The first full week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). The observance was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in recognition of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) efforts to educate and increase public awareness about mental health disorders.
Much like Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI encourages Americans to help people living with mental illness during MIAW. Showing support and fighting harmful stigmas has a pivotal impact on the lives of millions.
It’s a fact that each person knows at least one individual who struggles with mental illness. One in five Americans has a mental health condition. Each of us directly or indirectly is affected by this severe public health crisis. We all have a vested interest in showing compassion and encouraging men and women to seek treatment.
Each year, the movement to cure stigma grows stronger. Businesses are also becoming more understanding of their employees’ mental health needs. What’s more, people in mental health recovery are courageously sharing their experience, strength, and hope; in doing so, they help inspire others to seek out support services.
Get Involved with Mental Illness Awareness Week
Did you know that 46.6 million American adults are living with a mental health condition? Are you aware that seven percent of adults have depression alone? Moreover, more than half of men and women living with chemical dependency also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The point is that mental illness is widespread, and it needs to be discussed on a regular basis.
The best way to combat misunderstanding is through open and honest discourse about mental health. Mental wellness is essential to overall well-being. Too many people continue to harbor misconceptions about the nature of psychological disorders. Misunderstanding begets stigma, which leads to shame. When individuals are shamed into thinking they are at fault for their disease, they are less likely to seek treatment.
Getting involved in the fight against stigmas is not challenging; a little effort can go a long way. NAMI provides many useful resources to help you spread the message that mental illness is treatable, and recovery is possible. Each American can become an advocate for mental health. The organization writes:
“We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice.”
Please follow this link to access vital mental health resources and awareness messaging. Sharing graphics or personal experiences can be a beacon of hope for the millions of Americans who still needlessly suffer in silence. Taking part in Mental Illness Awareness Week can be beneficial for you as well as others.
When people in recovery share their stories, they inspire others and show them they are not alone. Please help advocate for mental health for every American.
Orange County Recovery Services
For 20 years, we’ve helped men and women heal from addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. We invite you to contact Pacific Shores Recovery today to learn more about our curriculum of care and the many services we offer. Our team will meet you where you are and guide you to where you want to be.