"QCI saved my life. I was having to pay a lot of of my money to see a doctor. I was told about QCI and filled out the paper work, not thinking I would hear back. QCI gave me a doctor, therapist, nurse, [and] community support. They really helped me when I was really sick and needed that. Now I am better and don’t need that [level of service]. I was helped to get Metro Access and now I can go get to my appointments on my own. I’ve been lucky to have met my therapist, Allison. She is really into the job. She helped me get my immigration card for free. We work together really well."  -- MS

QCI Goes Green for Mental Health Awareness Month!

St. Mary's County Wellness Fair 2024

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo History!

Cinco de Mayo isn’t the same as Mexico’s Independence Day. (That’s Sept. 16.) The holiday celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862.

A year prior, Mexican President Benito Juarez suspended payment of all foreign debts. In response, France invaded Mexico. Mexican soldiers were outnumbered two to one by the better-equipped French army, but in the town of Puebla, the Mexican force prevailed. The victory boosted the Mexican army’s morale and national pride.

The French went on to capture Mexico City and install Emperor Maximillian I as the ruler. In 1866, with political and military assistance from the U.S., the Mexican army expelled the French and captured and executed Maximilian I. Juarez reassumed the presidency and declared that May 5, the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, would be a national holiday.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. People struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live next door, teach your children, work in the next cubicle or sit in the same church pew.

However, only half of those affected receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health. Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at school and work, fewer employment opportunities and increased risk of suicide.

What Exactly is a Mental Illness

A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of these diseases which can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma and/or having another medical condition, like heart disease.

The two most common mental health conditions are:

Anxiety Disorders

More than 19% of adults each year struggle with some type of anxiety disorder, including: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (panic attacks), generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobias.

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar depression, affect nearly 10% of adults each year and are characterized by difficulties in regulating one’s mood.

What You Can Do to Help

Although the general perception of mental illness has improved over the past decades, studies show that stigma against mental illness is still powerful, largely due to media stereotypes and lack of education, and that people tend to attach negative stigmas to mental health conditions at a far higher rate than to other diseases and disabilities, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

Stigma affects not only the number seeking treatment, but also the number of resources available for proper treatment. Stigma and misinformation can feel like overwhelming obstacles for someone who is struggling with a mental health condition. Here a few powerful things you can do to help:


Great sources for mental health news and information include:

Credit: Pinerest.org

If you are experiencing a mental health medical emergency, all 911 or go immediately to the closest emergency room.

CARF International, a group of companies that includes CARF Canada and CARF Europe, is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. Toll free (888) 281-6531. www.carf.org 

QCI provides services for English speaking patients at this time. QCI will attempt to direct non-English speaking individuals to appropriate resources to the best of our ability.

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