Author: Racheal Mosimann
Mental Illness Awareness Week is from October 2nd-9th, 2022. This week serves as a reminder that people who struggle with mental illness are just as capable, deserving and important as those without. It is important to shine a light on mental illness and mental health to promote education and understanding as it can save lives. Anyone can help reduce mental health stigma by:
- Educating yourself
- Educating others
- Being conscious of your language
- Normalize mental health treatment
- Be open-minded
1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in the United States. That means at LEAST 20% of U.S. adults have a mental illness. While it is not uncommon to have mental illness or struggle with mental health, there is still a shameful stigma surrounding mental health. This may not seem as problem some as it is due to lack of personal impact. Until it happens to you.
Imagine sitting at home struggling. Alone. You want to talk to someone. You NEED to talk to someone, but you’re afraid of the judgement, lack of understanding, or even being vulnerable. On the other side, imagine if someone you know, and love was suffering in silence. This can often lead to unhealthy behaviors or unchangeable outcomes.
Now imagine the same scenarios, but without the stigma that is attached to mental health. Everyone deserves to not feel alone, especially when they are suffering. Because of the stigma, many are afraid to reach out for help or have even felt belittled when they do so. The stigma around mental health can be overwhelming and even deadly. That is why it is important to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
The first step in ending mental health stigma is to become educated. It is normal to fear, judge, or withdraw from things we do not understand or know about. However, it is imperative that we don’t run from what we don’t understand to grow not only ourselves, but our communities.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. You are not alone. There is support.
Valeo’s 24-Hour Crisis Center: 400 SW Oakley Avenue.
Valeo’s 24-Hour Crisis Line is 785-234-3300.
*Valeo will be providing free mental health assessments at LULAC Senior Center 1502 NE Seward Avenue October 4th – October 6th from 10am-12pm.*
*Valeo will be providing free mental health assessments at Brewster Place on October 10th and October 13th from 9am-12pm.*