Mental Illness Awareness Week: Why Care?

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mental illnessWe safely describe the fall months as a time of awareness. September is both National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Two other salient observances take place in October. This is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), and October is National Depression Awareness Month.

Later this month, we will discuss depression at length. We must do so considering that many people who struggle with addiction also contend with depressive disorders. What’s more, people in recovery have to manage their depression each day in order to protect against relapse. Seven percent of adults in the United States face the reality of depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

In America, many people have issues with discussing mental health and its importance to overall well-being. Even though one in five adults contends with some form of mental illness, stigma and misunderstanding prevail. However, we have the power to change our outlook on mental health disorders, be more compassionate, and encourage millions to seek help.

Recovery is possible, but for more people to seek assistance, they need to be free of shame. Shame is the unfortunate byproduct of stigmas and ignorance. No one should be made to feel at fault for their mental illness. People living with other treatable health disorders are not subjected to ostracization. The same should then be true for mental and behavioral health conditions.

Organizations like NAMI and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) tirelessly work to cure stigma and encourage more people to care. They understand that compassionate caring for family, friends, or coworkers living with mental illness is suitable for all of us. Even if you don’t have a mental illness, you know someone else who does.

Why Care? About Mental Illness

Mental Illness Awareness Week is critical to helping the public exercise greater compassion. Expressing concern and understanding for one another changes lives. Together, we can break down the barriers that prevent millions of men and women from seeking treatment and finding recovery.

NAMI’s Why Care? campaign aims to “shift the social and systemic barriers that prevent people from building better lives.” The goal is possible when people become advocates for mental health. Each American can play a pivotal role in raising awareness. No amount of effort is too small.

Social media provides a unique forum that allows average citizens, in recovery and out, to spread messages of hope. NAMI ask that we all take a moment this week and throughout the year and share important facts about mental health disorders.

People in recovery are encouraged to share how support or care from others has helped them heal. The organization asks you to share text, graphics, video, or any other medium that will let others know that they are not alone. If you decide to post messages or share your experience, then please use: #NAMICares, #WhyCare, #MIAW, #MIAW19, or #CureStigma. NAMI writes:

Care is a simple 4-letter word, but a powerful way to change lives for people affected by mental illness. It’s an action. It’s a feeling. It’s a gift we give to ourselves and to each other. People feel loved when someone cares. People feel heard when someone cares. People recover when someone cares. Society changes when people care. Entire systems change when people care. For more than 40 years, NAMI has been a beacon of help and hope by providing the support, education, and advocacy to ensure that all people affected by mental health conditions get the care they need and deserve.

Colorado Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center

More than half of people living with addiction contend with a co-occurring mental illness or dual diagnosis. At NorthStar Transitions, each of our clients is evaluated for co-occurring disorders that may contribute to chemical dependency.

Our team of highly trained addiction professionals and board-certified addiction psychiatrists understands that long-term recovery hinges on treating both addiction and co-occurring illness concurrently. Please contact us today to learn more about our rehab programs; we are available at any time to answer your questions and help you get on the path to recovery.