In light of the Newtown shooting, there has been a renewed focus on mental health issues across the country and here in Central Georgia.
13WMAZ talked to Nancy Ridley, the program administrator for Behavioral Health at Houston Medical Center about mental illness and different options for families that might have a child or young adult that might be suffering from destructive behavior.
Ridley said that parents dealing with a child with mental illness should know that they don't have to do it alone.
"Ask for help the emergency room is open 24 hours seven days a week if it's not a crisis but the parents think some things seem kind of off-kilter to you, there, there is no shame seeing an office that provides psychiatric specialties, we have a local mental health center Phoenix center for people who do not carry insurance so that's available we have family counseling centers which has services for people who are not insured so and a child's pediatrician if we are talking about a child can very often be your first line of defense," said Ridley.
She said she hopes that people start to think of mental illness that can be treated, like other afflictions.
"I think it's crucial to view it more like we view any medical illness nobody says oh yes diabetes this person can't have a normal life or have a quality life and I believe we need to realize that people with mental illness can have a great deal of quality and normalcy in their lives," Ridley said.