Mental illness affects family and friends of those afflicted, psychologist says

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week as designated by NAMI (the National Alliance for Mental Illness). Bryan Jensen, a psychologist at the Cache Vallet Community Health Center, said when someone has depression or other kind of mental illness it affects everyone around them. “If you have a father, for example, in this economy who may be having a hard time finding employment, and is struggling with self esteem issues about being a provider and a husband and a father, that’s going to trickle down,” Jensen said. “Even if it’s unsaid and masked by the parents in every way, the children are picking up on it and that’s what we’re seeing too. We’re seeing a stream of kids coming in, in families and situations like this and they’re feeling the stress. It affects everyone, and when it’s more severe, or when the condition or the psychological issue is more severe, the impact on people around that individual effected is even more severe.” On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Thursday, Jensen said it’s wise to get professional help and NAMI is there for friends and family members of people with mental illness.

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