As part of its mission to break the stigma surrounding mental health in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas Health System Behavioral provides educational trainings and presentations to schools, companies and organizations interested in learning more about mental health-related issues. On Monday, March 14, South Texas Health System Behavioral Outpatient Clinic Director Shelly Cox, MS, LPC, visited the Hidalgo County District Clerk’s Office to talk about depression, as well as suicide prevention, to 75 employees.
No one is immune from depression. It’s the leading cause of disability for people ages 15 to 44 in the U.S., according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America — affecting people of all backgrounds — and may be caused by a number of factors, such as a traumatic or stressful event, substance use, chronic illnesses and more.
All too often, people ignore their symptoms of depression. If left untreated, whether through medication, forms of therapy or an inpatient program, depression can begin to take a toll on one’s physical health and negatively impact their career and relationships.
Speaking up and seeking help when dealing with depression is not a sign of weakness — just the opposite. By getting depression under control, people not only help themselves but are in a better position and state of mind to help others.
South Texas Health System Behavioral
STHS Behavioral offers inpatient, outpatient and specialty programs for individuals from the ages of 3 and up, as well as 24/7 no-cost, confidential assessments. To learn more about these services or request a mental health training, visit STHS Behavioral or call 956-388-1300.
“Rates of depression have steadily climbed throughout the years, and the pandemic has caused a significant spike,” said Cox. “Despite how common it’s becoming, it’s not often openly talked about. There is no shame in being depressed, but it can become dangerous if left untreated. Recognizing the signs and knowing about treatment options and local support available is crucial to reducing one’s risk of suicide and improving their quality of life.”
During the interactive hour-long session, Cox addressed employees' questions and directed them to appropriate resources. The session was an initiative of the Hidalgo County Wellness Program, a department of the county’s human resources department that aims to improve the quality of life for county employees by promoting the importance of prioritizing your health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“Whether it’s nutrition, physical activity, mental health — we want to make sure we address each aspect of wellness for our employees in the most balanced approach,” said Diana Salinas, Hidalgo County Wellness Program Coordinator.