What If Physical Diseases Were Treated Like Mental Illnesses?
How bad is our mental health crisis in the United States? Experts say as much as 25% of Americans suffer from some sort of mental health disorder. One in six adults will admit to having a mental health disorder this week alone. As big of a problem our nation has with mental health disorders, however, there simply isn't enough being done to correct our suffering. Why? Well, experts say the unfair treatment of mental health disorders and the stigma of depression and anxiety are to blame.
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing everything they can to change the way our nation looks at mental health and is working to educate people on how to approach mental health disorders.
World Mental Health Day
October 10, is the WHO's World Mental Health day. The organization uses this day to address the enormous amounts of misinformation regarding mental health and furthermore, challenge the misconceptions that prevent many people from talking about our nation's overwhelming dilemma surrounding mental health issues.
Stopping The Stigma of Mental Illness
One of the misconceptions WHO aims to tackle is: mental illness is a lack of strength or willpower of those who suffer. The organization argues that we would treat mental illnesses a lot differently if they were visible like that of physical ailments. The organization uses a clever cartoon illustrated by Robert Hugs to further illustrate their point:
WHO would states that mental health isn't discriminate and can affect people from all different walks of life. Celebrities, children, parents, CEO's, athletes, coaches, world leaders and even you, can be affected by the debilitating disorders of mental illness.
It's time we finally put stereotypes surrounding mental illness to bed. We don't need to be directly affected by mental illness to be educated on empathy. Next time you discover someone you know is suffering, remember: It could very easily be you or someone you love that suffers as well.
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One in four of us will have a battle with mental illness at some point in our lives. In this past week alone, one in six adults have had a mental health problem.
But despite its unbelievably widespread prevalence, mental illness is still surrounded by misconceptions and stigma.