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Ask Dr. Angelia

The Adair Progress - 5/11/2017

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The awareness campaign is designed to raise societal consciousness for this important area of health. This movement started and has been an event every May since 1949. Mental Health awareness is important because each year millions of Americans are living with a mental health condition. As 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, everyoneftis impacted.ftMental illness is treatable and recovery possible. The problem is complicated with the stigma associated with seeking help. Consequently, many people suffer in silence rather than getting the help they so desperately need. Untreated mental concerns may result in suicide attempts and suicide completions are due the shame associated with seeking professional help. Further, 60% of people with a mental health problem wait over a year before having the courage to tell those people closest to them they are suffering according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).

"Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not signs of weakness. They are signs of trying to remain strong for far too long."

According to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), 75% of people with a mental health condition believe there is no understanding and/or compassion about their illness. Typically, these antiquated beliefs are referred to as mental health stigma. Although, if we use the proper language, it is in actuality -discrimination. The negative stereotypes that shame people with mental illness and prevent them from seeking help is a discriminatory, prejudicial viewpoint on sufferers of mental health issues. So it's time to talk about stigma for what it really is: prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is holding negative attitudes or beliefs about people who are viewed as different. Discrimination is acting on these ideas or beliefs.ft

People suffering with mental health problems are amongst the least likely of any group with a long-term health condition or disability to: find work, be in a long-term relationship, live in decent housing, be socially included in mainstream society. One can imagine the isolation and long suffering of individuals attempting to hide a mental illness rather than seeking the help they so desperately need.

As a society, we must face unfavorable attitudes surrounding mental health by encouraging more people to talk about it openly. Otherwise, as research shows, people won't seek the professional support; they need support that can lead to recovery. In the worst scenario, untreated mental illness can result in suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Love and listen to people with mental health concerns they are God's chosen to overcome the most difficult of illnesses! I promise to treat you and everyone else with love and respect every day please join me. Finally, Give and be Grateful in all things, Live in Joy, Peace, Belief and Grace. Enjoy a Larger than Life -Life. Love God and Love every Person. Amen.

Dr. Angelia S. Bryant, Certified and Licensed Professional Counselor at


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