This week kicks off several nationally recognized events that raise awareness of mental health issues:
- National Depression Screening Day 10/6/11
- Mental Health Awareness Week 10/2/11 – 10/8/11
- National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding 10/4/11
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponsoring many kinds of activities.
Mental illnesses are medical illnesses. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 lives with serious, chronic illness. On average, people living with serious mental illness live 25 years less than the rest of the population. One reason is that less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment.
The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it. That’s why awareness is so important. We want people to understand mental illness and join a dialogue in our community. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the help and support they need.
When mental health care isn’t available in a community, the results often are lost jobs and careers, broken families, more homelessness, more welfare and much more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police and even courts, jails and prisons.
National Depression Screening Day, held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that provides referral information for treatment. More than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991.
For more information visit the NDSD website, or visit our free, confidential, online depression screening tool.
You can increase awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness now — and begin changing attitudes, changing lives!
Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options in a caring, confidential environment. If you find you may be struggling with stress that is causing significant physical or emotional impairment in your life, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.