Using past experiences, Permian Basin resident helps those with mental illness

Using past experiences, Permian Basin resident helps those with mental illness

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Texas Health and Human Services Commissions says one in five Americans will deal with mental health issues in any given year. said that some of those symptoms and signs may not always be recognizable.

"Mental illness and substance abuse are issues that aren't all the time talked about and always addressed," said Jennifer Weston with the Region 9 Prevention Resource Center. "And we really need to collaborate together and teach people the warning signs and how to get help because mental illness is very, very common."

One resident, Crystal Bell, went through her own personal battles growing up and now works with the Palmer Drug Abuse program.

She says that experience is what she draws from every day to help.

"Because I've been there," said Bell. "I mean when we have our first appointments, I get to know them a little bit. I let them talk about them first. Because you know, when you're working with young adults and adolescents, they're not going to tell an adult anything. So I make sure they do most the talking through all our sessions."

She says events like the one held in Midland recently help, because some people are scared to come out about their problems.

"I'm trying to just help them feel better about who they are inside," said Bell. "Because most people with mental health, or any kind of disease like that, drug addiction or alcoholism, they don't feel right inside. So I help them to feel ok inside and know it's ok, to feel what they're feeling."

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