Today is the day to spread the word that mental health matters and that it’s okay to not feel okay. Not only is it World Mental Health Day but it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, which was established in 1990 by Congress to shine a spotlight on mental illness. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is promoting the theme “CureStigma” in an effort to encourage more people to speak up and seek help.
“When you feel anxious, you feel depressed, or you feel like there’s a lot of stress going on in your life, it’s okay to speak up, just as you would speak up if you had a lump under your skin or if you had migraine headaches,” Tyler Corson, a board member with NAMI-Virginia Beach, said in a statement. “We want young people and people of every age to speak up when they have mental health issues.”
In honor of this week, here are some reasons why there’s no shame in speaking up about your mental illness:
- You’re not alone. Most of us know someone impacted by mental illness, whether it’s a personal struggle or the struggle of a friend or loved one. In fact, one in five Americans is believed to be suffering from a mental health issue like depression or anxiety. And the numbers may even skew higher since many are afraid to come forward about their struggle.
- You’ll educate others. Perhaps the best way to cure stigma is a healthy dose of knowledge, including the risk factors, symptoms, treatment and prevention methods of mental illness. The better society understands what it’s like to live with a mental illness, the more accepting they’ll hopefully be.
- You’ll inspire others to seek help. Stigma can cause people with mental illness to feel isolated, shameful and stereotyped and, in turn, this can prevent treatment and hinder recovery. By talking openly to others about mental illness, you can help convince people that they don’t have to suffer alone and that there is no shame in seeking help.
The Road to Recovery
If you or someone you love is self-medicating with drugs or alcohol instead of seeking proper treatment, today is the day to get help. A co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder must be treated together for the best results. Our program is structured to address the underlying factors that led to mental health issues and addiction. To learn more, call today: 866-905-4550.