HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the National Alliance on Mental Illness organization.
October 4 through October 10, 2015 is Mental Illness Awareness Week.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling on everyone to learn the symptoms of mental illness conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and to “go stigma free.” This is the perfect time for Mississippians to take the StigmaFree Pledge sponsored by NAMI.
One in five adults experience mental illness problems every year; however, 50 percent of chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.
On the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding, mental illness networks and faith leaders are urged to work to together so that they may recognize and bring awareness to an issue many Americans face every day.
Churches, temples, mosques, and faith communities reach 70 percent of the American population each month. In the U.S., clergy outnumber psychiatrists by nearly 10 to one and are more equitably distributed geographically than health professionals.
The prayers and actions of both faith communities and secular organizations are needed to restore mental wellness in America. The church can fight against misinformation, indifference, and ridicule of people living with mental illness by educating both youth and adult congregations. Families affected by mental illness are challenged by some serious faith questions, just as others going through experiences that ask much of them. Educated faith communities can offer emotional, relational, and spiritual counseling to persons touched by mental illness.