Hello again Arizona Collegiate DECA members. As October is the month of Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day, I thought it would be fitting to create this comprehensive guide with some facts, tips, and resources for those who may be affected and prospective allies.
In a given year, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness. Three-quarters of chronic mental illness begin by the age 24 (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
As young adults, we are especially at risk. While mental health disorders seem invisible, it is likely you or someone close to you has experienced one. It is important that we look beyond the stigma and ensure that us and everyone around us receive the support and care that we need.
Despite its prevalence, only 40 percent of adults with a mental illness receive treatment (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
Mental health care is health care and healthy brains are just as important as healthy bodies. If you or a friend were injured or sick, you would most likely visit a doctor. As with your physical health, avoiding treatment for your mental health could have a negative impact in your quality of life.
The effects of serious mental illness cost the United States approximately $193 billion in lost earnings each year (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
When struggling with a mental illness, you aren’t your best. The symptoms of untreated mental illness can cause serious harm to your personal and professional lives, or even harm to life itself.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24 (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
What makes suicide so incredibly tragic is that it is preventable. Knowing the signs and how to care for yourself and be an effective ally to those in need can help save lives.
One easy first step to take for better mental health is keeping track of self-care. You can do this with a daily self-care checklist like the one below:
While these activities may seem simple or menial, they can make a major difference in your self worth and daily outlook. When you are clean and healthy, you feel better about yourself. Some of the first signs of a developing mental illness is overlooking self-care.
Knowing the signs of common mental illnesses can also help you asses yourself and those around you. While identifying the signs will not give a definitive diagnosis, understanding them can help catch symptoms early and bring about better treatment. Some common symptoms of mental illness include:
If you think you, or someone close to you is suffering from a mental illness
Possibly the most prominent issue in mental health care is stigma. Stigma is the negative perception of mental illness in society. The mentally ill can face isolation and fear from others based in stigma, and because of this often do not look for treatment or diagnosis. We can stop stigma through education and social outreach. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has created the Stigma Free Pledge as a way to stop the stigma and help patients receive the care and acceptance they deserve.
Sign the Stigma Free Pledge!
Free self-screenings courtesy of Mental Health America
Support for those with a condition
Information for allies
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
“Mental Health By the Numbers.” National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers
“Know The Warning Signs.” National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Know-the-Warning-Signs