This week, Oct. 7–13, we recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week, a time to come together to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.
Mental illness is a medical condition, but it is often surrounded by stigma or stereotypes that prevent people from getting the help they need. One in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given year. Approximately half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by the age of 14. Unfortunately, long delays—sometimes decades—often occur between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help. Early identification and treatment are important.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, offers information about mental illness conditions, symptoms and treatment at www.nami.org or through its HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264) or IN A CRISIS TEXT NAMI TO 741741.
The local affiliate, NAMI Tri-Cities, provides classes and groups providing information, education and support to people living with a mental health condition and their friends and families. Visit www.namitricities.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a schedule of activities.
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Fred Yapuncich, President, NAMI Tri-Cities