Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate, So Why Do We?
Throughout October, we are acknowledging Mental Illnesses Awareness, which is dedicated to helping remove the extreme stigma that surrounds it. The days of ushering the mentally ill off to institutions more closely resembling prisons than hospitals are over. Today, we all know a neighbor, a friend, a veteran or a grandmother who struggles with his or her mental health.
Mental illness could happen to anyone. In fact, four out of five people are affected by depression and nearly one out of every five Americans will have a diagnosable mental disorder within his or her lifetime. We now understand that mental health problems aren’t the product of some flaw in someone’s personal design but are instead the result of a combination of factors like life events, stress, availability of a support system, family, age, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation and genetics. Mental health professionals look as closely at the person as they do at the environment to determine what causes people to struggle with their mental health.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shares the Top 10 Myths & Facts about Mental Illness. It’s important to understand the realities of mental illness in order to put an end to the stigma that surrounds it.
Just like a physical disease, mental illnesses are medical conditions. If they are acknowledged and treated early, recovery is possible. The uniqueness of each person’s experience is matched by a variety of therapeutic services including traditional counseling, medications, behavior modification and creative therapies such as art therapy. No matter the therapy, what is most important about the therapeutic experience is the ability to have an avenue for emotional support – where someone who truly cares will listen empathetically. That emotional support cannot be quantified – anyone can appreciate the importance of that!
At JF&CS we bring numerous clinical services to everyone from kids to older adults. If you or someone you know is seeking help, please visit https://yourtoolsforliving.org/services/counseling to learn more about our counseling services. Help end the stigma that surrounds mental illness by supporting members of your community who may be struggling with mental health.