Mental health awareness in our local jails

Mental health awareness

YUMA, Ariz. - The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month and officials in our local jails are weighing in on the importance of finding solutions in our local jails.  

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. According to, "our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices." When talking about mental health it's important to know everyone has mental health.

There has been some confusion that mental health and mental illness mean the same thing when they do not. Mental illness is an illness and it affects the way people think, feel, behave, or interact with others.

There are different mental illnesses, they have different symptoms, and they impact people differently. Not everyone will experience mental illness but in the course of a lifetime but "everyone will struggle or have a challenge with their mental well-being (i.e., their mental health) just like we all have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time," as indicated by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Local jails and probation offices are starting to open up facilities for inmates who are reintegrating back to civilian life. 

In Imperial County, a new medical assisted treatment program is offering therapy and medicated treatment for inmates dealing with mental illness and overdose problems. 

In Yuma, adult probation opened their new North End Communication's Clinic to assist inmates reentering society in every aspect of their life. 


Mental health facts (according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness):

- 1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.

- 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States live with a serious mental illness.

- 60 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.

- Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.

African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.


Ninety percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable.

The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 percent and 90 percent of individuals have a significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.

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