The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Mental Health – Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 4 – 10 | Health News

In the face of the widespread cuts finding their way into mental health treatments all across the country and with the advent of possible health care changes facing us, this article below becomes even more important.  If we could educate the general population about the effects and costs of untreated mental illness in our communities, we might effect a positive change that could save lives, save families, and at the same save us tax dollars.

My opinion, which is not even worth the time it take to type it out, is that our health care system is failing.  It is a multi-system failure and only courageous, and decisive care can save it.

Please read the article below and then contact your local chapter of NAMI to offer to help.


Mental Health Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 4 – 10
By: Lara Endreszl
Published: Monday, 5 October 2009In 1990, the United States Congress designated the first week of October Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). They did so to allow supporters and advocates a specific time frame to bring their concerns to light. Educating the public about mental health is an important part of acceptance and benefits those who are not only currently in treatment, but can also encourage others to seek out help for their own benefit.

Every year MIAW is put on by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, known as NAMI, in order to spread awareness through nationally sponsored events, press-filled rallies, articles, and local community outreach and support groups to make mental illness a priority.

With advances in medicine, science, and psychology as well as a great support system of friends, family, and a community a person living with a mental illness has the ability to recover. However, recovery is not guaranteed within the boundaries of mental illness because there is a large and differing variety of illnesses and none of them are bound to the same rules.

NAMI uses all branches of government from national, state, and local to provide assistance to groups planning events for Mental Illness Awareness Week in order to create a cohesive, well thought-out program that provides both subsequent information to those affected by or curious about mental illnesses and adequate resources of support throughout the country for patients, families, neighbors, teachers, and friends.

There are thousands of people in America living with mental illnesses that go untreated. According to statistics culled from NAMI, the economic cost of untreated mental illness is over 100 billion dollars per year. In 2005, NAMI researchers found that an untreated mental illness can often lead to a worse-case scenario later in life that is harder to treat. Researchers at NAMI also found that, “…Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and that despite effective treatments, there are long delays-sometimes decades-between first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.” If mental illnesses are left untreated, many individuals who cannot find the correct form of treatment, can leave them searching for something else including confusion, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide among other serious options.

However dreary the statistics may seem, NAMI also shares uplifting facts that can bring hope for those who are suffering. By using a combination of psychosocial and pharmacological support regimens and treatment options, between 70 and 90 percent of individuals studied have significantly reduced symptoms and changed their lives drastically for the better.

With early intervention, professional studies have shown that mental illness can be regulated with careful planning and social techniques in order to keep the individual as happy, stable, and routine as possible. Besides just having a routine, researchers agree that education holds the key to unlocking the future of mental illness which is the hope of finding a cure.

If you want to help out during MIAW or anytime during the year, you can find resources on the NAMI website to set up a fundraiser, informational talk, or awareness event in your area. If you or someone you know is being affected by mental illness and needs help, you can call the toll free NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

Mental Health – Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 4 – 10 | Health News

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October 6, 2009 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , , ,

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