today concludes the last day of mental illness awareness week, and the beginning of canadian thanksgiving. i’d like to give thanks, then, to all the bloggers who’ve written about this topic. here is a small selection of them:
mental health and poverty
the kick-off of “mental illness awareness week” in canada is coming with the usual storm of media articles wherein various and sundry demand more money for mental health. generally, that means, mental health professionals demanding more money for mental health professionals, while claiming it’s not actually for them, it’s for their patients. but if they really cared about their patients, we’d much more often hear mental health professionals lobbying for more money for social assistance and other types of anti-poverty initiatives, as the BC health living alliance does in this vancouver sun article, citing the ample research that shows how dramatically poverty damages health and, of course, psychological resilience.
more at the canadian mindscape monitor
the faces of mental illness
we invite you to visit the website – letsfacethis.ca – and post a photo and message on the “tree of support”. with each new photo added, the “tree” will grow, symbolizing growing awareness, education, fundraising and hope for those suffering from mental illness.
more at real mental
mental illness and mental health
although there is a slight difference between mental illness awareness (for the long term mentally ill) and mental health awareness (for those who have troubles coping with the various events in their lives), they are equally as important to understand. there are common misconceptions in the general public about the mental ‘illness’ state that one needs to be in before they can seek treatments. another is the idea that they have to be referred to a counsellor by a doctor before they are able to get the appropriate counselling that is needed to help them function in their day to day life.
more at the kipling citizen in saskatchewan
not accepting the stigma
i was touched by how “out” this engineering student was about his situation:
i personally suffer from mental illness – i have been diagnosed with severe depression with suicidal tendencies and have been receiving treatment since winter 2005. my journey has been difficult, but i have made it through with the support of family, friends, and medical professionals. i am not “in the clear”, and i do not know if i will ever be, however, i take each day as it comes and do my best to make a difference in the world.
more at iron warrior, the online news site from the engineering department of UWaterloo
mental illness awareness in schools
dr. gariane gunter, a psychiatrist in south carolina, recently was crowned mrs. united states and will dedicate her reign to raising public awareness about mental illness. as part of her education campaign, gunter is working with the national alliance on mental illness (NAMI) and in honor of mental illness awareness week (oct. 5-11) she writes about her advocacy efforts on the NAMI blog.established by congress in 1990, mental illness awareness weeks promotes public education on mental illness, treatment and recovery through local outreach efforts. gunter is currently teaching NAMI’s “breaking the silence” curriculum to all fifth grade classes at an elementary school in her hometown. the program is designed to educate students in upper elementary school, middle school and high school about mental illness.
more at yubanet
mental illness and the US elections
the nation is currently preoccupied with tremendous financial woes and an upcoming presidential election. where is mental health in all this?
let’s start with the second issue first: the race between obama/biden and mccain/palin.
i would like to see both candidates address these issues:
1. the failure of de-institutionalization due to the lack of funding for community-based treatment.
2. the pending need for mental health services for veterans returning from the iraq-afghanistan war.