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Mental Illness Awareness Week: Improving the odds 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

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Mental illness is treatable, but too often the people who need help don’t get it. Consider that 75 percent of chronic mental illness cases begin by age 24, but decades may pass between a person’s first symptoms and initial treatment. Only 41 percent of adults in the United States with a mental illness received services in the past year.

As we kick off Mental Illness Awareness Week today (which includes National Depression Screening Day on Thursday and World Mental Health Day on Saturday), let’s all take steps to end the stigma and spread the word that mental illness deserves the same attention as any physical ailment.

“Treatment for mental illness is effective, greatly reducing symptoms, and the earlier intervention begins, the better the outcomes,’’ said NewBridge Services Chief Operating Officer Michelle Borden, a licensed clinical social worker.

Take the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ StigmaFree pledge and learn common warning signs of mental illnesses, which affect an estimated one in five of us:

  • Excessive fear, worry, or sadness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Isolation: avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulty understanding or NMIAWNMIAWrelating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Inability to carry out daily activities

Mental Health.org offers self-screenings for depression, anxiety, addiction and other conditions. Click here to take one or more and use the results to decide if you should consult with your doctor or a mental health professional. If you or someone you love needs help, contact NewBridge Services at newbridge.org or call (888) 746-9333 or (973) 316-9333.

 

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