Mental illness. It has become a taboo talking point in society, up there with politics, age and salary. Across dinner tables and cubicles, among family members and colleagues, there are just some things you don’t discuss … right? Not when it comes to mental illness.
Look around you. Chances are someone close to you is suffering with their mental health. In fact, one in five adults in America experiences mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s not just strangers, either. It’s your uncle, your boss, your classmate. It may be you..
There are 48.3 million people in America who suffer from mental illness—from athletes and celebrities, to teachers and engineers. People in your past and folks in our future. Mental illness is pervasive. And often, people aren’t getting the help they need, either due to embarrassment, a lack of resources or simply not knowing where to turn.
But there is hope. And there is help.
From 211, the Salvation Army Drop In Center, to the myriad community, online and government programs, resources to support one’s mental health are available. But that’s not enough. To create sustainable solutions, we need to keep bringing the topic of mental illness out of the conversational shadows.
Imagine what could happen if we change our perception about mental health as a society. If we make it the centerpiece of our conversations instead of brushing it under the dialogue rug. If we begin to accept the escalating reality instead of looking the other way. If we start asking for help—for ourselves and our loved ones—instead of staying quiet. If we speak up.
This Mental Health Month, let’s start talking so we can start changing.