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Into Mental Health: Inspired, Informed, Involved
Monday, May 8, 2017
FROM: DONEEN HOLLINGSWORTH, BOARD MEMBER
CAPITAL AREA COUNSELING SERVICE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Into Mental Health: Inspired, Informed, Involved – Mental Health Awareness Month
The CACS Board of Directors, along with other national groups, has proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
When mental illnesses or disorders are talked about, the language typically used to describe them tends to be clinical and impersonal. These words, while useful for doctors or clinicians, often don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. That is why National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI)this year’s theme for Mental Health Month is “Into Mental Health: Inspired, Informed, Involved.” — is a call to action. Mental Health Awareness Month is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out, so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need.
“Mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. We need to speak up early in real, relatable terms so that people do not feel isolated and alone,” said Doneen Hollingsworth, CACS Board of Directors member, “Sharing is the key to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and to showing others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.”
Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness is not always easy. Some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include excessive worrying, feeling very sad, difficulty concentrating, extreme mood changes, avoiding friends and social activities, changes in sleep or eating habits, and abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs. There are many other signs and symptoms of mental illness so learning all we can about mental health is very important.
Mental Health Facts:
1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition.
1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.
60 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable.
The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.
"When it comes to addressing mental health, we all have an important role we can play. We need to understand that mental illness is a disease and not a moral failing or a character flaw. And we need to show compassion, and make our homes and workplaces safe places for people to talk about their challenges”, added Hollingsworth.
Capital Area Counseling Service wants our community to know that mental illnesses are real, that recovery is always the goal, and prevention, intervention, and integrated services work. For more information visit
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