Commentary: Let’s Start a Community Discussion About Mental Illness | Commentary
While we may not like to talk about it at the dinner table, mental illnesses are real and prevalent in our nation, and approximately half of us will have a mental health diagnosis at some point in our lives. And what better time to talk about it than during May, which is also known nationally as Mental Health Month.
It’s no secret that all Americans experience times of difficulty and stress in their lives, and you and I are not exempt from the problems of daily life. When our troubles begin to overtake our mental health, we should all feel comfortable in seeking help and support to manage these times in a compassionate, judgement-free way.
When dealing with mental illness, engaging in prevention, early identification and early intervention are as effective in treating the condition as they are in treating the burden of other chronic conditions. With effective treatment, all individuals with mental illnesses — even serious mental illnesses — can make progress toward recovery and lead full, productive lives.
Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and it is the responsibility of every business, school, government agency, healthcare provider, organization and citizen to promote mental health and well-being for all. As a community, let’s do our part to increase awareness and understanding of mental health.
Perhaps it’s as easy as starting a conversation tonight at your dinner table.
Monica A. Farrar, CRC, LMHC