(WVVA)-“Mental health is nothing to joke about or taken lightly. When someone begs, pleads, cries out for help, please help them. You just might save a life or more lives. Thank you. Again initials O. A. M,” said Greenbrier County Sheriff, Bruce Sloan.
Those initials belong to Oreanna Antoinette Myers, Meyers murdered three of her own children and two step children December 8th, shooting each with a shotgun she had to reload after every shot.
The oldest was seven and the youngest was one.
Her confession letter blamed her depression.
“You have to get help. If there are issues you can’t let it fall on deaf ears, you have to seek out help,” Sloan said.
A Beckley mental health advocate and psychologist said there’s a lot of resistance when it comes to getting that help.
Dr. Kristi Dumas said getting people to understand depression is a chemical imbalance, is a huge first step.
“There are three neuro transmitters that are known to affect depression and mood, Norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine,” said Dr. Dumas.
She said there are signs to look for if you find yourself questioning your own mental health, or the mental health of someone you care about.
“Changes in routine or a loss of interest and activities that were once very exciting to us. Sleeping too much or not sleeping enough,” said Dr. Dumas.
She said taking steps that lead to getting help isn’t easy for everyone.
“You see a lot of people commenting, ‘Well why didn’t she just get help?’ Well did she know where to get help from? And if she knew where to get help from, was it affordable,” said Dr. Dumas.
Dr. Dumas points out that though she never turns a patient away, not every facility operates that way, or has the means to… and that without the proper insurance being turned away or given limited services can be a reality for many.
“So, if you have eight sessions that you’re insurance is going to pay for and you have major depressive order, things are not going to abate in two months,” said Dr. Dumas.
She says Meyers case underscores the need for action to make sure everyone can have access to mental health services.
“One of the things that we have to be very cognizant of is that we have to press our legislators that when there’s time for funding to be cut, it does not need to be mental health,” said Dr. Dumas with Dumas Psychology Collective.
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