Dr. Stephen Neal DO, Director of Psychiatry and Counseling
WAYNESBURG – Dr. Stephen M. Neal, D.O., Director of Psychiatry & Counseling at Cornerstone Care, said Mental Health Awareness Month in May will draw the public’s attention to the increasing nationwide health issue.
An estimated 26 percent of adults in the U.S. – about one in four – suffer from a mental health disorder in each given year, according to statistics provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. As many as one in five children or adolescents may have a mental health disorder on a yearly basis.
“Public awareness will help to continue to decrease the stigma associated with mental health issues,” Dr. Neal said. “I think that slowly the stigma associated with mental illness is starting to improve. The stigma today is not nearly as bad as it was 20 or 30 years ago.” Statistics also show that 9.2 million adults have a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental health disorders.
“To treat someone who suffers from a comorbid condition or dual diagnosis, a psychiatrist needs to figure out the basis of the disorders,” Dr. Neal said. “For example, you may have a person who is depressed and drinking due to the depression, or maybe a person has alcohol dependence which is causing him or her to feel depressed, or at times you may have a co-occurring alcohol use disorder and depression.”
Dr. Neal explained that it is important to treat the entire patient – not just the mental illness. “When a patient comes into our office, we certainly ask them many questions about their past mental health, physical health, social support system, education, occupation, substance abuse history and family history,” Dr. Neal said. “That helps us to determine how best to treat our patients and address all of their needs,” he added. “We see patients suffering from all mental health issues – depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD and autism.”
Cornerstone Care offers mental health treatment through its three psychiatrists, four licensed clinical social workers and psychologist at its offices in Waynesburg, Greensboro, Mount Morris and Burgettstown.