This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. What will you do to raise awareness?
This annual event is organized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the US. In Canada it is coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.
What’s the point of a week like this?
- There is still tremendous stigma associated with mental health issues. This leads to many people not seeking the help they need. It also leads to those with mental illness carrying unnecessary burdens of shame and guilt. The more we talk about something and normalize it, the more we can help decrease stigma.
- Mental health problems are more common than you think. According to NAMI, “about 60 million Americans experience mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most serious conditions. Less than one-third get treatment”.
- There are many types of mental health issues you or someone you know might be impacted by. Check out Psych Central’s Prevalence of Common Mental Disorders article and illustrative graphic:
You may also be interested in the program now airing on PBS, Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!