Features

Breaking the Stigma

Photo courtesy of NAMI

Photo courtesy of NAMI

The week of October 2nd, is national Mental Health Awareness Week. According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the US, amounting to an astounding 18% of the population.

Anxiety disorders affect 1 in every 8 children and young adults. Depression affects about 15 million Americans each year, nearly 7% of the population. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, affects 22 million people in the US. Along with Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD, these are of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in young adults. Unfortunately, 45% of these illnesses are left untreated. 90% of suicide victims are those who suffer from a mental illness.

Typically, when someone hears “mental illness” they expect, and assume, the worst. Mentally ill persons are stuck in a corner; if they tell someone they could be looked at differently and if they don’t they suffer in silence. Mental illness is just like a physical ailment; you just can’t see it with your eyes. Statistically, nearly 100 girls in our very own school suffer from a mental illness. If you know someone who suffers like this, reach out. Although you may not be able to understand what they’re going through, letting them know someone cares is enough to help them even in the smallest way. So let’s not let IHA girls be another statistic. Reach out and help each other when you’re down.

Photo courtesy of NAMI

Photo courtesy of NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, encourages you to take a pledge and stay stigma free. You can pledge here: http://www.nami.org/stigmafree to take a stand and help others. The NAMI website shows ways to get involved, and how to help the people around you. They take donations that go to support resources, education and advocate for the millions of Americans who suffer from a mental health disorder.

By Arden Grossman’20, Staff Writer

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