Get Into Mental Health

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Mental Health Awareness Week is Oct. 1-7, 2017. Each year, the first full week in October provides an opportunity to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for equal care.

One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year, and 50 percent of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.

This year the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling on everyone to get “Into Mental Health” and replace stigma with hope.

Locally, NAMI Kent & Queen Anne’s (the newest affiliate of NAMI Maryland) is now offering the NAMI Family Support Group program on the first and third Monday in Centreville, and the first and third Tuesday in Chestertown, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

In addition, as part of Mental Health Awareness week, National Depression Screening Day will be held Thursday Oct. 5. Organizations around the world are encouraged to offer free, anonymous questionnaires that can help individuals identify potential signs of depression. Learn more at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/programs/ndsd.

“We are calling on everyone to join NAMI and replace stigma with hope by pledging to be #stigmaFree,” said Lainie Surette, steering committee co-chair of NAMI Kent & Queen Anne’s.

To take the #StignaFree pledge, visit www.NAMI.org/stigmafree. NAMI offers information about mental illness conditions, symptoms and treatment at www.NAMI.org or through its HelpLine at (800) 550-NAMI (6264).

For more information about the Kent and Queen Anne’s Support Groups call (443)480-0565.

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Letters to Editor

  1. Your links to NAMI aren’t enabled.
    Although I am mentally ill with schizophrenia or because of it, I was unaware that the first week of October was Mental Health Awareness week. It was still mental health awareness week for me, but without my participation and involvement. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. NAMI for me means family awareness of our plight, almost entirely without our involvement. They go on without our participation. Yesterday, I brought my stepfather’s attention to my being ill and how I cope with it. I live with him, yet he does not acknowledge my illness. He treats me like everyone else in his life, without any stigma, which I like. At my age (76), self-stigmatization is stronger than stigmatization from others, although it IS always there in the background, operating without my awareness as to who is doing the stigmatizing. I feel isolated and alone. My speaking about this here in a public forum will have the result that I am shunned and further humiliated without my being aware of who is doing it.

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