News Article Details

October 7-13 is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Greensburg Daily News - 10/9/2018

Oct. 09--GREENSBURG -- October 7-13 marks Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness uses the opportunity each year to help dispell some of the stigma and misunderstandings attached to the subject of mental illnesses.

People with serious mental illnesses suffer as much from the lack of understanding from the general public as they do from their disease. The misconception that all mentally ill people are dangerous and violent is often reinforced by inaccurate journalism, literary sensationalism, and the entertainment industry. Actually, those suffering from mental illnesses are more often the victims of violence, withdrawn, frightened, and/or lonely.

Mental illness afflicts persons of any age, gender, race, income, or education-- in equal proportion throughout the world.

The term "mental illness" actually references not just one, but a group of debilitating illnesses -- such as the depressive disorders and schizophrenia -- causing disturbances in thinking, feeling, and relating, for which the causes and cures are unknown. Most mental illnesses are actually biological brain disorders and are much like cancer in effect and diagnosis. Mental illness is the most common of diseases and is the number one reason for hospital admissions.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health's website, www.nimh.nih.gov/health, patients with mental illnesses are filling 25 percent of all hospital beds in the United States.

A popular misconception is that mental illness is caused by poor parenting, deficient character, traumatic events, stresses, or lifestyle choices.

Mental illness costs society nearly $200 billion annually, often striking young adults who, as wage earners, would otherwise contribute to the economy and to their own welfare. Treatments are available for the millions of mentally ill Americans but according to the NIMH, four out of five people with mental illness never seek professional help.

Centerstone, at 1530 Commerce Drive in Greensburg, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization dedicated to delivering care "that changes people's lives." Providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment, education, and support to communities in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee and offering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities life skills development, employment and housing services, Centerstone is often the first contact in Decatur County.

Team Leader and Coordinator of Child and Family Wellness at Centerstone Courtney Whitmer, LMHCA, MA, said, "I think that Greensburg has room for improvement, but I am happy to see that we are trying to understand the importance of good mental health. I know that my organization is working to instill that awareness when people are young so that they know what it is and where to turn when they have to deal with it in life."

Centerstone can be reached at 812-663-7057. They are open Mondays through Fridays until 5 p.m. can also be reached by visiting their website at centerstone.org/in/greensburg

"If you or someone you love suffers from a mental illness, of if you want to learn how you can help improve the lives of those afflicted with mental illness, please write or call the Alliance for the Mentall Ill or the NAMI website, www.namiindiana.org, 317-925-9399, or 812-663-6370," said local NAMI representative Linda Ricke.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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(c)2018 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.)

Visit the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.) at www.greensburgdailynews.com

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