Article Courtesy of Forbes.com
For the millions of persons living and coping with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia, the arrival of Mental Health Awareness Week this year, October 4-10, is no different than any other week: their ongoing battles, struggles and coping with their illness is the same this week as it was last week.
But for the nation, it’s an important reminder of the stigma that still exists toward persons who are diagnosed with mental illness.
Congress, in 1990, designated the first week of October as Mental Health Awareness Week, in support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) efforts to raise awareness about its devastating effects on lives and generations.
The Numbers Behind Mental Illness
According to NAMI, nearly 1 in 4 Americans (62 million persons) are affected by mental illness annually, and 1 in 17 (14 million persons) lives with a major mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Close to 20 percent of teens from 13-18 cope with mental illness annually, and about 18 percent of adults (42 million persons) cope with anxiety disorders.