Time to celebrate rise in awareness

National Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 7-13, 2012 provides an opportune time to call attention to, celebrate, and promote the recent programs and initiatives designed to educate the public about serious mental illness.

  • Former U.S. Surgeon General, David Satcher, Morehouse School of Medicine, teamed up with the National Football League (NFL) to educate and fight stigma in an initiative called, NFL Community Huddle: Taking a Goal Line Stand for Your Mind and Body. The National Baseball League (NBL) followed with their initiative, Stepping Up to the Plate;
  • The U.S. military has taken steps to educate and insure that treatment programs for Post-Traumatic Stress disorder and other mental disorders are available;
  • Faith-based support and educational initiatives are on the rise;
  • Many colleges now offer counseling and support groups for students who are experiencing the symptoms of mental illness;
  • Children and Adolescent support programs in junior and high schools are growing;
  • Mental Health First Aid is a new 12-hour education program designed for Individuals who desire to become mental health firstaid responders;
  • The Media are bringing to the public some success stories of individuals living with mental Illness rather than just the unfortunate and discouraging stories of untreated mental illness.

The benefits of ongoing efforts to educate and promote public awareness of mental illness are far-reaching. The rise in mental illness programs can not only reduce stigma but positively influence funding of critical national and state programs and result in faster and more effective responses to mental health disorders. Let’s all help in some way to get the word out!

Katie Petray

Info Corner

Building Awareness: Mental Illness’ Special Week NAMI

Public Awareness SAMSHA