GREAT FALLS — Great Falls College-MSU’s “Stop The Stigma” continued on Friday; for the last three years, the college has invited students, health professionals, and community members to forums to learn about myths and facts surrounding mental health and addictive disorders.
“Truly it is about raising awareness and educating our community about mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Dr. Elfie Neber of the GFC-MSU Psychology Department.
On Friday, mental health professionals gathered at Heritage Hall for a forum titled "The Neuroscience Behind Addiction."
Shelley Andrus is a psychiatric nurse practitioner who presented at the event.
Andrus explained, “The whole idea to stop the stigma on how addictive disorders are viewed, one of the main ways is through education. And that we can help people walk away and tell others this is what’s really going on in the brain this isn’t willful misconduct or moral failing.”
Professionals learned about addictions and the brain's reactions to drugs and alcohol and the effects on people’s lives.
Attendees noted that there is a correlation between trauma and addictions.
“A huge correlation between trauma and addiction in our community and these kinds of resources are excellent for people who are going to need that type of treatment," said Angela Meyers, co-occurring therapist
Some tips they suggested were taking care of yourself first if you have a loved one in addiction. If you’re in need of care, learning about it is the best way take the best steps to handle it.
Here are some helpful websites with more information