Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Look Around You:
It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week

Stop. Look around. When you’re at your job, driving in your car, in your classroom, grocery store, library or church. One in five people you see is affected by mental illness.

What is mental illness?

Scientists tell us that mental illness is a medical illness, and being sick with mental illness is no different than being sick with diabetes or heart disease. But if you, or someone you love, has a mental illness it can mean a lifetime of health maintenance and specialized care.

Mental illnesses can often profoundly disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others. Mental illnesses include such disorders as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), borderline personality disorder, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. They are not the fault of parents or the person with the illness.

Without treatment the potential consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, and suicide. The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.

If mental illness affects you or your family, you are not alone. In your neighborhood you can find support and education. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families.

Since its founding in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness. With organizations on the national level, in every state, and in over 1100 local communities across the country, NAMI joins together to achieve its mission through research, education,, support and advocacy.

This week NAMI observes Mental Illness Awareness Week. Established in 1990 by Congress, the first week of October is designated to promote greater public understanding of the nature of mental illness, and to encourage people to get help when they need it., Treatment options exists, and treatment works, if a person gets it.

Look around. If you see that fifth person in need of help, honor their individual dignity and give encouragement. Help them find it.

When you see the next fifth person, remember that it could be you.

For more information about mental illness or to find your local NAMI chapter, call 800-950-NAMI (6264) or visit, visit

Source: NAMI

Have a good night everyone! Comments are always appreciated!

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N Posted by Rain at 10/04/2006 08:58:00 PM


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