The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) spends the first full week of October fighting stigma, offering support, educating the public and advocating for equal care for those living with a mental health condition. While these are a year round focus for them, this week highlights mental illness awareness and 2015 marks its 25th anniversary.
This year’s theme revolves around building momentum through the new StigmaFree initiative. Being stigma free means:
- learning about and educating others on mental illness
- focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis; and most importantly
- taking action on mental health issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge.
Did you know…
- 1 in every 5 adults – 43.7 million – in America experiences a mental illness.
- 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
- Nearly 1 in 25 adults – approximately 13.6 million –in America live with a serious mental illness.
Mental Illness Awareness Week encourages people to come together to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
How can you get involved?
You can learn how to spread awareness this week on the NAMI site. You can involve friends and family in a movie night, book club or awareness day at work or school. Share your story on the You Are Not Alone page. Engage your community in advocating for mental health. Learn the facts. Or join a NAMI Walks team.
National Depression Screening Day
Held on October 8th, during Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) is comprised of awareness events that include an optional screening component.
National Depression Screening Day began in 1990 as an effort by Screening for Mental Health (SMH) to reach individuals across the nation with important mental health education and connect them with support services. Today, NDSD has expanded to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations providing the program to the public each year.
So however you choose to get involved this week, don’t forget to log in to your PatientsLikeMe community to continue sharing your own stories with others.
Let’s fight stigma, together.
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