If Left Untreated, Mental Illness Can Have Negative Outcomes

May 17, 2024

MetroWest Medical Center chief psychiatrist says awareness can help support those with mental health Issues

Framingham/Natick, Mass. – For more than 70 years, the month of May has served as Mental Health Month, bringing with it increased awareness of behavioral health issues and how good mental health is important to quality of life.

Maxim Lianski, MD, Chief of Psychiatry with MetroWest Medical Center, says awareness can play a key role in providing support to those who may be struggling with mental health issues.

“Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages, races and walks of life. That being said, mental illness may directly impact someone we know such as a family member or friend suffering from depression, anxiety or an adjustment disorder or it might be something we’ve had to face in our own lives. That’s why awareness is important so that the burden of mental illness can be reduced and the stigma eliminated,” Dr. Lianski says. “If individuals aren’t aware that they have a mental illness or are afraid to bring it up, it can produce unfavorable outcomes if left untreated.”

Leonard Morse Hospital offers A full continuum of care for children, adolescents, adults and seniors; a partial hospital program to help patients transition from inpatient to outpatient care; and 24-hour access to emergency mental evaluation and substance abuse care. The inpatient units are designed for those who are experiencing emotional, behavioral or mental health issues ranging from depression to changes in sleeping patterns or insomnia.

Patients receive comprehensive behavioral health care from a team that includes a wide array of specialists from psychiatrists to physical, occupational and speech therapists.

Dr. Lianski says that although there is an unnecessary stigma surrounding mental health, there are services available to the community for issues that are commonly and unfortunately left untreated.

“Mental illness impacts many families, with major depression being one of the leading causes of disability throughout the country,” he says. “Yet many people don’t receive treatment because of stigma, misunderstanding, and lack of access to care.”

While Mental Health Awareness Month plays a vital role in drawing attention to mental health issues, Dr. Lianski points out it is important for families and loved ones to support those suffering from mental illness and encourage them to seek treatment.

“Mental health affects about a third of the adult population to some extent, either with depression and anxiety substance use disorder or psychosis,” he says. “The long-term benefits of having good mental health can affect not only the patient, but also their families, work colleagues, classmates. A patient's physical health issues can often improve just by taking care of their mental health issues alone.”

For more information on behavioral health services offered at MetroWest Medical Center, visit https://www.mwmc.com/services/behavioral-health.

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