Lately there have been many news stories about violence in our country attributed to people with mental illnesses. While it is difficult to ignore the violence, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore the various maladies afflicting people and how they are showing up in our daily lives. Maybe it is hard for some of us to admit, but in our families is some relative who is schizophrenic or bipolar and taking medication to function. And we all know people who are either stigmatizing people with mental illnesses or feeling stigmatized by their own illnesses.
The month of October has a number of observances that present excellent opportunities to be educated, to educate or simply share resources with others concerning mental illness. A month of awareness begins with Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 6-13). October 10 is World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day. ADHD Awareness Week is October 13-19 and OCD Awareness Week is October 14-19. Monthly observances are National Bullying Prevention Month and National Mental Health Screening Month.
Throughout the year are other awareness months, weeks and days. July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. You can find a host of resources in this tool box or you can submit your own story to the You Are Not Alone Campaign (there are biographies of famous people who battled mental illness here).
The best way to thwart the stigmas related to mental illness is to educate. Let us help by being aware.