Berneeta Wagoner, LISW Clinical Director, Southwest Iowa Families, Inc., Clarinda
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Join us this month in combating the negative attitudes, prejudice, and discrimination that prevent people from accessing treatment and supports and isolate people from their communities. One in five persons is impacted by Mental illness. Every one has a friend neighbor or family member with mental illness.
It’s time to tell everyone dealing with a mental health issue that they are not alone, and that getting support isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
It is more important than ever for all Americans to know that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover. Today, adults with mental illnesses and children and adolescents with emotional disturbances have improved access to care, but there is a professional health care shortage in mental health services. More providers are needed especially in the rural areas.
Too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence rather than seeking help, and we need to see it that men and women who would never hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm or came down with the flu, that they have that same attitude when it comes to their mental health.
Recovery is possible. Most people with mental illnesses who receive treatment, help, and support go on to lead happy and productive lives. Support from peers, family members, and caregivers is one of the key elements of recovery. This May, let’s challenge all Americans to use this month as an opportunity to reach out and help a family member, friend, or neighbor, or to find the courage to seek help and support. Together, we can help build strong, mentally healthy communities.
For more information: Contact Southwest Iowa Families at 712-542-3501.