This is National Mental Health Week. Considering that one in five Americans will suffer from some form of mental disease during any given year, we all should be paying attention to the information being distributed during this week.
Education about mental illness is the primary reason for this observance. In 1999, the Surgeon General said that the main reason that people do not seek help for mental illness is the stigma surrounding it. People are ashamed to admit that they or someone in their family has a mental problem.
Mental illness is a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that interferes with or limits a person's ability to work, learn, or participate in his or her community. It can include such disorders as bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. It affects moods, thoughts, and the manner in which a person eats and sleeps. It is not a weakness but a disease and people need help to overcome it.
Mental illness can occur at any age. It is treatable and especially so when diagnosed and treated early. This is what makes this week so important.
A very common form of mental illness is depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide. If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide. And it can be treated with therapy and/or medication. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and loss of interest in life in general.
One of the most important activities in Lubbock this week is the depression screening being held at various locations. People will be given a brief screening test and referred to mental health professionals if necessary.
If you or someone you know is depressed, take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to feel better.
Screenings to identify persons at risk for depression are available in Lubbock at:
Caprock Sports Rehabilitation Center
6104 45th Street, Suite A
Every day from 8:30 to 5:30 by appointment.
Covenant, the Plaza Building
22nd Place and Nashville
Thursday from 8 to 6 PM
No appointment is necessary.