Recently I have become aware of the many people around me suffering from serious mental illnesses. Within the past year I have associated closely with at least five people in normal society that have developed or shown signs of mental illness. I have to admit, that kind of scares me. I’ve always been taught to be an open minded person, but the differences that are evident in some people with mental illnesses are so strange and foreign to me that it’s hard to not be scared. My major concerns are these: What am I doing or what can I do when life presents me with these scary situations? What is a serious disorder or behavior that should be addressed immediately and what should I accept as part of life? Is it my duty as a friend to confront a mental illness issue whether small or big? When does it become necessary to intervene to protect the well being and safety of another person? Can anyone truly help another person with a mental illness? Doesn’t the outcome of any situation depend on the people involved? Do I need to study psychology to be comfortable with these problems?
I decided that in order to answer some of these questions I needed to find facts, here’s what I found:
It is vital for Americans know that help is available for mental and emotional problems, because anyone, no matter what age, economic status or race, can develop a mental illness. During any one-year period, up to 50 million Americans — more than 22 percent — suffer from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder involving a degree of incapacity that interferes with employment, attendance at school or daily life. Just look at the facts:
Quoted from: www.friendshospitalonline.org/facts.htm
Maybe awareness is the key.