Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, as one in five U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. However, everyone is affected or impacted by mental illness through friends and family.
May is mental health awareness month, which makes it the perfect time to start talking about mental illnesses and what we can do to Make it Ok. Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation, blame and secrecy that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to reaching out, getting needed support and living well.
When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being.
Mental illnesses are treatable health conditions very common in the world today. They can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, or income. But people are still afraid to talk about them due to shame, misunderstanding, negative attitudes, and fear of discrimination. Most will wait an average of 10 years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma.
Mental Health Statistics:
•Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays — sometimes decades — between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.
•Only 41 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9 percent received mental health services in the past year.
•Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.
•Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.
We are part of a local effort to change hearts and minds about the misconceptions about mental illnesses. The effort is part of a campaign called “Make It OK,” and is designed to encourage people to talk more openly about mental illnesses and ask for help. It’s our goal to reach out, connect, inspire hope and offer help.
When we start talking, we realize that mental illnesses are more common and relatable than we think. And more importantly, people experiencing mental illnesses will be treated with respect, acceptance and be more apt to get the care they need.
By breaking the silence, the “Make It OK” campaign hopes to destigmatize mental illnesses as a result people will be more willing to seek out the care they need. Visit www.MakeItOk.org to learn more about the campaign and to learn what you can say. For more information also visit www.nami.org.
Together, we can make it Ok!
Sheldon movie screening
Please join us May 23rd at our FREE, family friendly dinner and showing of Inside Out at the Sheldon Theater in Red Wing. Inside Out is a 2015 Pixar/Disney film. The film is set in the mind of a young girl, where five personified emotions try to lead her through life as her parents move from Minnesota to San Francisco, and she has to adjust to her new surroundings.
Doors open and a free dinner is served at 5:30 p.m., followed by a brief introduction at 6:15 p.m. and movie showing at 6:30 p.m. The movie will be followed by resource tables surrounding mental health and mental illnesses to help us start the conversation to “Make it Ok!”