To provide information and support while encouraging hope and faith to all individuals who are coping with the effects of a severe and persistent mental illness or negative life situation with special emphasis on adults within the faith based community, African Americans, and the economically disadvantaged who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and other psychotic disorders. Our services are designed for anyone who can use them.
There are several factors that have influenced the development of the organizations' mission, objectives and goals. These factors include: the ongoing challenges faced by individuals who have been impacted by a severe and persistent mental illness in the area of obtaining assistance, information and support; the importance of religion/spirituality in the lives of those individuals who adhere to these beliefs, and the current mental health disparities within the African American community.
Religion and spirituality for those who adhere to these practices can be instrumental in providing structure, relationship, and hope. In fact, "religious beliefs and behaviors are positively related to many indicators of emotional and social adjustment" (Richards & Bergin, 1999, p. 42). Religion and spirituality for those who adhere to these practices may be viewed as strengths that can be used to promote an individuals overall level of functioning and well-being. Individuals living with a severe and persistent mental illness are confronted with many challenges and obstacles, as they attempt to live with the consequences of their illness or the illness of their loved one. A connection to a faith based organization or belief system may help to provide individuals with additional ways to manage stress, and assistance in navigating the various challenges that they might face.
Our specific focus on members within the African American community stems from our understanding of the particular challenges that members of this particular community face on regular basis. While the overall rate of mental illness among African Americans appears to be similar to whites, ongoing socioeconomic disparities within the community coupled with the fact that more African Americans are homeless, incarcerated, and victims of crime may place African Americans at a higher risk for certain mental disorders. However, this organization is aware that African Americans are not inherently prone to having a mental illness but many individuals within this population are not receiving the care that they need or deserve. In fact, according to the US Surgeon General's report African Americans tend to receive less mental health services, have less access to services, and the services that they do receive tend to be of a poorer quality. Through the services provided by this organization, we are seeking to decrease this trend and to increase the number of individuals seeking help for mental health services.
Severe and persistent mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia & Bipolar disorders seriously impede an individuals' ability to obtain employment, interact socially, or even cope with every day life events. Unfortunately, symptoms of these illnesses can fluctuate in intensity and even with the use of psychotropic medications; individuals living with a severe and persistent mental illness may never really be free of symptoms. Here at It’s Getting Better All The Time! Mental Health Outreach Inc. we understand that severe and persistent mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorders last so long and are so severe that they seriously interfere with a persons' ability to take part in even minor life activities. Yet, while severe and persistent mental illnesses are challenging the severity or the impact of these symptoms can be positively or negatively influenced by many factors.
For example, an individual may have a biological predisposition to having a certain disease but due to factors related to diet and exercise, that risk or predisposition may be eliminated or reduced. Similarly, a person may have a biologically based severe and persistent mental illness yet factors such as a positive support system, safe housing, and ongoing medical care can be instrumental in decreasing stress and anxiety, thereby contributing to their overall mental health. The services provided by this organization are designed to decrease the amount of stress and anxiety that many people who are impacted by a severe and persistent mental illness may have and to positively contribute to their mental health and hope.
The goal of this organization is to provide mental health supports to individuals who have been affected by a persistent mental illness or negative life situation. Using a Christ-centered, empowerment based model we seek to understand the individual not just as a person with an illness or problem but as a person with psychological, cultural, and spiritual strengths that can be utilized in their journey of recovery. Our desire is:
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Use of this website does not replace consultation with or treatment by a licensed MD. Please read Disclaimer and Informed Consent. IGBATTMHO is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on prayer, earned income, and donations to fulfill the mission of the organization. You can help by mailing your tax-deductible donation, in the form of a check or money order to IGBATTMHO P.O. Box 7432 Silver Spring, MD 20910.
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