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10:06 PM Tue, Jan. 22nd

No battle has to be fought alone

Southwest Behavioral and Health Services is here to assist

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Customer Service personnel at Southwest Behavioral and Health Services represent the front lines in bringing people to optimal mental health. Pictured from left to right are: Robert Bennett, Sheila Adams, Ruth Vargas, and Hailey Richhart. (Photo by Shawn Byrne/Daily Miner)

If national statistics bear out locally, one out of every four people in the Kingman area are currently battling some type of mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kingman alone has about 30,600 residents, which means 7,650 people living within Kingman city limits are fighting against disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar or substance abuse. These numbers don’t cover Golden Valley nor the residents living in North Kingman, so it stands to reason there are many more.

The CDC reports that most adults believe mental health symptoms can be treated and those suffering could lead normal lives with treatment. Difficulty arises because only 25 percent of adults with mental health symptoms told the CDC they believe people to be caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. This stigmatization keeps people from reaching out for the help they need.

Kingman is fortunate to have a place for people who are struggling with mental disorders. Southwest Behavioral and Health Services’ Kingman Outpatient Clinic, 2215 Hualapai Mountain Road, Suite H, has the resources and personnel on hand to help people successfully get through their battles.

Southwest is here to help those going into treatment, leaving treatment and in need of support, with court referrals, anger management cases, social skills, and life skills such as budgeting.

“If it works with their schedule, they can work on whatever it is they would like to do,” said Sheila Adams, a behavioral health professional for Southwest. “We can add it to their treatment plans.”

The outpatient clinic is there for “behavioral health interventions that assist families, children, adolescents, and/or adults in achieving optimal functioning in their personal lives and their community,” according to Southwest’s website, www.sbhservices.org.

“We do a lot of behavioral and parenting,” Adams said. “We do have a parenting group. We design our programs by what’s needed.”

Southwest serves more than 1,100 people, or consumers, locally, including more than 300 children. Adams said Southwest’s children’s program builds skills such as communication and works alongside the area’s schools and CLUB for YOUth, an after-school provider at 301 N. First St.

“We work with the courts, probation, DCS (Arizona Department of Child Safety) and the schools,” Adams said. “It all depends on who is involved in a child’s life and who needs to be involved. We do have an adult side as well.”

Southwest’s services include but are not necessarily limited to counseling (individual, family and group), case management, psychiatric evaluations and medical monitoring, skills training, health and wellness, and behavior coaching.

The service provider is willing to go above and beyond to ensure those who are in need of these types of treatments get them. Southwest offers transportation to appointments, vocational services with a learning center for adding job skills or to improve job skills for a current job, and Polycom, a video conferencing system that allows consumers to speak with professionals who are not in Kingman.

“This is the future,” said Chaz Martinez, Southwest NAZ Communication and Events Liaison, about Polycom. “This is how it’s going to be.”

Southwest wants to focus on the mental disorders that are plaguing a person, but it is also focused on treating the whole person from pre-job training, improving job skills, gaining new skills, internships, and externships. Southwest works with all the universities in the state and with Mohave Community College.

Southwest offers a peer support specialist training program. It is a 64-hour training that “utilizes workers who can bring their own personal experience and knowledge of what it is to live and thrive with a mental health condition and substance abuse disorders,” according to Southwest’s website.

Southwest is growing, not only statewide but in Kingman as well. It’s location on Hualapai Mountain Road was only one store front just four years ago. It now occupies nearly one-third of the plaza.

“We want people who come in to feel like it’s all part of a team here,” Adams said. “It’s one big team effort.”

If anyone needs or knows of someone who may be in need of Southwest’s help, call 928-753-9387.