Mental Illness Awareness Week
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults experience mental illness problems every year and 50% of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. More than 15 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, are affected by depression in a given year.
October 2 through October 8, 2016 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Each year, the week provides an opportunity to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.
Know the Symptoms
Depression is a treatable mental health disorder that causes persistent sadness and loss of interest. According to NAMI, some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Changes in sleep and appetite
- Poor concentration
- Loss of energy
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Low self-esteem
- Hopelessness or guilt
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Find out more about mental illness conditions, symptoms and treatment at www.nami.org or through its HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
End the Stigma
Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination. This year, NAMI is calling on everyone to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. To take the #Stigmafree pledge, visit www.nami.org/stigmafree.
Take Time for a Mental Health Check
In addition, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day will be held on Thursday, Oct. 6. The program provides free, anonymous screenings for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as referral to treatment resources if warranted. Screenings are held both online and in-person and thousands of people participate each year.
Find Out More
- Driving Healthy provides links to mental health, holiday mental health, and stress management resources.
- Mental Health by the Numbers provides some facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness.
- StopaSuicide.org teaches individuals the signs and symptoms to look out for, dispels common myths about suicide, and includes tips on how to have a constructive conversation with a friend or loved one if you are concerned.