Rachael Cloud of Frontline Foundations spoke prior to a panel discussion with representatives from Swanson Center, Samaritan Center, the La Porte County Sheriff's Department, Open Door Adolescent Health Center and Dunebrook.

Silver encouraged people not to react with anger, although the emotion is rooted in humans' biological history. If a hunter-gatherer awoke to an attacker, the reaction would be fear and then probably anger. Anger is another form of fear, he said, because fear anticipates being hurt and anger strives to hurt that source first.

This emotion has transferred to modern life, he said. Instead of fearing physical harm, most people become upset about emotional things, like personal disrespect.

"The theory is that status matters for survival," he said.

However, he asked people to remain calm in those situations and resort to communication.

Cloud said Frontline Foundations is trying to get the word out about its two locations, in Chesterton and La Porte, serving people ages 18 to 38. The faith-based three-month-long substance abuse program has a 65 percent success rate, she said.

"We feel it is really important to let the community know that their fight doesn't have to be alone," she said.

Marian Cioe, board member of Samaritan, said the center's quick response times for appointments may stand out for those interested in its programs for such things as stress management, marital issues, depression, anxiety, addiction and more.

Pastoral counselor Raymond Ginsburg said Samaritan has been around since 1981 and is fully licensed.

Swanson treats mental and emotional disorders, medication management, psychological evaluation and more.

The center at this event was trying to reach out to anyone in the community, according to Swanson's Jennifer Solner, executive assistant to the CEO. "Mental health affects all of us, directly or indirectly," she said.

Other vendors included HealthLinc, Anytime Fitness, Alzheimer's Association and chiropractor Tim Gurrola, among others.

The Michigan City Walk to End Alzheimer's is coming up at Washington Park Oct. 1, the association's Sarah Milligan said. The association also has a support group in Michigan City and offers all its treatment and education free of charge.

Jessica Doms of Anytime Fitness said the business is trying to grow membership in Silver Sneakers, a program for those 65 and older whose insurance will allow them to have free classes after an initial membership fee of $39. "I think physical fitness has a direct correlation with mental wellness," she said of the event's heme.