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Eskenazi Health offering support, fighting stigma around mental health

Eskenazi fighting stigma around mental health

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Local health leaders are working to help more people in central Indiana manage their mental health and they want Hoosiers to know they are not alone.

There is a national crisis hotline number and, in Marion County, the Assessment and Intervention Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The AIC is a collaboration between the Indianapolis Department of Health and Public Safety and the Eskenazi Mental Health Center.

The 60-bed facility is part of the Criminal Justice Center and is available to all Marion County residents. The team at the AIC will work quickly to get help for those in need.

Eskenazi Health is battling the stigma around mental health and mental illness in Indiana.

“I think over the last four years, depression has increased just as we have all gone through a major pandemic, and a lot of individuals who might notice some changes in themselves might not know that it is depression,” Jennifer Cianelli, licensed mental health counselor and site manager of the Assessment & Intervention Center, told News 8.

Cianelli says depression could be a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and/or lack of motivation that a person just cannot shake.

“There are lots of things that can factor into depression. A lot of it can be external stress; stress from work, maybe not performing to an individual’s own expectations, or it could be financial loss, loss of a loved one or loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend…a breakup. Lots of things play into depression. There is also a genetic component to depression,” Cianelli said.

Cianelli says some individuals build resiliency and coping skills along the way to help them handle stressful events.

Self-care is critical to fighting depression. Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve your physical and mental health. These things can include regular exercise, healthy eating, focusing on positivity, and practicing gratitude.

For immediate help, call the National Suicide and Crisis Helpline at 988. For referrals to the AIC, call 317-327-8733.