Health expert talks about the effects of mental illness

FLINT (WJRT) (10/10/2018) - Today is World Mental Health Day. People all over the world are fighting silent battles. One health expert said it is a topic that can be overlooked.

"It is not going away and just like people take good care of their bodies they need to take good care of their mental health,” Dr. Veronica Williams-Latnie said. She is the Director of Behavior Health Services at Hamilton Community-Health Network in Flint.

She said there are five major mental illnesses, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, major depression, autism and ADHD. They are all hereditary illnesses.

"If you see that in family members and the manifestation of certain behaviors start to happen then you need to talk to that individual about getting help.”

Within the past year, some celebrities have taken their own lives due to major depression. Dr. Williams-Latnie said if only they had reached their hands out a little sooner maybe it could have saved a life.

"Those illnesses can be easily treated if they will seek help,” she said.
Signs of major depression are sadness, irritability, anger, and isolation.

"If it's a friend of yours, you will begin to notice things in their day-to-day activity,” she said.

Dr. Williams-Latnie mentioned that especially with children, someone can pick up on their behavior easily. If a child has ADHD, it will show up while in school.

"The child cannot focus and they’re all over the place.”

Dr. Williams-Latnie works with children and older adults every day. She wants to continue to push the concept of someone seeking help even if that person is unsure.

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