Message from Eden
Why Pride Month Matters
 
If you are part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, June means gearing up for  PRIDE month!

The gay rights movement has flourished and grown drastically over the span of the last 20 years, scoring victories from the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell to marriage equality.

Pride allows us to celebrate not only these victories, but also gives us a chance to focus on the work that remains, particularly among those in the community who are struggling with the mental health aspects of coming out or embracing their identities in a world that often does not understand them.

Study after study shows LGBT Americans suffer from mental health disorders at rates far exceeding heterosexual people - depression strikes gay men at six times the rate of straight men; nearly half of transgender people encounter symptoms of anxiety and depression; lesbians and bisexual women also deal with higher rates of mental health struggles than their straight sisters. LGBT youth are four times more likely, and questioning youth three times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.

At AMCS, we are proud of our new LGBT Affirmative Therapy Center, which specializes in psychotherapy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and welcomes all cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Beyond that, we have partnered with Antioch University to provide critical training for therapists as they deal with issues related to the LGBTQ community.

So, while we celebrate Pride Month, let's all remember - at its core - Pride is meant to celebrate all the members of the LGBTQ community, regardless of who they love, how they dress, or how they identify. If you or someone you know needs AMCS's help, please have them reach out to us at (310) 670-1410.

Wishing you nothing but good vibrations,

Eden

Eden Garcia-Balis, LMFT
Chief Executive Officer

Staff Spotlight
Ronald Markman, M.D.

Dr. Ronald Markman has worked at Airport Marina Counseling Service (AMCS) since 1969. He says his reasons for continuing his relationship with the clinic are simple - he has seen the place grow and enjoys training other mental health professionals.

"Airport Marina Counseling Service offers a necessary and significant service to the Westside community and I am delighted to be a part of this endeavor," he said.
 
Trained in Forensic Psychiatry, Dr. Markman's list of credentials and accomplishments are impressive. He attended medical school at UCLA and completed his residency at the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute. During his academic journey, Dr. Markman decided to add a law degree to his credentials and attended the University of the West Los Angeles Law School.

"Law and psychiatry have always been a perfect combination for me," said Dr. Markman, who has lent his expertise to such notorious criminal trials such as those of the Manson Family and the Hillside Strangler and has published two New York Times best-selling novels, Alone with the Devil and Obsessed, the story of a stalker. "Pursuing private practice became more fulfilling when I became interested in legal cases."
 
He said working for Airport Marina Counseling Services is one of his greatest accomplishments and has allowed him the opportunity to support the needs of the local community, "which is the most important work of all."

Psychiatric Care
AMCS Provides An Important Resource to Clients

Airport Marina Counseling Service is proud to provide psychiatric services to our clients. We are committed to funding this program because there is considerable need for low-cost psychiatric services, and the combination of medication and psychotherapy is often the most effective treatment. Psychiatry is an additional layer of treatment not always available for low-income families.
 
At AMCS, we are proud to give all clients the opportunity to see our psychiatrists and receive a medication evaluation, treatment and monitoring, if appropriate. There are many clients who are seen at AMCS who have significant mental illness such as Schizophrenia or Bi-Polar Disorder. These clients are often not insured and certainly do not have the financial means to seek private therapy. They turn to AMCS because we are able to offer quality professional services based on household income - our clients pay only what they can afford. Many of these clients have been ill for a substantial period and are grateful to AMCS for providing low-cost, high-quality services, which often help keep them from being hospitalized or becoming homeless. When clients come to us with conditions such as ADHD, depression and anxiety, they can often benefit from medications that help relieve those symptoms.

NBA Announces Mental Health and Wellness Program
Mental Health Taking Center Stage

The National Basketball Players Association has announced the launch of a mental health and wellness program for NBA players.
 
Former NBA guard Keyon Dooling, who has openly discussed his   post-traumatic stress disorder, has been the NBPA Player Wellness Counselor since January, and he will now be joined by a Director of Mental Health and Wellness.
 
Dooling wrote that he was sexually abused as a child, which led to a stint in a mental institution in 2012 while he was a member of the Boston Celtics.
 
The mental wellness conversation has recently reached the forefront in the NBA. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan both talked about their experiences in a public service announcement released by the NBA for Mental Health Awareness Month in May.
 
At AMCS, we recognize the importance of access to mental health services for all people regardless of socioeconomic status or class. We applaud the NBA's efforts to address mental health and wellness because we have seen how important these services are right here in our community. 
 
To learn more and to watch the public service announcement, please click here