Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 7-13. You have until Saturday to make a difference. October 10th was World Mental Health Day. You may have missed it, but you can still learn from the theme of the day yesterday.
The theme was Depression: A Global Concern. It is estimated that “depression affects more than 350 million people in the world… There are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.” Ref1
Another problem with depression is the stigma that is still attached to it. People are afraid to get treated and this can lead to hospitalization, jail, and/or disability. All of these things costs tax payers money. A lot of money could be saved if we spent more time on prevention, education, and attempts to erase the stigma.
In America, “approximately 57.7 million Americans suffer from a mental illness. Suicide is the eleventh-leading cause of death in the Unites States and the 3rd third-leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 years.” Ref2
In 2005, it was estimated that 56% of State prisoners, 45% of Federal prisoners, and 64% of jail inmates had a mental illness. Ref3
Just imagine what we could do if we just spent time and resources helping the mentally ill before they need hospitalization or commit crimes.
Now, you have two days left. You could make a difference in helping the mentally ill and your efforts could possibly save a life. If you want ideas of how to help, please read “Mental Illness Awareness Week:What Can you do?”
If you know someone with a mental illness, give them a call just to let them know you are thinking about them. You may also want to let them know that you admire them for fighting such a horrible illness.
Another thing you could do is appeal to a politician or someone in the media to cover that it is Mental Illness Awareness Week and ask them to let others know the importance of this topic. Appeal to the media and politicians: Does anyone care that it is Mental Illness Awareness Week in America?