May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is the time when we have the opportunity to provide support, educate the public about mental illness, fight stigma and advocate for policies to support people with mental illness and their families.
Studies show that 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. For those who have suffered domestic or sexual violence, mental health conditions are often a side effect. Seeking help in the aftermath of the abuse that you have suffered can help to mitigate some of these effects — and allow you to move towards a healthier future.
Over time, domestic and sexual violence can lead to a number of mental health conditions. These include, but are not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. A person who has experienced abuse may have low self-esteem or may engage in self-harming behaviors, such as substance abuse or overeating. It is important to know that domestic and sexual violence is never your fault — and that there is help available.
At Blackburn Center, we offer a range of services to victims of all types of violence and crime. Our services are available to women, children and men, and all are provided at no charge to clients. Our services include:
A 24 hour hotline, staffed by trained crisis counselors, available at 724-836-1122 or 1-888-832-2272;
An emergency shelter for victims of intimate partner violence and their children;
Counseling and therapy;
Medical advocacy/accompaniment to provide support at hospitals and medical facilities;
Legal systems support to accompany victims of violence or crime to hearings, trials and other significant court dates;
Civil legal services.
It is never too late to seek help from Blackburn Center. Whether you’ve had a recent traumatic event, or have been a victim of violence or crime in the past, you can turn to our organization for support and guidance. We understand the impact that abuse can have on the lives of victims, and we are here for you. All of our services are trauma-informed, incorporating a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of a survivor, and focusing on core principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.
This month and every month, know that reaching out for assistance is always an option. The effects of domestic and sexual violence are very real — but the impact does not have to be life-long. We can help. Blackburn Center is here for victims of violence and crime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.