Mental Illness Awareness Week
What is mental illness?
Mental illness can be defined as “… a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines (Mental Health America, 2018).” These illnesses can take emotional, physical, and spiritual tolls on those who face them on a daily basis. There are more than 200 different forms of mental illness, which can range from mood disorders to severe personality disorders.
Who has mental illness?
Mental illness is more common than you may think; nearly everyone is affected in some way, whether it’s personally or through friends and family. In young adults, as many as 1 in 5 live with a diagnosable mental health condition. A majority of these people develop symptoms by the time they are 24. This population has the highest rate for mental illness out of any age group. In Nevada about 22% of people ages 18-25 said they had some form of mental illness in any given year; only about 9% of that group said they received any kind of treatment.
56 million Americans live with a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Even with millions of people facing mental conditions, there is still fear about coming forward with mental health conditions. This is due to stigma in our society.
The majority of people have faced some kind of stigma when talking about their mental condition. Stigma is the judgment and disapproval people face socially, when talking about or coming forward with certain issues; like their mental health (NAMI, 2018). Many people are afraid to openly talk about their health and often feel alone or trapped by it.
If someone you know tries to talk to you about what they are facing, it is important to be understanding of what they might be going through. Even if you don’t fully understand what that is, the best thing you can do is to be there for them and to listen. By dialing 211 in Nevada, you can get connected to mental health resources 24 hours a day. Join Healthy Young NV this week along with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, by raising awareness about mental conditions and by having compassion, empathy and respect for those around you who live with mental illness and together we can #CureStigma.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI Northern Nevada’s Information Line And Email
Phone: (775) 391-0191 (not a crisis line)
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMI Southern Nevada’s Information Line And Email
Phone: (702) 219-1675 (not a crisis line)
Email Address: email@example.com
Northern Nevada Area Crisis Line
Crisis Line: (775) 784-8090
NAMI Southern Nevada Area Crisis Line
Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
NAMI’s National Information Helpline
Free program running 24 hours a day to help connect you to mental health resources. Simply dial 2-1-1 on any phone to get help.
Mental Health America
National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
This blog was written for Healthy Young NV by Alec, an Immunize Nevada intern.