This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and it’s a good time to remember that millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness each year. Whether we are dealing with our own diagnoses or helping take care of someone else who might be struggling with mental illness, the impacts are social, financial, and physical. It’s important to know that we are not alone and that help is available.
Can you help with some context around the millions of people affected by mental illness? How common is it?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness every year. That’s about 48 million people. The group also says that 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness, or 11.4 million people. A mental illness is classified as serious when it affects a person’s ability to be successful in their life at home, work, or school. And speaking of school, kids and teens also experience mental illness — 1 in 6 youths ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. So even if you are not counted among those numbers, chances are very high that someone you know, or love, is. Continue reading →
IDHW Director Russ Barron welcomes the audience at the May 4, 2018, Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event, prior to reading a proclamation from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
During the month of May, IDHW’s Division of Behavioral Health joins with Regional Behavioral Health Boards across Idaho to recognize people who have worked to overcome mental illness, support others on the road to recovery, and end the stigma that prevents many more from seeking treatment.
On May 4, the division hosted the annual kick-off for national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event. The event featured IDHW Director Russ Barron reading the proclamation of May as Mental Health Awareness Month from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Division of Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds awarding the 2018 Voice of Idaho Award to Clark Richman of Kootenai County. Continue reading →
Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, which is challenging enough. Add to that the stigma associated with mental illness, and it can cause people to avoid help and treatment. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the Division of Behavioral Health will be hosting a program this Friday at the Idaho State Capitol featuring several Idahoans sharing their stories of recovery, so it’s a great time to talk about it and help put an end to the stigma about mental health issues. Continue reading →
From IDHW’s Todd Hurt, administrator of State Hospital North
IDHW State Hospital North Director Todd Hurt and NAMI far North President Virginia “Gini” Woodward with new donated Frisbee disc golf baskets on the grounds of State Hospital North.
OROFINO, Idaho – On a beautiful, blue-sky May day, there was a feeling of gratitude flowing through State Hospital North. The first reason for the gratitude was that it had been a long fall, cold winter and wet spring. The second is that patients were able to get out on the grounds during that beautiful day and play Frisbee disc golf. This disc golf was even more special given that we used new disc golf baskets donated to the hospital from NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) far North.
We have played disc golf for years at the hospital. It’s a great therapy tool that can be used for increasing mood, allowing for exercise, socialization, and joy. Continue reading →
Today (May 11, 2017) the Idaho Division of Behavioral Health hosted an event recognizing Mental Health Awareness month and several Idahoans who are working to support recovery and end the stigma about mental illness. So, let’s talk about the reality of mental health.
Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little presented the 2017 Mental Health Awareness month proclamation at a public event in the Idaho Statehouse May 11, 2017.
Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, which is challenging enough. Add to that the stigma associated with mental illness, and it can cause people to avoid help and treatment. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to talk about it and help put an end to the stigma about mental health issues.
How many people really are dealing with a mental illness?
Generally, 1 in 5 adults and children have a diagnosable mental illness. That makes mental illness more common than cancer, diabetes, or even heart disease, and yet we hear much more about those diseases than we do about mental health. That’s why this month is so important. About half of the adults in the U.S. will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives. Mental illness is normal in our society. It’s also normal to live a life of recovery. Continue reading →
May is national Mental Health Awareness month, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is joining with Idaho Regional Behavioral Health Boards around the state to commend individuals who have worked hard to reduce the stigma around mental health and volunteered in their communities to inspire hope, recovery and resiliency.
The winner of IDHW’s first-annual Voice of Idaho award, Lisa Koller, is one of those individuals. Part of her journey to recovery and dedicating her life to helping others with mental illness was inspired by receiving help from an Idaho peer support specialist after she graduated from Mental Health Court in 2007. Lisa now works as a peer support specialist and recovery coach at The Center for HOPE recovery center in Idaho Falls.
Read more below about Idaho’s program of certified peer support specialists from Idaho Division of Behaviorial Health Administrator Ross Edmunds, and Lisa Koller’s personal story of her struggles with substance use disorder and mental illness as recounted in her own words: Continue reading →
When it comes to mental health, many people confuse feeling bad with being bad. Mental illness is not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing.
Many factors out of one’s control influence whether someone develops a mental health condition: genetics, environment and lifestyle. Being a victim of a crime or having a stressful work or home life can make some people more susceptible.
Yet even though most people with mental illness can be successfully treated and live productive lives, less than half of the adults in the U.S. who need services or treatment get the help that can make a difference.
One reason: Stigma. The isolation, blame, fear and secrecy that is often associated with mental illness can discourage people from reaching out, getting the needed support and getting healthy. Continue reading →