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Adventist GlenOaks Hospital hosts mental health program
Glendale Heights – Most people would rather admit they suffer from high blood pressure than a mental illness because of the stigma associated with behavioral health disorders, said Dr. Ismael Lee Chuy, geriatric psychiatrist and medical director of geriatric psychiatry at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. But awareness and knowledge of the disease may remove much of its stigma. That’s why Adventist Institute for Behavioral Medicine and KeepingChicagoWell.com are hosting a free educational event for the community.

“A Community Mental Health Awareness Event” is scheduled at 6 p.m. Dec. 8 at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, 701 Winthrop Ave., Glendale Heights. Following the 30-minute reception, participants can attend one of three hour-long lectures. The National Alliance of Mental of Illness (NAMI) of DuPage will present “Ending the Silence: Raising Awareness of the Care for Adolescents with Mental Illness” and “Recognizing the Early Signs and Symptoms of Adults with Mental Illness.”

Chuy will present “Caring for the Elderly Adult with Mental Illness,” where he will discuss the prevalence of mental illness in senior adults and how the clinician must rule out other disorders, such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, when making the diagnosis and suggesting a course of treatment.

“Approximately 40 to 50 percent of patients in their 80s will show some signs of dementia,” Chuy said. “We have to come to an agreement in society how to deal with people who are not going to be able to care for themselves and who are not going to grow out of it.”

However, the older generation is also more likely to deny they suffer from any form of any mental illness, including anxiety and depression, even signs and symptoms are presented. More awareness is also needed for personality disorders and how they influence the healthcare choices individuals with them make, Chuy said. He feels adult children should learn more about geriatric issues in general and mental illness in particular since the children are often the ones who oversee their parents’ care.

The event is free but registration is required by calling (630) 856-7525.

For all its negative reputation, mental illness is common. According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 26.2 Americans 18 and older – about one in four adults –  suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States for people age 15-44.

The Adventist Institute for Behavioral Medicine provides immediate inpatient service for psychiatric patients, assistance with placement of difficult patients and response within 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To reach the Adventist Institute for Behavioral Medicine, call (630) 545-6160. Visit www.keepingyouwell.com and click on “care & services,” then “behavioral health services” to access an anonymous online screening for mental health and alcohol disorders.