NAMI, Recovery Zone: Become inspired, informed and involved

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National Alliance on Mental Illness observes Mental Health Month to raise awareness about mental illness and call on all Americans to be “Into Mental Health: Inspired, Informed, Involved.”

The campaign focuses on the power of starting inspiring conversations, being informed to know the right thing to say and becoming involved with NAMI activities.

“Sixty million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness and every American is affected through their friends and family,” said Mary Giliberti, CEO of NAMI. “Mental Health Month is a time for us all to come together, to inspire people, raise awareness and become involved so we can build better lives for millions of people with mental illness. We’re asking everyone to join with us to say, “I’m in to mental health!”

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. Here are facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness.

• 1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition and 1 in 25 adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness.

• Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.

• 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable.

• The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and supports.

Mental Health Month is an opportunity to take action where people can provide support, advocate for equal care and fight stigma — a sense of shame and disgrace that sets someone apart from others. Dealing with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation and blame that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to moving forward in one’s recovery.

Mental Health Month provides the opportunity for people to come together to fight stigma.

“We want everyone to know they are not alone on this journey and together, we have hope,” said Giliberti.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI and Recovery Zone of Logan and Champaign Counties conduct their 20th Annual Mental Health Awareness Walk beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at the West Liberty Lions Park (shelter house 3).

The public is invited to attend. We request a $15 donation to be part of the walk which includes a T-shirt. There will be prizes, food, fun and an Earth friendly balloon launch.

The event is rain or shine.

For more information, contact Pete Floyd, president of the local NAMI chapter, (937) 750-1702