As we continue our May is Mental Health month posts – this will be our third in the series – Perkins School is hoping to raise awareness about the importance of speaking up on the issue of mental health. We know that mental health illnesses are common and treatable. So often, clinical terms don’t do justice to what life with a mental health illness feels like. We are hoping, through these posts, we can raise awareness and remove the stigma so that more people will be willing to break the silence and talk openly about what they are experiencing.
The information for this post has been gleaned from Mental Health America. Mental Health America (MHA) – founded in 1909 – is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Their extensive packet of information can be found here. It is their hope to make talking about mental health as common as talking about other diseases.
The number of people affected is staggering, and silence isn’t helping anyone. For example, there are over 3,300,000 American adults between the ages of 18-64 who will experience bipolar disorder in a given year, according to Mental Health America’s statistics. That’s more than the population of San Francisco, Seattle, Nashville, Indianapolis and New Orleans combined, and yet there is a stigma that causes silence. Bipolar is not moodiness, being overly emotional, being a drama queen or having multiple personalities. Bipolar disorder is sometimes called manic-depressive disorder and is associated with mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. There is no cure, but treatment will help. To learn more about bi-polar disorder and other common mental health illnesses visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net.