On a weekly basis, I probably receive five or six requests for some type of mental health referral, whether it be for drug/alcohol addiction, couples counseling, and individual counseling among other types of situations.
Attempting to find professional, bilingual and GOOD therapists/therapy here is not an easy task so I decided to gather as many contacts that I could find and have a ‘gabfest’. A couple of weeks ago, we gathered in a meeting room and it turned out to be such an amazing session as we shared information, wants, needs, ideas and specialties.
This lead to the idea of putting together a “Mental Health Resource Guide” for the area and we hope to have that out very soon. A compact collection of mental health contacts, in both Spanish and English. Sometimes ‘living in paradise’ turns out to be a whole lot different for many versus ‘vacationing in paradise’.
Vacation versus reality can be a big shock. Perhaps new retirement lands someone with too much time on their hands, boredom sets in and sometimes depression. Alcohol and drugs run rampant here in the gringo community (don’t bury your head in the sand and think it doesn’t). Beach and beer during the day, happy hour cocktails, dinner and a lot of wine. What fun! But when done over and over, day in and day out, eventually there are consequences.
I am certainly no therapist/counselor/psychologist but what I have seen, over and over, are people who look about 20 years older than they really are admitted to a hospital (public and private) with livers shot to hell since ‘moving to paradise’. It is heartbreaking for sure.
I always think of that saying “You never know what someone is going through” and it most certainly rings true around here.
I am thrilled now to have a larger group of professionals to call upon for various mental health requests! And even more thrilled that we will soon have the Resources guide!
It’s a short one this week!
Here’s to a very kind week.