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. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that one in five adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person with the condition, family, friends and communities are also affected.
Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75 percent of mental health conditions develop by age 24. Therefore, early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.
Mental illnesses include ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – anxiety disorders, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, dissociative disorders, psychoses, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD – posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.
Innovations in evidence-based medications, therapy and psychosocial services have made wellness and recovery a reality for people living with mental health conditions. However, many persons affected by mental illness are unaware of the programs and services that are available to assist them.
It was therefore appropriate that the Douglas County Board of Commissioners declare May as ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ to increase awareness and understanding so that those affected may receive their needed diagnosis and treatment for the betterment of themselves, their loved ones, and their community.
The Proclamation was read in a recent Commission meeting by Mrs. Amanda Bryant, Executive Director of CORE (Community Organizing Resources for Excellence).