Mental Health Awareness Week 2010: Need for improved awareness

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The first full week of October was designated by the U.S. Congress as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in 1990. MIAW is recognition of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) 's efforts to raise mental illness awareness.

The general theme for this year’s MIAW is “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives.” The theme was chosen to take advantage of the overlap of 2010 MIAW with election season.

The need for improved awareness of mental health is evident in the news. Our troops have increased issues with suicide and PTSD. Cyber-bullying and suicide. Increased depression with poor economy.

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MIAW would like to encourage the discussion of mental health issues with your political leaders and candidates. They provide information about non-partisan election activity is at www.nami.org/election.

MIAW will include a National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010.

Beginning Oct. 1, PBS television stations in some communities will begin airing the documentary Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, which was screened at the 2010 NAMI national convention. The film also can be used a tool for MIAW or later public education efforts. Please check its website for more information.

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