World Mental Health Day is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 10th. Although this day is dedicated to the importance of raising awareness about mental health, awareness is important every day. Unfortunately, often stigmas exist because of the lack of conversation regarding mental health. With approximately 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental illness in the US, it affects nearly everyone. Those numbers add up to 43.8 million people or 18.5% of the population. If you do not personally suffer from a mental illness, chances are someone close to you does.
The need for mental health awareness stems from the fact that so few adults are seeking the help they need. In fact, only 41% of adults in the US with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. This means that the majority of Americans who should be seeking therapy or medical attention are not. Much of this is due to the fact that going to therapy has a two-fold stigma for many people.
For one, social stigma is characterized by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behavior directed at those who have mental health problems. This stigma is prevalent within friends and families of those who have mental illnesses. This makes it even more difficult for adolescents, for example, to seek the therapy and an appropriate diagnosis.
The second stigma is self-inflicting – it is called self-stigma, and is characterized by the internalized sense of shame, which can unfortunately lead to poor treatment. However, if the conversation about mental health was more educational and understanding, then those with mental health concerns are more likely to seek help without fear.
Advantage Mental Health Center will be celebrating World Mental Health Day on October 10th. Although it is an important date for mental health awareness, the fight against stigmas is an everyday struggle. By bringing attention to those stigmas, we can soon, hopefully, bring an end to them. Whether you are struggling with parenting issues, anxiety or any other mental health issue, if you need help, don’t wait. Contact the caring professionals at Advantage Mental Health Center to schedule an appointment.