According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis. If you have — or think you might have — a mental illness, the first thing you must know is that you are not alone.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to increase public awareness of mental health conditions. We can break down the stigma by ending the silence. One in five adults, roughly 19% of Americans live with a mental illness, this is in addition to millions of children. Comparatively, mental illness is just as prevalent (or more) than some common physical ailments:
7.7% of Americans are diagnosed with asthma
10% of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes
Despite this, stigma toward the prevention and treatment of mental illness persists. Just as we care for our physical health, the attention we give our mental health is equally as important. Physical and mental health often work in tandem, and either can have a significant effect on the other. Here are resources if you or someone you love should ever find themselves in crisis.
We are excited to be joined by Beth Lamarre, Executive Director of the of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Rhode Island to discuss the stigmas related to addressing mental health and ways we in Rhode Island can breakdown the stigma and end the silence.
If you need immediate help:
NAMI Helpline – 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M-F 10 am – 6 pm or Text 741741 for 24/7, confidential free crisis counseling
A free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. HelpLine staff and volunteers are experienced, well-trained and able to provide guidance. https://namirhodeisland.org/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
SAMHSA National Helpline – 1‑800‑662-HELP (1‑800‑662‑4357)
A confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
National Alliance on Mental Health - https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month
Mental Health America - https://mhanational.org/mental-health-month
Mental Health First Aid, Self Care - https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2020/11/self-care-take-care-of-your-mental-health-during-covid-19/
Mental First Aid, Helping Teens During COVID - https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2020/04/tips-to-help-teens-cope-during-covid-19/