Coliseum Medical Center offering free depression screenings

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Coliseum Medical Center in Macon will offer free depression screenings for National Depression Awareness Day.

Roland Behm, a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, lost his son to suicide a year and a half ago. Behm says he misses his son every day, and understands the fight many others go through.

“He struggled with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and for nine years he fought valiantly each day he was also very active in suicide prevention and awareness,” Behm said. “He appeared on TV shows here in Atlanta at meetings and others. Suicide is a rather implacable pho and there came a time when he couldn’t beat it back.”

He uses his platform to honor his son’s memory. Behm says he wants people to start having tough conversations to help win the war on mental health.

“Mental illness and suicide are scaring and stigmatized topics that benefit from greater openness and discussion,” Behm stated.

To shed light on the stigma around mental illness, Coliseum Medical Center is offering free depression screenings.

Bruce Conn, a therapist at Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health, says he hopes the screenings allow people to feel more comfortable talking about their mental health.

“Not only do we culturally misunderstand it’s a real problem… but we also tend to stigmatize ourselves,” Conn stated. “If I have this problem, I’m depressed, it must mean I’m weak somehow, and that’s stigmatizing yourself… We can name the problem and treat the problem.”

The screenings are in person and by appointment only. Those getting screened can sit with a therapist and talk about their emotions.

Conn says mental health is just as important as physical health.

“The awareness that this is a real problem like other medical issues is just so important so people can get beyond stigma and get the help they need.”

To schedule an appointment for a screening, call Coliseum Center for Behavioral Health at (478) 741-1355.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Health, Medical

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