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Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance Serves Berks County

Dec 06, 2017 • by Brittany Millard, Alvernia University, citizen contributor
Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance

 Mental wellness is an issue that frequently can go unnoticed, untreated, or ignored. Mental health is also just as real as a physical injury that’s we can see. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 4.0% of the adult population of the United States had a serious mental illness within the 2013-2014 year. Mental health diagnoses are more prevalent in the United States than we believe; it impacts the lives of individuals more than we even know. That percentage of the adult population does not include moderate or mild diagnoses as well. Many people go through their day to day lives without knowing they have a mental illness, but many individuals do know but are afraid to seek help; they go many years trying to handle it themselves. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration reports that roughly 52.1% of Americans with any mental illness did not seek treatment in the years 2010 to 2014. Some individuals may be too afraid to seek treatment in fear of backlash, but others may not know how to find treatment.  

Thankfully for the residents for Berks County, there is the Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance, an affiliate of Mental Health America. This non-profit organization offers services to residents of all of Berks County for all ages. According to their website, “the Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance is dedicated to promoting mental health wellness and recovery in Berks County through advocacy, education, and support”. To accomplish their goal, they offer services ranging from support groups and peer support, to advocacy for both children and adults. The support groups that the organization offer range over different topics. The website lists all of the support groups they offer, including: Stress Relief Support Group, Recovery in Action, Family and Friends Coping with Incarceration, and many more. To keep the groups available for all, there is no fee or commitment; this allows everyone to have the opportunity to participate and heal. Through these services the Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance the residents of Berks County have more chances to gain access to treatment, support, and may start the road to their recovery.

Fighting the battle of mental illness on your own can be completely debilitating and exhausting. Living day to day with inner conflict can take a toll on an individual. Once an individual seeks treatment, it can make a world of difference. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration explains that “63.5% of individuals under the age of seventeen, and 59% of individuals age of eighteen years or older reported improved functioning from treatment received from the public mental health system”.  The journey to recovery can be intimidating, specifically when the diagnosis can feel like a label. It is important to remember that the diagnosis you are given does not define you; it is something you battle, and it does not define how far you will go in life. Once the first step is made, it gets easier. Thankfully, organizations like the Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance exist, and fight to help individuals start and go through their journey to recovery.

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