Observing Mental Health Month in May
“People living with behavioral health issues – and their families – unfortunately face damaging stigma every day,” said Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer/Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marilyn Benoit, who aims to reduce stigma by focusing on “brain health,” as mental illnesses are brain-based disorders. “We must support these individuals and eradicate this stigma through education about, and advocacy for, those living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.”
May is “Mental Health Month,” and Devereux is poised to help generate much-needed awareness about behavioral health-related topics, particularly for the nearly 10 million adults in the United States living with a serious mental illness.
Observed since 1949, Mental Health Month brings increased understanding and education related to this issue through media outreach and events. A growing awareness around mental illness has resulted in improved treatments and solutions for those suffering from depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, among other behavioral health conditions.
Because all citizens play a role in supporting the mental health of our family members, neighbors and co-workers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) selected the theme, “CureStigma” to recognize the significance of this important month.
As part of its activities, NAMI encourages everyone to take the StigmaFree Pledge, which is focused on changing the way the world views mental health, and letting others know there is hope and understanding. To learn more, click here.
While it might be easy to use labels like “post-traumatic stress disorder” or “ADHD” to identify a specific mental illness, a full array of depressive, behavioral and anxiety challenges are also considered mental illnesses, and affect one in five American adults each year. Similarly, approximately one in five youth, ages 13 to 18, experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.
Mental illness is a challenge to overcome; however, reducing the stigma people may experience is a goal to which we can all contribute. To learn more, visit www.nami.org.
The Devereux way
Devereux’s approach to behavioral health focuses on whole-person health, integrating behavioral healthcare with physical healthcare. Why? When behavioral and physical healthcare are integrated, the stigma that has burdened mental health care and treatment diminishes.
For more than a century, Devereux has been a compelling voice in the support of social and emotional health for all individuals. The nonprofit organization provides effective, evidence-based programs and services for children, adolescents and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences in both community-based and residential settings. Devereux also offers training, research and resources to school systems, government agencies, early childhood programs, other provider organizations and community-based systems of care.
To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health and our legacy of helping individuals, families and communities in need, click here.
*All statistics in this article are attributed to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
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