‘CureStigma’ is the theme for Mental Illness Awareness Week
Community Mental Health Center, Inc., Lawrenceburg, other mental health providers, and advocates for mental health care throughout the United States are continuing to work together with hundreds of thousands of Americans to support mental health care services and to provide education about mental illnesses.
This mission is highlighted during national Mental Illness Awareness Week, celebrated Oct. 7 through Oct. 13 this year.
“CureStigma” is the theme for this year’s event. The event focuses on raising awareness of mental illnesses and their impact on individuals, families and society in general, and on replacing stigma surrounding mental illness with hope for treatment and recovery. This is an opportunity to fight stigma, to provide support, to educate the public, and to continue to advocate for equal care.
Mental Illness Awareness Week was established by Congress in 1990 in recognition of the efforts of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to raise mental illness awareness. NAMI has chapters in every state in the nation and is active in advocating for the rights of individuals with mental illnesses and lobbying for improved services.
Mental Illness Awareness Week raises public awareness about mental illness. NAMI hopes everyone will talk about mental health and share what they know and what they learn with family, friends and others.
This is also a time to free everyone from stereotypes that too often discourage people from getting help when they need it. There is hope for renewal and recovery. We can all make a difference in the lives of family, friends and others who experience mental illness.
One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year. “Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it,” says NAMI.
Although many people today understand mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination. Common and well-known mental illnesses include depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Other types of mental illness include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder).
“We are calling on everyone to join with CMHC and NAMI to replace stigma with hope by seeking to CureStigma” said Tom Talbot, Executive Director of Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
“We know that recovery is possible. Treatment works, and the sooner one can become engaged in treatment, the better,” said Talbot.
Unfortunately, there can be long delays – sometimes decades – between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help. Less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment. You are never alone. Know where to find help when it is needed. Many people begin with their primary care doctor. Many start by confiding in a close family member or friend. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
CMHC, Inc. served more than 5,000 people during State Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). CMHC provides comprehensive behavioral health services (mental health and substance use disorders treatment services) to individuals of all ages in Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties.
Early identification and treatment is vital – by getting individuals the treatment they need early, recovery is accelerated and the brain is protected from further harm related to the course of illness. The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective – between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of medication and psychosocial treatments and supports. The economic cost of untreated mental illnesses is about $200 billion each year in the United States.
For more information about services offered by Community Mental Health Center, Inc., please call (812) 537-1302 for the location of an office near you, or visit CMHC’s website at www.cmhcinc.org for more information.