Mental health affects ALL of us. It crosses every demographic and every ocean! World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2018) reminds us that we are not alone in our struggle to view mental wellness as equally important as physical health.
A Global Issue
We are not unique in struggling with untreated mental illness and stigma. It’s a global issue. In a recent interview with TIME, Indian psychiatrist, Dr. Bharat Vatwani, shares how mental illness continues to be taboo in India despite a 2015 survey commissioned by the Government of India which showed that while nearly 150 million Indians need mental health care, less than 30 million seek help. Dr. Vatwani contributes this to, “Lack of awareness. It is the lack of scientific knowledge which is the stumbling block… Though global attitudes to mental illness are changing, in India the topic remains a social taboo and is stigmatized to the extent that majority of those suffering from it don’t admit they have a problem.”
Sound familiar? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) calls this the virus of stigma. One in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. Go to CureStigma.org to find out if you’ve been infected by stigma.
Ready to get help for you or a loved one? Don’t know where to start? Start with the basics. Complete a mental health screening, print it out, and take the results to your doctor as a next step.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. (18%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder. Take an anxiety screening here.
An estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds experience depression. Take a depression screening here.
Learn about other mental health conditions on our Topics page.
If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of distress, please reach out to a mental health professional or get confidential, free support and text LOOKUP to 494949.
If you live in Indiana and need help finding a behavioral health provider, visit Find Help or call (800) 284-8439.
Start the conversation. Silence the Stigma.