HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/14/12) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one of the two themes being used to highlight mental health issues this year is “Do More for 1 in 4”. This theme refers to the fact that one in four American adults are living with diagnosable, treatable mental health disorders. However, statistics actually show that one in three American adults is living with mental disorders that can be treated.
Statistics currently being shared from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website exclude developmental and substance use disorders. Substance disorders, like alcoholism, are recognized by the rest of the world as a mental disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV) recognizes substance disorders, so why not the NIMH?If we break down the numbers the way the NCS-R does and include the statistics for people with substance disorders the numbers clearly show a more accurate figure.
As we can see on the chart below, women are at a greater risk for anxiety and panic disorders. Women are also slightly more at risk when it comes to mood disorders, such as depression.
Men, on the other hand, are at a greater risk for impulse-control disorders and substance disorders. Men have more than twice the risk for alcoholism and three times the risk for drug abuse.
May has been celebrated as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949 to raise awareness for mental health conditions and mental wellness. The second theme being used this year is “Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds”, which focuses on the impact for individuals and communities in regards to traumatic events.
Peer support can be a helpful tool when it comes to recovery. There are many different organizations that offer support groups to people with mental health concerns, their family members, and friends. Some organizations offer on-line support.
Mental Health America is “the leading advocacy organization addressing the full spectrum of mental and substance use conditions and their effects nationwide.” The organization works to inform, advocate and enable access to behavioral health services for anyone living in America. The group has nearly a century of experience and during that time has utilized national and grassroots actions to promote mental health, and address mental and substance use issues with compassion and viable solutions. They have 240 affiliates in 41 states.
If you need help finding support groups in your area you can utilize your local Mental Health America affiliate as a resource.
The American Self-Help Clearinghouse and the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse are two other organizations that can provide support group referrals. Both groups maintain listings of a wide range of different mental health support groups.
There are a variety of national toll-free 24 hour hotlines that can be utilized as well.
Child-Help USA: 1-800-422-4453
Covenant House Nineline: 1-800-999-9999
Boys Town: 1-800-448-3000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
If you or someone you know needs help, please do your part for Mental Health Awareness Month by helping make others aware of the above information.
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