Educating the Public about Mental Health

Mental health issues have long been misunderstood by the general public.  Unless you have a friend or relative with a mental health or substance abuse issue, you probably have no way to understand what the experience is like.

Many people believe that those suffering from mental illness are usually violent.  This is certainly not true.  In fact, a person with mental illness is much more likely to be the victim of violence than a perpetrator. There are many types of mental illness or disorders, and they are common. They include depression, anxiety, impulse control, personality disorders, adjustment disorders and psychotic disorders.

Someone suffering from a mental illness cannot just “snap out of it”.  If you have a blockage in an artery, you can’t just will it away; qualified help is needed.  In this regard, mental illness is the same.  Professional help might include being treated by a clinician and/or psychiatrist.  Peer support can also be extremely helpful.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a diagnosis that has recently become more understood by the public.  This usually happens following a tragic event or series of events.  And war veterans are not the only ones that suffer from this disorder. Anyone who experiences a traumatic event can be at risk.  Seeking help for someone suffering from PTSD should be encouraged.

To further understand mental health issues, you may want to read more about mental health statistics or mental health myths and facts, provided by the Mental Health Association of Rockland County.

Would you like to know how people with mental illness can lead fully satisfying lives and not be defined by their illness? If so, consider registering for a free, one-hour tour of MHA Rockland’s mission.