Congress established Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990 to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). They designated the first week in October for this observation. This year, the theme is “What People With Mental Illness Want You to Know”. The purpose is to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders. Mental Health Awareness Week is important for several reasons. Learn more about why this week is so significant by calling San Antonio Recovery Center at 866.957.7885 today.
Overcoming the Stigma
One thing people struggling with mental health issues want you to know is that there is a lot of stigma surrounding these issues. Many people suffer in silence because of shame. “What will my friends think?” “Will I lose my job?” “Will my family understand?” These are the questions that go through the mind of someone with a mental disorder regularly. Everyone can fight the stigma by becoming more aware of these disorders and developing compassion for them.
Mental Health Issues Affect Everyone
If you aren’t personally affected by mental illness, you most likely are close to someone who has. Millions of children, teens, and adults in the United States are battling a mental health condition.
Many People Don’t Seek Treatment
Those with mental health issues wait for years between the onset of symptoms and seeking treatment. Treatment rates have increased in recent years, but many people still don’t get the care they need. Many people who needed treatment did not receive treatment for their mental health disorders in 2018. These numbers can improve with awareness, by recognizing the signs of mental disorders, and by encouraging loved ones to seek treatment.
Ripple Effect of Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders have many impacts on the person experiencing the disorder and their loved ones. They might be at an increased risk of health issues, such as cardiovascular diseases. Many emergency room visits are due to mental health disorders. Family members are often required to spend time caring for loved ones with mental problems. Adolescents are less likely to finish school if they are struggling to cope with mental issues. It greatly increases the risk of juvenile incarceration and homelessness.
Effectiveness of Treatment
In spite of the severe effects of untreated mental health disorders, treatment can be very effective. Treatment can help restore the client to a normal way of functioning, greatly improving their life. As their life is improved, their family and community are improved as well. This makes treatment important for the person with the disorder, but also for the family and community. In fact, it’s a worldwide issue with worldwide implications. Treatment is often most effective when it uses a combination approach. This may include medications, individual therapy, and group therapy.
Knowing the Signs of Mental Health Issues
Mental Illness Awareness Week also brings awareness to the signs of mental health disorders. There is a wide range of symptoms and signs that occur with different illnesses.
However, a few of the most common signs of mental health disorders are:
- Frequent feelings of anxiety or worry that interfere with daily life
- Losing interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Sleep disturbances, sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Extreme emotional outbursts that are disproportionate to the situation
Contact San Antonio Recovery Center for Mental Health Treatment
Approximately half of those with a substance use disorder also have a mental health disorder. If you struggle with both, you have a dual diagnosis that requires dual diagnosis treatment. At San Antonio Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, we offer a dual diagnosis treatment program. Your greatest chance for successful recovery is treating both disorders at the same time with an individualized approach. To learn more about our program, contact us at 866.957.7885 today.