Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) (also known as Mental Health Awareness Week) was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October. During this week, mental health advocates and organizations across the U.S. join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote community outreach and public education concerning mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Examples of activities held during the week include art/music events, educational sessions provided by healthcare professionals, advertising campaigns, health fairs, movie nights, candlelight vigils, and benefit runs.
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – about one in four adults – suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. However, stigmasurrounding mental illness is a major barrier that prevents people from seeking the mental health treatment that they need. Programs during Mental Illness Awareness Week are designed to create community awareness and discussion in an effort to put an end to stigma and advocate for treatment and recovery.
Mental Illness Awareness Week also coincides with similar organizational campaigns in early October such as World Mental Health Day (World Federation for Mental Health), National Depression Screening Day (Screening for Mental Health), and National Day Without Stigma.
Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2014
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.
Mad in America’s International Film Festival
Published on Oct 4, 2014
Join Mad in America at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA Oct 9-12 for Mad in America’s International Film Festival. For more information please visit http://www.MadinAmericaInternationalFilmFestival.com
Why is MIAW important?
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country are bringing awareness to mental illness. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger.
We believe that these issues are important to address year round, but highlighting these issues during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Support NAMI to help millions of Americans who face mental illness every day
Inspire others with your message of hope. Show others they are not alone.
Become an advocate. Register on NAMI.org to keep up with NAMI news and events
Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May by reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.
Mental Health Awareness Month also comes to The United States via the Mental Health America organization. During this month, National Health America runs a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.
In 2010, the theme was ‘Live Your Life Well’. ‘Live Your Life Well’ was a theme designed to encourage people to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress. The message was to inform the public that many mental health problems could be avoided by striving toward and making positive lifestyle choices in the ways we act and think.
The theme for the 2014 Mental Health Awareness month is “Mind Your Health.” A focus of this years theme is to create a motivational effort that will put toward the goal of building public recognition in regards to the importance of mental health and to the overall health and wellness of those around us. The association hopes to inform United States citizens of the connection between the mind and body; and intends to provide advice, tips and strategies that will encourage people to take positive actions and protective measures for one’s own mental health, and whole body health.
The American Mental Health Association will be providing a tool kit including the following items in an electronic format to distribute. It will be available starting in the week of March 30th to April 5th. The toolkit will include:
- Media Materials
- Key Messages
- Swiss Cheese Press Release
- Drop-in Article
- Sample Mayoral Proclamation
- Twitter and Facebook posts to use
- Marketing Materials
- Facebook cover photos
- Banner Ad/Button
Pub Ed Materials
- Fact Sheets
- Alcohol Use and Abuse
- Building Social Support
- 4 Supplements Used for Mental Health
- Healthy Eating with Mental Health in Mind
- Getting Help (signs help is needed, types of providers, etc.)
- Exercise, Rest and Relaxation
Mental Health America is not the only organization to run campaigns throughout May. Many other similar organizations choose to coincide with Mental Health Awareness month. National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is one such campaign. This event is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Many other months are also recognized for similar mental health awareness programs. For a list of some in America click here:http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/nationalmentalhealthmonth.html
It’s purpose is to raise awareness about mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Mental Health Awareness Month also aims to educate communities about psychological disorders, while reducing the stigma that surrounds them. The month came about by presidential proclamation.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
“Find Help. Find Hope.”
|Motto||“You are not alone”|
|Founder||Harriet Shetler and Beverly Young|
|Area served||United States|
|Method||Support,Education, Awareness, Advocacy and Research|
|Mission||Improving the lives ofindividuals andfamilies affected by Mental Illness|
The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nation-wide grassroots advocacy group, representing families and people affected by mental illness in the United States. NAMI’s provides support, psycho education, and research for people and their families impacted by mental illness through various public education and awareness activities. The National NAMI organization is based out of Arlington, VA. NAMI is organized further into State and Local affiliates, all operating mainly with the work of thousands of volunteers. Members of NAMI are typically consumers of mental health services, family members, and professionals working together toward common goal.
There are over 1,000 NAMI chapters, represented in all 50 states. NAMI has 9 signature programs, many which have been shown to be efficacious in research studies.
NAMI was founded in Madison, Wisconsin by Harriet Shetler and Beverly Young. The two women cared for sons diagnosed with schizophrenia, and were tired of their sons being blamed for their mental illness. Unhappy with the lack of services available and the treatment of those living with mental illness, the women sought out others with similar concerns. The first meeting held to address these issues in mental health was much larger than expected, and eventually led to the formation of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
NAMI works to keep family safety nets in place, to promote recovery and to reduce the burden on an overwhelmed mental health care delivery system. The organization works to preserve and strengthen family relationships challenged by severe and persistent mental illness. Through peer-directed education classes, support group offerings and community outreach programs, NAMI’s programs and services draw on the experiences of mental health consumers and their family members. They learned to manage mental illness successfully and are trained by the organization to help others do the same. In addition, NAMI works to eliminate pervasive stigma, to effect positive changes in the mental health system and to increase public and professional understanding about mental illness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is organized into state and local city or county wide affiliates in an attempt to more accurately represent those in the surrounding communities. National and State NAMI Organizations function to provide Governance, Public Education, Political Advocacy, and management of NAMI’s Educational Programs. Providing support for mental health consumers occurs at more local levels, and typically involving assistance in obtaining mental health resources, scheduling and administration of NAMI’s programs, and local meetings and events for NAMI members in the community.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers an array of support and education programs at no cost for individuals and families. The programs are set up through local NAMI Affiliate organizations, with different programs varying in their targeted audience.
The NAMI Programs, attempt to address multiple components of the psychiatric needs facing people who struggle with mental illness. Those needs can be visualized as a “three-legged stool” with access, diagnosis, and treatment as the three legs. The first leg is lack of access: 67 percent of people with a DSM-IV diagnosis are not in any type of treatment, according to a 2005 article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Kessler and colleagues. Second is a need for correct diagnoses: 50 percent of people who received mental health treatment, in any setting, had no psychiatric diagnosis, according to Kessler and colleagues. The third issue is lack of effective treatment practices: over the last 15 years, the field made great advances in reaching out and effectively treating people with mental illness. Kessler and colleagues showed that the treatment rate for people with serious mental disorder rose from 24.3 percent in 1990–1992 to 40.5 percent in 2001–2003.
The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-week course targeted toward family and friends of individuals with mental illnesses. The courses are taught by a NAMI trained family member of a person diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Family-to-Family is taught it 44 states and two provinces in Canada. The program was developed by Clinical Psychologist Joyce Burland, PhD.
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide. In some countries this day is part of the larger Mental Illness Awareness Week.
From CTV News Montreal:
Mental Illness Awareness Week aims to fight stigma for family and friends, too
Published Sunday, October 5, 2014 12:58PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 5, 2014 6:34PM EDT
MONTREAL – Prejudices surrounding mental illness persist, something Mental Illness Awareness Week aims to lessen — not only for sufferers, but for family and friends as well.
The Federation of Families and Friends of People with Mental Illness said one of the issues it is concerned with is that community groups that support the family and friends of those with mental illnesses are also victims of prejudice.
Christiane Trudel, social worker and president of the federation, said often relatives of sick people are reluctant to ask for help, preferring to live with the problem in isolation or secrecy.
Trudel is trying to reassure those people, saying that community groups meet strict and stringent standards. She added that they have become the gateway for family and friends who often live with major emotional distress.
“Sometimes even students don’t want to talk about it, but it touches their immediate families,” said school principal Josee Pepin.
The Federation unites 40 associations across Quebec whose mission is to provide support to the family and friends of those with mental illness, offering a diverse range of free services such as individual meetings, information, awareness and training, group assistance and relief measures.
It responds to over 60,000 requests for assistance annually.
Again this year, the Federation is using the website avantdecraquer.com to provide professionals and intervention groups as resources.
An estimated one out of five Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetimes.
Meantime, more than 2,000 people marched through downtown Montreal Sunday morning in the 6th annual Walk for Mental Health.
The goal was to raise money and awareness to fight the stigma associated with the illness.
“We can live very healthy, happy, normal lives with an illness with a mental illness,” said mental health advocate Kathleen Dugas, who went 25 years before seeking help for her bipolar disorder.
“When patients tell you that stigma is worse than the disease or the mental illness or the mental suffering, well then you have to do something for that,” said psychiatrist Dr. Francois Borgeat.
Thank you CTV News Montreal.
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