This week is National Mental Illness Awareness week here in the United States. My family and I aren't strangers to mental illness, as my grandmother suffered from bipolar disease. Although I had intended on doing something, I received an email from a reader wishing to remain anonymous who had a story and a request that they wanted to share with me. The reader mentioned that for the longest time they had been struggling with depression. It had never gotten to the point of suicide, but they had been in a pretty sad place. With the help of their family, friends, and their doctor, they have overcome their depression and are happier than they have ever been. The person asked me to utilize my forum to spread awareness for depression, suicide, and other mental illness issues so that others who might be reading this blog know that things can get better and that there is help out there. So today, for my random act of kindness, I would like to share some information and links to places for people to educate themselves about mental illness to help themselves or others around them.
26% of the population of the United States (or 57.7 million people) suffers from some sort of mental illness, with almost a quarter of these cases being deemed "serious." Mental illness knows no bounds as it affects every race, every sex, and every nationality. There are so many different organizations out there that are dedicated to specific types of mental illness or issues. Here are just a few:
- The National Alliance of Mental Illness is dedicated to building better lives for those struggling with mental illness.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is an anonymous place for anyone with in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress. (800-273-8255)
- The Veteran's Crisis Line is similar to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, but caters to the needs of America's veterans of war. (800-273-8255 press 1)
- Mental Health America provides behavioral health services for those struggling with mental health issues.
- The Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance is connects those with depression and Bi-polar disorder with others, and helps to create support groups.
- Project Borderline is an organization run by Chicago Bear Brandon Marshall which is dedicated to helping those with borderline personality disorder gain access to the necessary resources they need.