On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness information for all Oklahomans, published three times a week.

This Week is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental illness can be a silent disease. Those who suffer from mental illness often feel shame and work hard to hide their condition. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still subjected to stigma and discrimination, causing many to continue suffering in silence. But in reality, mental illness is incredibly common. In fact, the numbers can sound staggering.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year
  • 16 million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year
  • 18 percent of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias in the last year
  • Approximately 3 percent of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 10–24
This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Each year, the week provides an opportunity to provide support to those who suffer from mental illness and educate the public about the disease. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling on everyone to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope by taking the #StigmaFree pledge at www.nami.org/stigmafree. In addition, as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Depression Screening Day will be held this Thursday. Much like the medical community screens for diabetes and high blood pressure, this program provides free, anonymous screenings for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also provides referral information for treatment resources if needed. The screening event is conducted by hospitals, clinics, colleges, and community groups nationwide. If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, visit us this Thursday, Oct. 6, for a free mental health screening at screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/integris. NAMI offers information about mental illness conditions, symptoms and treatment at www.nami.org/ or through its HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). Learn more about Mental Illness Awareness Week at www.nami.org/miaw and don't forget to take the #StigmaFree pledge at www.nami.org/stigmafree.

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