May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In the US, nearly 1 in 5 adults live with mental illness, and according to researchers, almost two-thirds of those affected never seek help. This May, we are honoring national Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness of the challenges faced by those experiencing anxiety, depression, and other disorders so they can find the help they need.

Mental health afflictions are far more common than most realize. In the United States, nearly 20%—or 43.8 million people—have experienced some form of mental illness, including conditions such as anxiety, schizophrenia, substance abuse, eating, mood, and personality disorders. When left untreated, the results can be catastrophic—untreated mental illness increases the risk of homelessness, substance use disorders, legal issues, and suicide.

At SLO Recovery, we are committed to helping reduce the stigma, educating the public, and offering support to those facing mental health issues. We believe it is critical for people to know they are not alone and that it’s ok to not be ok. We believe that through offering support, resources, and community, healing can happen and people can find the care they need to flourish.

SLO Recovery Center developed our Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Program to provide comprehensive, compassionate outpatient treatment to those with mental health diagnoses and co-occurring disorders. The program is available to all adults recovering from mental health or substance abuse issues who need a supportive, empathetic environment. The program encourages patients to build healthy coping and recovery skills while treating their underlying mental health concerns.


Our Mental Health Intensive Outpatient (IOP) program is led by a team of licensed mental health professionals dedicated to the success and growth of our patients. Following an initial mental health assessment, patients will work in tandem with their treatment team, which can include psychiatrists, registered nurses, therapists, and counselors. They will regularly meet with members of their team to clarify, further evaluate, and assess their recovery goals. Our seasoned treatment team combines CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, CPT, Exposure Therapy, and a range of other tested modalities to promote lasting healing. Upon completion of the program, the team helps patients connect with mental health support services available within their community.


Our services offer support to our patients on their way to recovery with a flexible schedule. With both day and evening programming, our step-down levels of care can be individualized to meet each patient’s needs. At SLO, we understand that a balanced life is important to long-term recovery, and we strive to prepare our patients to succeed after their time with us.

At SLO Recovery, we offer the following treatment modalities:


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy in which patients learn to address their thought patterns. It enables people to change false or limiting beliefs to positively affect behavior, and forms an optimal part of a robust treatment plan.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a model of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes the development of healthier coping skills and emotional responses. At SLO, we offer DBT as part of our robust, evidence-based treatment curriculum.


Exposure Therapy is a treatment modality that was developed to help people confront their fears, and can be especially useful in the treatment of PTSD and trauma.


Also known as MI, Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic technique that focuses on empowering patients to actively engage in their own recovery. This modality can be useful in addressing substance abuse as it gives clear motivation towards necessary behavior changes even when patients are struggling with internal resistance and cravings.


ACT is an evidence-based form of community-centric mental health care that aims to help people become independent and integrate into the community as they recover.


We are happy to offer this family-based prevention and intervention program for young people who are struggling with addiction or substance abuse issues.


Prolonged Exposure Therapy, also known as PE, is an evidence-based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this modality, individuals are guided to gradually face their trauma-related memories and feelings. Through facing these past traumatic events with safe guidance, patients can learn that trauma-related memories and cues are no longer dangerous and no longer need to be avoided.


Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is an evidence-based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other associated symptoms that often follow traumatic events. It focuses on how the traumatic event is thought of and coped with by a person who is trying to regain a sense of mastery and control in his or her life. It is commonly used with members of the military, and front line or emergency workers.


Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP) is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for adults who have attempted or considered suicide. This type of therapy is considered effective and has been particularly useful in treating members of the military and emergency workers.


CBT-I is widely recognized as an effective treatment for a wide range of insomnias. It consists of several components including assessment, behavioral and cognitive interventions, motivational techniques, and relapse prevention skills. While useful for anyone suffering from insomnia, it is often applied to service members experiencing insomnia before deployment.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression (CBT-D) is an effective, evidence-based treatment for depression. It has been widely used to treat veterans and military service members but is effective for anyone struggling with depression. This short-term talk therapy addresses depression symptoms including feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless; lack of interest or pleasure in activities; being irritable or agitated; loss of energy or fatigue, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that draws from traditional therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Using acceptance as a tool for growth, patients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their emotions and to find compassionate acceptance of their feelings. With this understanding, they are then empowered to make necessary changes in their behavior and meet challenging situations with mindfulness and acceptance.


Narrative Exposure Therapy is a counseling modality used to help people gain new perspectives on past life events and issues. It aims to give people distance from the stories they have constructed or “narrated” in response to these events, in order to “rewrite” a new narrative that better reflects their identity, goals, and ideals. This technique helps patients discover how their internalized reactions may have shaped their identity, take accountability for them, and find more empowering narratives in order to move forward positively.


The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model is an evidence-based, facilitated group approach to help people heal from the effects of trauma. It combines elements of coping skills development and emphasizes peer support. It is useful for those with PTSD, mental health issues, and/or substance use disorders, and can help address a broad range of trauma symptoms.

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out today. If you’re having a mental health emergency, call 1-800-273-8255 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.