Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) takes place October 3-9 and offers an opportunity to learn more about serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Education changes attitudes and lives. The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center continues to educate the public, as well as mental health professionals, aiming to improve the lives of individuals and families suffering from mental illness.
Many people in our community are directly affected by mental illness. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 lives with serious, chronic disorders.
The good news is that treatment does work and recovery is possible. The bad news is that in many states, including ours, services are being cut.
On average, people living with serious mental illness live 25 years less than the rest of the population. Less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment. Those receiving treatment, which could include psychotropic medication, as well as psychotherapy, may enjoy longer, more enjoyable and productive lives.
The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it. That’s why this week is so important. We want people to understand mental illness and join a dialogue in our community. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the help and support they need.
When mental health care is cut, the community suffers greater costs from lost jobs and careers, broken families, homelessness, higher insurance costs, and increased use of hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police and courts, jails and prisons.
This week, the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center participated in the Greater Cleveland NAMI Walk in support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. To learn more about how psychoanalysts are working to prevent and treat mental illness in Northeast Ohio, visit psychoanalysiscleveland.org. Learn more about mental illness support, education and advocacy at www.nami.org. Please join the effort to abolish the stigma associated with seeking help for mental illness and distress.