Butte County Library gives access to mentally ill

Butte County Library gives access to mentally ill

It is difficult to understand what goes in the minds of mentally ill people when they themselves don’t know about it. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in four adults in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness in a year.

Butte Library to get $25,000 grant

As part of a project to provide training on how to deal with mentally ill, the Butte County Library, with branches in Chico and Oroville, California, recently received a federal grant of $25,000 through the Library Services and Technology Act.

Stressing on the need for providing curative services to the mentally ill, Oroville branch librarian Sarah Vantrease said, “The grant is geared toward improving services and making the library a welcome place for all including those who may have a mental illness. The library is providing that space where everybody can come together, no matter their background.”

Addressing a training program on mental health disorders organized for Butte County Library staff, librarians and volunteers in February 2016, Lisa Smusz, counselor at the Each Mind Matters, said, “It isn’t about us versus them.”

Grant to help improve services in the library

The grant is an approach on the part of the government towards improvement of services for those suffering from mental disorders, and making everyone feel welcome in the library. “Feedback is one part of the project,” Vantrease said. The library plans to outreach clients of grant partner Butte County Behavioral Health followed by public programming, book club selections, movie screenings and informational meetings.

At the gathering, Smusz said, “Though mental illness is prevalent, it remains a mystery for many. Learning about it can reduce anxiety associated with trying to assist some people who visit the library.”

In addition, Smusz talked about common illnesses of the mind that are unknown to many. While listing the mental disorders such as anxiety, major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Smusz emphasized on the need for understanding the damage of misinterpretation of the diseases and the stigma associated with them.

Senior librarian of the Butte County Library, Chico branch, Katy Azevedo, said, “It’s a really important thing to remember these people who came to our facility aren’t here to hurt us. Having an idea of what they’re dealing with and being able to see where they’re coming from, acknowledging that, makes it easier to help with whatever they’re looking for.”

If the mental illness of a person could be seen and felt, perhaps the society would not have rendered it so simple and asked them to get over it. It is necessary that the pain of the victim is not underestimated as there are some who are better at hiding it than others and masquerading the pain.

Seeking treatment

The fact that millions of Americans are affected each year by deranged mental health conditions costing the nation billions of dollars in terms of lost productivity is enough a reason for the country to turn its attention to providing better and easy access to mental health treatments.

If you or your loved one is showing symptoms of any mental illness, seek medical help immediately. The California Mental Health Helpline can help you get treatment options best suited to your condition. Please chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 to find a reliable and effective facility.