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While every day, we should be aware of mental health issues, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  Millions of American live with mental illness or know and love someone who does. This month is a time to fight the stigma, provide support, educate and advocate.

Rise in Mental Health Cases

Mental health is just as serious as physical health, and yet often times it’s overlooked or downplayed.  With the COVID-19 Pandemic, it seems as though more people were recognizing mental health issues and began talking about it more. Almost daily we read stories of celebrities who are battling their own demons, on medication, or in therapy.

Whether it’s an actual rise in mental health cases, or simply more awareness of the illnesses, more and more people are acknowledging their own battles. And even with more people speaking up, there are still many things we can all do to help those struggling with support and understanding.

Mental Illnesses

Mental illness is a medical condition that can disrupt a person’s life.  Even serious mental illnesses such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and more can be helped with the right treatment plans and support.

And a reminder, mental illness does not discriminate. These illnesses can affect anyone, of any age, race, gender, income, etc. But having a mental illness does not mean you’re “broken” or “weak.”  Know that you have options, and can find relief.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is on a journey to continue to raise awareness and provide resources for those suffering and their families. This year, their message is “Together for Mental Health.” They are utilizing their website, social media and national events to speak out with person stories, videos and blogs. They offer many ways you can join in and advocate on their website. You can also call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.

Local Mental Health Resources in Augusta

Thankfully, in Augusta and surrounding counties, we have a wealth of mental health resources.  They range based on price, type of support, therapy, medical and more.  The Augusta Chapter of NAMI has many resources available on their website, which you can find HERE.

We’ve also added other resources below.  If you, or someone you love, is suffering with a mental health issue, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  There is no shame in seeking the help you need to live a happier, more fulfilling life.  You are not alone.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    1-800-273-8255

    If you are having thoughts of suicide, this lifeline provides free, 24/7 confidential support to assist you in finding the help you need.

    Their website also has a wealth of information and resources.

  • CSRA Mental Health Resources

  • The Family Counseling Center of the CSRA

    Address: 1120 Marks Church Road, Augusta, GA 30909

    Phone Number: (706) 868-5011

    They offer individual, couples, family and group counseling options.  Their services are open to all residents of the CSRA, regardless of ability to pay.

    Visit their website.

  • Serenity Behavioral Health Systems

    Three locations available:

    Augusta Behavioral Health Clinic– 3421 Mike Padgett Highway, Augusta, GA 30906
    Phone Number- (706) 432-4800

    Thomson Behavioral Health Clinic- 306 Greenway Street, Thomson, GA 30824
    Phone Number- (706) 595-2739

    Wilkes Behavioral Health Clinic- 120 Gordon Street, Washington, GA 30673
    Phone Number- (706) 678-1973

    They provide services, regardless of ability to pay.  And they also have a discounted/sliding fee schedule based on family size and income.

    The team includes counselors, nurses, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists to help provide the best care based on your needs.  Treatment is available for children, teens and adults.

    Visit their website to learn more.

  • Hope House of Augusta

    Located in Augusta

    Phone Number: (706) 737-9879

    This is a resource for women who have struggled with substance use and mental health challenges. They offer both residential and intensive outpatient treatment, with counseling, education, support and assistance.

    Visit their website to learn more about their resources.

  • Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta

    Address: 3100 Perimeter Parkway, Augusta, GA 30909

    Phone Number: (706) 651-0005

    They provide treatment for children, teens and adults with psychological issues. You can contact them with questions or to schedule a confidential, no-cost assessment.

    Visit their website.

  • Mental Health America of Greater Augusta, Inc.

    This organization is comprised of volunteers who are dedicated to being a voice for support of mental health and prevention of mental illness.  They initiated the Friendship Community Center, which is funded through the United Way and government grants.

    Learn more about Mental Health America.

  • American Work

    Address: 1727 Wrightsboro Road, Suite B, Augusta, GA 30904

    Phone Number: (706) 736-8170

    They provide a variety of treatments and services, including residential and outpatient. Some of the services include a behavioral health assessment, psychiatric assessment and treatment, individual, family and group counseling, along with addiction recovery programs.

    Learn more on their website.

  • Still Waters Professional Counseling, Inc.

    Address: 3711 Executive Center Drive, Augusta, GA 30907

    Phone: (706) 955-9224

    Still Waters is locally owned and operated.  They seek to help families and individuals who are experiencing mental health issues.  They offer telehealth, in-office, in-home and community based services.

    Learn more about them on their website.

  • The Free Mental Health Clinic

    Address: 997 Saint Sebastian Way, Augusta, GA 30912

    Phone Number: (706) 447-9055

    This is a free clinic of the uninsured or under-insured, along with those 200% below the federal poverty line.  They have a free clinic from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the last Thursday of every month. They currently have a waitlist for their clinic.

    They treat all qualifying patients for psychiatric and mental health needs. Their evaluations are for adult patients, 18 years of age and older.

    Learn more about their clinics and services on their Facebook page or website.

  • Region 2 Field Office for Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

    Address: 3405 Mike Padgett Highway, Building 3, Augusta, GA 30906

    Phone Number: (706) 792-7733

    They plan and oversee a network of public mental health, developmental disabilities, addictive disease, and prevention services for 33 counties in East Central Georgia, including Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, Madison, McDuffie, Richmond, and Washington.

    Learn more on their website.

  • Online Resources

  • Silence the Shame

    This is a non-profit organization based out of Atlanta, Georgia.  They prioritize mental health education and awareness.  With wellness training, content and outreach programs, they work to normalize the conversations around mental health, eliminate the stigma and provide support.

    They have a huge list of resources on their website.

  • Better Help

    Better Help offers online counseling.  They match you with a therapist to help with a variety of mental health issues and illnesses.

    Learn more HERE.

  • Cerebral

    Cerebral matches you with a therapist who you can have weekly video or phone sessions with, in addition to being able to text them.  They are plan based, and you can change or cancel at anytime.

    Visit their website.

  • Talkspace

    Talkspace lets you chat with a therapist any day of the week.  For a low fee, you can text a trained professional, and receive 1-2 responses per day.

    The app is free, but the plans are not. They offer couples, individual, and even therapy for teens.

    Learn more here.

  • No Matter What Recovery

    No Matter What Recovery offers many valuable resources on mental health awareness and options.

    They created a resource page to educate people about common mental health issues with signs and symptoms to look for, ways to stay mentally healthy, and ways to support others, which you can see HERE.

  • Additional Apps

    Insight Timer – free app for sleep, anxiety and stress.

    Calm – a meditation, sleep and relaxation app. Various plans available.

    Balance – a meditation app to help with sleep, stress and more. First year is free for a limited time.

    Headspace – a meditation app to relax, manage stress and get better sleep.