He said such issues can place real limitations on the ability of individuals to lead normal lives.
“It affects the community in a lot of different ways,” he said, “in terms of lifestyle and taking their own life on occasion. They don’t function, aren’t able to hold a job because their depression is so severe.”
Treatment is available, though, and Jones urges individuals who believe they or someone else might be affected to seek appropriate medical attention.
“The spectrum of schizophrenia and mental health disorders of that nature a lot of times keeps folks from being productive citizens,” he said. “With appropriate treatment, these folks can be very productive.”
He said there are a number of resources available locally to assist individuals with mental health issues.
“Primary physicians are capable of making early diagnoses,” he said. “If it rises to a crisis, the emergency department is available to see those folks.”
Such crises include “wanting to hurt themselves or someone else,” Jones explained.
Finally, he said Pecan Valley Mental Health Center “does a great job of addressing” additional concerns.
In his recent speech, Obama presented five distinct areas on which he said his administration will focus. The first, he said, involves increased media campaigns and includes partnerships with social media sites, video game manufacturers, broadcast networks and musicians.
Secondly, Obama said he is committed to increasing education and preparing adults to recognize early warning signs in children.
He also advocated providing health care professionals with the necessary tools to screen for mental health issues.
The next area of focus involves coordinating an alliance of leaders to attack the negative perception many have about mental illness and improve access to local treatment options.
Finally, the administration proposed houses of worship join in the conversation through messages and other resources meant to help bring attention to mental health.