May 2018

From the Director

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There has been a direct correlation to an increase in adverse mental health symptoms and domestic and sexual violence victims. The trauma that has been experienced by the victim can oftentimes manifest itself in various signs and symptoms that the victim may feel helpless to get treated. They may not be allowed to get medical or mental health care so these symptoms go untreated. Sometimes this can lead to self-medication through drugs and alcohol as well.

When I worked in substance abuse treatment, a large majority of our client population 90% of women, many men and children, had been victims of domestic or sexual violence at one point in their lives. It is important to understand that children can be adversely affected by witnessing violence in the home. The adult victims reported that they started using because of depression, anxiety, inability to stop having nightmares or flashbacks, and to numb the shame and guilt of their abuse. The children may be having behavioral problems because they do not know that it is ok to talk to someone about how they feel. Since domestic violence and sexual assault are greatly underreported, so many victims are suffering in silence.

Some signs to look for:
PTSD-easily startled, feeling tense or on edge, difficulty sleeping, having angry outbursts, difficulty remembering things, negative thoughts about yourself or others.

Depression-enduring sadness, self-loathing, loss of interest in activities, irritability and isolation, loss of energy, disturbed sleep patterns, change in appetite and body weight, reckless behavior, and suicidal tendencies.

Anxiety-sudden attack of intense fear, restless and difficulty concentrating, problems with decision-making, worrying about anxiety, physical manifestations such as fatigue, irritability and headaches, muscle aches and pains, sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sometimes passing out, insomnia, irrational fears, and chronic indigestion.

There has been such a stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment. We know how important getting the treatment for these symptoms is to healing the wounds that others can’t see. We have a crisis counselor on staff who can help you start your healing journey. We also have a trauma trained yoga instructor who provides trauma-informed yoga for anyone who wants to participate. All staff are QPR trained by the Chippewa County Suicide Prevention Coalition. The services are free of charge. All it takes is a phone call to the office at (906) 635-0566. You can always reach out to us through our Diane Peppler Resource Center, Inc. Facebook page or through Messenger, or email us at I will have staff connect with you. We want to help you start your healing journey and live a life of freedom.