Acknowledging Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019
Established in 1990, Mental Illness Awareness week takes place the first full week of October. Each year, advocates across the country join their communities to support educational activities on mental illness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) works to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI fights stigma, provides support, educates the public, and advocates for equal care. Similarly, raising awareness on your own, as part of a small group, or in your community can make a difference.
Why It’s Important
Navigating life with a mental illness can be tough. The isolation, blame, secrecy, and shame that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges. People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and even discrimination (NAMI 2019). This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.
Reaching out for support can already seem impossible to those managing a mental health condition and dealing with stigma only worsens this. Some people describe stigma as shame that can be felt as a judgement from someone else or a feeling that is internal. It confuses feeling bad with being bad. Learning how to cope, avoid, and address stigma is important for all of us to know, not just those with a mental health condition. It is important for those who are well to stand up and reject stigma for our friends and loved ones who are suffering.
Raising awareness of mental health conditions helps to break down the barriers and obstacles that stand in the way of recovery. Individuals, companies, and organizations can all advocate to learn more about mental illness, as it affects more loved ones than we realize. You can help those that are struggling with a mental health condition by embracing the suggestions below:
- Learn about mental health—educating myself and others
- See the person not the illness—strive to listen, understand, tell my own story
- Take action—spread the word, raise awareness, make a difference
Our Counseling & Wellness Center clinicians are trained to help support you through your unique needs and life transitions. Both individual and group counseling services are available for youth, adults, and families. Call 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information or to schedule an appointment.