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Why Your Mental Health Comes First

Healing yourself first matters most.

Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943 psychology professor Abraham Maslow debuted his newly minted Hierarchy of Needs to the behavioral health community. His theory posited that human growth and development is predicated on certain orderly stages that must occur in a specific sequence. For example, an individual must have food, shelter and safety in order to pursue higher goals such as education and self-actualization.

Dear Parents, Friends and Loved Ones,

Please know that if you have a family member or loved one who is struggling with mental health or addiction problems, chances are they will not only need your love and support to find lasting recovery but they will also need some time and space to effectively do so. This might mean taking some time off work, or taking one less class in school. It may even mean leaving home for a brief period of time in order to get the support they may need. 

We get calls every day from people who want (and need) help but they can’t or won’t find the time to fit proper treatment in to their lives. We know most have to work, some have kids who need to be cared for and others have a false notion that addiction and mental health can be treated on their own terms.  We know as well as anyone that the world does not stop spinning when someone is sick.  We also know that one must be alive and healthy in order to function and appreciate the joys and wonder of this life.  If you are in a relationship with a loved one or a friend and they express interest in getting help for their illness, know that they will likely need your support to get “there”.  They will need to be told it is ok to put their health first, that it is ok to take some time for their well being and that their lives will only become more abundant once they are able to heal.

These are diseases of the brain.  They must be treated as diseases by trained medical professionals in the right environment at the proper level of care.  Anything less is plain and simply not fair to the struggling individual, their family and their loved ones.

It breaks our heart to see someone who wants to get help but whose parents or loved ones are not supportive of them taking the necessary time to do so.  And while it breaks our heart when we see this, know it breaks theirs also.

Warmly, SCH

Putting First Things First with Your Mental Health

At SunCloud Health, we feel similarly regarding the necessity to get treatment early in the course of a mental disease or disorder. Our stance is predicated on two critical components. One, nothing is more important than a person’s health. Just ask a man who has permanently lost teeth due to a substance addiction, or a woman who had to sacrifice a length of her intestine because of an eating disorder. Most would give anything to have their bodies returned to wholeness.

Second, when an addiction or disorder is onboard, most aspects of life are compromised. An employee can go to the office all week, but will the work product be excellent, even satisfactory? A mother can “show up” each day, but is she fully present, nurturing and encouraging her children as they deserve? Clearly, the answer to both scenarios is no. People desperately want to believe that a job, an education, even parenthood, has such immediate value. But the truth is, these things can be placed on the back burner, even parenting, particularly when a surrogate could provide better care. What can’t wait is getting help.


“Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS, Chief Medical Officer, CEO and Co-founder at SunCloud Health discusses, if you want to know if you are recovering, take a look at your life.”

VIDEO: How do families find the right balance between treatment and school??

Dr. Kim Dennis, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at SunCloud Health, explains the importance of not waiting to seek help and prioritizing one’s health.

Speaking from Experience

Kim Dennis, MD, medical director at SunCloud, is an ideal example of what we espouse. While in medical school, she struggled with an insidious eating disorder and addiction to alcohol. Like the rest of those pursuing the advanced degree, she possessed an incredible drive as well as a nearly zealous desire to succeed. Dr. Kim wanted above all to prove herself worthy of wearing the white coat. And yet, she elected to step away from the relentless stress and pressure of school for one year to reestablish her health. Even then, she recognized the extraordinary import of a clear mind, emotional stability and a clean, healthy body. To this day, she knows it was one of the best life decisions she ever made.


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Prioritizing Your Mental Health Will Lead to Positive Outcomes

Too many people use school as an excuse to avoid treatment. Is taking off one or two semesters so enormous, especially where current and future health is concerned? Colleges and universities will still be awarding degrees once recovery is achieved.

Many working people deny themselves the care they need, clinging to the archaic notion that entering treatment is shameful and stigmatizing. We know the landscape regarding mental health is changing. Most employers now recognize and respect that treatment for an addiction or disorder is no less important than treatment for cancer.

Mental Health Care Help & Resources

We strongly encourage potential clients to look into the Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA). This legislation is designed to provide workers with job-protected leave and ongoing group health benefits during their absence. Importantly, FMLA extends to issues of mental health.For those who cannot work due to illness, disability insurance may be a viable option. Benefits, through the social security administration, can be either short or long term. We have had many clients who took advantage of this service.

Recovery from an addiction or disorder is possible, but steps must be taken sooner rather than later.


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Accreditations, Certifications & Licensing

LegitScript approved
DASA License. Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
Joint Commission Behavioral Health Care Accreditation.
EDC Member
IAEDP Member

The Joint Commission signifies that all people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings with a devotion to patient safety. The Gold Seal, is a symbol to the community and patients we serve that SunCloud Health has placed an emphasis on quality of care.

We are here for you.

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