Human Issues

Will you take the pledge with me? #MentalHealthMonth #StigmaFree @NAMICommunicate #IAmStigmaFree

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Between entertaining relatives taking shelter with us through Hurricane Matthew, starting a new role at work, and getting hooked on Civilization V, I’ve really had to cut back my time spent on social media. I can’t say it has hurt me a bit. Of course I normally go offline a lot during an election season because the extremes on both sides drive me away, but this year seems even different – darker – meaner.

When I do get on the Internet and see the headlines, I find myself getting angry or sad – especially about the stories involving children. In just the past week or so, three horrific stories kept popping up. Each version and update to each story released more graphic, heart-wrenching details.

Sadly, so many of these stories can be traced back to untreated (or poorly treated) mental health issues.

 

  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.1

  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.2

  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.3

 

I have people very close to me suffering from serious mental health issues. I see how they struggle to get the right help. I see how they have to “explain” themselves to people over and over again. I get frustrated and angry when people judge the people I love… and yet, just today I caught myself getting emotional and throwing around phrases like “crazy” and “wackos.” I know what hurt language like that can cause. It doesn’t help anyone, and I decided I needed to revisit my behavior and renew my pledge to be #StigmaFree!

Please join me. Take a moment to check out the video below and visit Nami.org to learn more.

 

 

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Source: Nami
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-50, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4927. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Retrieved October 27, 2015 from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf
2. Any Anxiety Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml
3. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Delmar, N.Y: Skowyra, K.R. & Cocozza, J.J. Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2007_Blueprint-for-Change-Full-Report.pdf

 

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