Monday, October 10, 2011
World Mental Health Day!
Today, Monday, October 10, marks World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organization (WHO) created this day as an opportunity to increase awareness about mental health, especially as the lack of attention that mental illness receives around the world interferes with people being properly treated. Psych Central, a great psychology resource online, has encouraged bloggers to get involved and promote understanding and awareness via a blogging party! I'm all for a blogging party, especially on a Monday:) Fun times.
Back in May, I wrote about National Mental Health Counseling Week and shared some stats with you. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 4 American adults ages 18 and up suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year- 26.2% of the country's population, to be exact. What this means is that it is likely that either you or someone that you know and love dearly has been touched by mental illness. Beyond the US, statistics from the World Health Organization (here) indicate that the resources available to treat people all over the world are inadequate. That goes for the US as well as abroad.
In the field of eating disorders, many strides are being made daily as it relates to education and raising awareness. If you look back, even recently in the media, Yoplait Yogurt pulling ads that were triggering and insensitive to viewers was a huge step in acknowledging the complexity of eating disorders, and that dieting can and does trigger EDs in some people. Communities all over the country have been participating in National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walks to raise awareness and funds to support continued research. You can read a re-cap of the Raleigh NEDA Walk here.
The conversations that are happening today are so important, because change comes out of awareness, dialogue and then action. Just like recovery from an eating disorder, awareness is not enough to bring about change. One doesn't choose an eating disorder, but one must choose to recover from the eating disorder. Action is required for healing to take place, and often this is the toughest part! In thinking about World Mental Health Day, whether you or someone you know has struggled with an eating disorder, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or another illness, what action might you take to raise awareness today?
To check out the blogging party going on today over at Psych Central, follow this link!