National Mental Health Month

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May is national mental health month. Approximately one in five Americans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post traumatic stress disorder are just a few illnesses that can affect us.

Many people will suffer in silence, as they feel ashamed to admit that they have a problem requiring professional help. Others may feel
overwhelmed by their condition or may not know where to begin looking for the support they need. Still others may lack the funds to receive adequate care for their condition, whether that be medication, counseling, or both. In these cases, programs that offer treatment free of charge or at reduced cost to patients are absolutely vital.

Since 1949, the month of May has been dedicated to bringing awareness, support, and hope to those suffering from such conditions. For many, these health issues can be crippling, causing strained relationships, loss of friends and loved ones, and difficulty maintaining employment to name just a few. In fact, four of the top leading causes of disability in the United Sates are mental health conditions, showing again just how devastating these illnesses can be for those suffering from them and their families.

Continued research into the causes of mental illness, successful treatments with limited side effects, and support to remove the social stigma surrounding these conditions is needed.

Every year, thousands of those suffering from mental illness take their own lives, leaving their family and friends crushed by the sudden loss of their loved one. Early intervention, support, and removing the burden of shame many feel when deciding to seek help for these conditions can save many lives.

Through the month of May you may notice fundraisers or other programs put on by mental health organizations throughout the United States. Please look for such events in your area and support them with donations or volunteer work. Together we can work to provide support and understanding to those suffering from serious mental illness, allowing them the resources they need to heal.