Psychotherapy session, woman talking to psychologist in counseling session.

May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, a great time to explore the connections between mental health, substance use disorders (SUDs) and addiction. Let’s embrace this opportunity to enhance our understanding and support for mental health and SUDs, encouraging open conversations and compassionate responses.

Co-occurring Disorders

Mental health and SUDs are often intertwined issues that impact millions of lives across the globe. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive understanding and a unified approach to treatment and support. Co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis involves the simultaneous presence of a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “More than one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem.”

Treatment and Recovery

Effective treatment for co-occurring disorders requires an integrated approach that addresses both mental health and addiction simultaneously. This strategy could include everything from research proven medication for SUDs and therapy to support groups and wellness techniques.

Removing Stigma

Stigma can make people feel embarrassed or worried about being judged, which often stops them from getting the help they need in these situations. By encouraging honest and open conversations we can help make it easier for people to seek support without fear.

“No one should feel ashamed about seeking help,” said Dr. Kelly Dunn, executive director of clinical treatment at the National Center for Wellness and Recovery (NCWR). “At the NCWR Addiction Recovery Clinic at OSU, we strive to create an environment where people feel supported and empowered throughout their recovery journey.” 

If you or someone you know is hesitant to seek help because of stigma, it’s crucial to remember that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Every step towards talking about these issues without shame is a step towards recovery and better overall health.

Contact the NCWR Addiction Recovery Clinic at OSU at 918-561-1890 to schedule an appointment. In case of a medical emergency, please call 911. For immediate and confidential emotional support, please call 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Additional Information and Resources