SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — “Are you ok?” It’s a simple question to ask your loved ones, but Victoria Mason with Siouxland Mental Health Center said it can have a big impact.
“If the answer is no, help them navigate toward those services,” Mason said. “Do they need to talk to a therapist? Do they need to consider a medication for that anxiety they’ve been dealing with or that depression that’s hit them all of a sudden?”
Mason said while there are a wide variety of mental illnesses, there are also several different treatment options.
“We have therapy appointments, group therapy, individual, family, couple, parent-child interactive,” she said. “We have lots of different modalities of therapy.”
The first step is recognizing the problem. Amy Bloch with Catholic Charities of Sioux City said the details matter when monitoring your loved ones’ mental health.
“What I would always encourage is early intervention,” Bloch said. “If you’re not sure, make a phone call and talk to somebody about it. The big thing to look for is how long are those symptoms lasting and how intense are they.”
Bloch said seeing a professional is still a huge hurdle across Siouxland. She claims last year 29 percent of Iowans with depression or anxiety were not able to access mental healthcare.
“And that’s for multiple reasons,” she said. “There’s a shortage of mental health professionals. There’s one licensed mental health professional for every 440 people.”