MAIN LINE BANTER: Seeking mental health help is a ‘no-brainer’

By Ray Hoffman – May 16, 2018
(reprinted with permission)

“Everyone was worried about me. I was worried about me, too. Nothing seemed to help because my situation was not changing.

“I finally decided to call Daemion.

“Sharing my burden with a therapist there helped me gain a whole new perspective and gave me strength to carry on with more hope. What I had for so long such a hard time admitting was that I needed professional mental health help. It should really have been a ‘no-brainer.’”

These words of a recent client at Berwyn’s Daemion Counseling Center encapsulate the value of “a place to he heard” that has been part of the Main Line community for 48 years.

Founded as Daemion House, the agency was originally a haven for runaway teens and their families working toward reconciliation. Throughout the years, Daemion has adjusted and updated its mission to effect evolving community needs.

Daemion is dedicated to helping people navigate life’s many transitions by providing expert affordable care. It is especially true for residents throughout the Greater Philadelphia region who earn too much money to receive government assistance and for those who have little or no insurance coverage for treating mental health issues.

Governed by a volunteer board of directors of Main Line area residents, Daemion is a nonprofit, IRS-accredited 501(c)(3), professionally staffed agency whose services are financially supported by affordable client fees, foundation grants, private donations, an annual appeal letter and an annual Taste of Berwyn community fun event.

Housed across Howellville Road from TE Middle School (in a small leased space in a building owned by the TE School District), Daemion quietly and discretely provides professional help to adolescents, single and married adults and couples and families seeking ways to cope. Those numbers are legion in today’s society.

Anger management, panic and anxiety issues, drug and alcohol evaluations, gambling and other abuses are included in the palette of concerns that Daemion addresses: such things as prescription drug abuse, compulsive buying, internet addiction, extreme exercise, marijuana use and, yes, even sex.

“Like it or not, mental health is a risky business that all of us should care about more. Certain common behaviors are risk factors for, or indicators of, mental health disorders that could be festering within your own family, or even within yourself,” according to Marti Magee, executive director of the organization.

“This month’s annual observance of National Mental Health Month is an ideal time to remind everyone that people experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and discrimination. These feelings can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult. Stigma is a huge perception that blocks needed treatment for many people, but overcoming it offers the beginning of hope,” she adds.

“Daemion clients are about 54 percent female and 46 percent male. Many are referred by school districts, churches, community groups and district courts, while others just walk in,” Marti said.

A recently published report of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (a federation of 36 Blues) finds that depression diagnoses among their members have rocketed by 33 percent from 2013 to 2016, with a rise of 63 percent among adolescents, 47 percent among millennials. In addition, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that suicide is the second highest cause of death for Americans ages 10 to 34.

Anyone doubting the dizzying rise of mental health issues needs only to look at a few more statistics (as much as I cringe at dwelling on “the numbers”). There are five stats that are rather impressive, or depressive, as the case may be:

  1. Mood disorders are the third most common cause of hospitalization for U.S. youth and adults 18 to 34.
  2. Serious mental illness costs the nation almost $200 billon in lost earnings every year.
  3. Approximately 60 percent of adults and 50 percent of youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous one year.
  4. One-fifth of all American adults experience mental illness in their lifetime, and
  5. More than 300,000 women in Southeastern Pennsylvania have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

For more information about Daemion or to schedule an appointment, please call 610-647-1431 or visit dameioncounseling.org. After all, seeking out mental health help truly is a “no-brainer.”