Knowledge helps us deal with it

Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 4 -10


Photo by Käännöstoimisto Transly on Unsplash

What to say and what not to say makes a big difference.

While some people may consider Mental Health Awareness Week and Mental Illness Awareness Week similar, and they both share a week in October, these two designations do have their own history and their own sponsors. Mental Health Awareness Week is sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation, while Mental Illness Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

There is a wide range of mental illnesses, conditions that affect a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. Mental Illness Awareness Week is a time for people to spread awareness specifically about mental illnesses.

Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place every year during the first full week of October, so this year it’s from October 4 to 10. It was first recognized in 1990 by the U.S. Congress to educate and increase awareness about mental illnesses. Having awareness increases the chances for early intervention, which could result in a quicker recovery for persons suffering from mental illnesses.

With awareness, people can understand which adjectives should be avoided when describing people with mental illnesses. People are often ignorant about the appropriate and accepted terms used to describe various conditions. Terms that can be perceived in negative ways are often used unintentionally but can cause offense or even emotional harm.

Some people are not aware that mental illness is one of the most common health problems In the U.S. “Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (46.6 million in 2017). Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.” (Statistics)

One of the most common illnesses is depression, which impacts an estimated 300 million people and causes loss of interest or pleasure and general sadness, Anxiety is also common, affecting 18.1% of the population. Anxiety causes a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease.

If you are think or know you are suffering from a mental illness, know someone who could or does have one, then you could contact 1-800-273-TALK. If you are thinking about suicide, text HELLO to 741741. If you are in any type of crisis, use one of these hotlines or contact your doctor or seek help from a loved one.