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Laguna Beach Seniors recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month

During May, Laguna Beach seniors hopes that the community can take the time to focus a little more inward on the self-care and attention that is needed during Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Kay Wenger, M.A., LMFT, LPCC explains, “There are times in our lives when we sense that something isn’t quite right with our thinking, our emotions or our behavior. We may even recognize these issues in a loved one. This could indicate we have come to a point where we cannot deal with the stresses or events that have happened in our lives or that we may be experiencing chemical changes in our brain.” 

 Research shows that mental health issues affect as many as one in four people. These issues are always best dealt with in the early stages before they can affect our personal well-being, professional or financial lives, or personal relationships. 

Laguna Beach group

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Photo by Robert James Wenger

Laguna Beach Seniors care management and mental health support team: (L-R) Laura Lee, Anne, Vivian, Martha, Kay, Mary and John

Many mental health issues can be addressed by talk therapy with a trained professional, however some issues require medication and more intensive forms of treatment. The social stigma attached to mental health issues has lessened with every year that passes as people come to understand that so many of us are affected and it is not a reflection that we are a defective person. 

“As the mental health clinical supervisor at the Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q senior center, I believe that mental health is something that needs to be discussed in every conversation around health and wellness in our country,” stated Wenger.

Laguna Beach Seniors is there to help for anyone going through a difficult time. Not only are LB Seniors’ services available to residents of Laguna Beach, they extend to the South Orange County community. 

Anyone between 50 - 100+ years old can take advantage of the mental health programs that the Susi Q offers – and, the majority are free of charge.

There’s “Heart to Heart,” a support group where individuals aged 50+ gather weekly to discuss important issues impacting their lives. The Susi Q also facilitates a Grief Recovery support group; Living Well with Chronic Illness support group; a Men’s Only group; Alzheimer’s and Dementia support group; and a discussion group addressing end-of-life issues called Death Café. 

The Susi Q also provides one-on-one counseling for at-risk and vulnerable seniors (55+) throughout all of South Orange County by way of our “Feeling The Blues” program. 

For more information, contact the care management team by visiting the Susi Q front desk, or by calling (949) 715-8104. Laguna Beach Seniors’ website is www.thesusiq.org

The Susi Q is located in downtown Laguna Beach at 380 Third St.