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Mental Illness Awareness Week Reaching Out


About 60 million Americans experience mental health problems in a given year. Mental awareness week is from October 4th-10th and this year a focus will be on reaching out to more and more Americans.

The National Mental Health Awareness Campaign is a nationwide non-partisan public education campaign that was launched as part of the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health. They are dedicated to battling the stigma, shame, and myths surrounding mental disorders that prevent so many people from getting the help they need.

Mental Health Awareness Month is designed to increase awareness about mental illness and attempt to erase some of the social stigma that prevents many people with mental illnesses from seeking help.

This year The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) hopes for change. They want to reach out to more people and having more free public screenings for mental health issues. "We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives," said Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI executive director. "NAMI members connect to educate each other and encourage their loved ones during their personal journeys to wellness. NAMI offers hope to people during difficult times."

Kim Arnold, executive director of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Arkansas, said about 60 million Americans experience mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most serious conditions. “Mental illnesses are medical illnesses,” Arnold said. “That is the starting point for understanding, as well as treatment and recovery. Mental Illness does not discriminate. No one is immune.”

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She said a mental illness such as anxiety disorder can be life altering. “They can’t an ordinary life if they can’t finish their ritual,” Arnold said. “Think about when you are panicky. Imagine what it would be like to feel like that all the time.”

With the increasing economical troubles and unemployment, mental health agencies want to increase their awareness so they can help people better cope with the demands and everyday stresses. NAMI hopes to reachout to more and more Americans.

Every city in every state will be having events to help promote the changes to reach out to more people this year more so than ever. Specials workshops, conferences, walks, and other events will be focusing on treatment and recognition of mental illness in our nation. Be sure to check with you local listings of events and screenings this week.

In addition, visit the website Live your life well http://www.liveyourlifewell.org/ for information tht can help you and your family become more aware that there is help and hope.

Materials from NAMI and Mental Health America are used in this report.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth