October 2 through October 8, 2016, is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Each year, the week provides an opportunity to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for equal care. In Lorain County, the local Board of Mental Health and NAMI are offering daily tips on their Facebook pages and on lcbmh.org during Mental Illness Awareness Week.
“Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination,” states Clare Cygan Young, Executive Director of NAMI Lorain County.
One in five adults experience mental illness problems every year and 50 percent of chronic mental illness begins by age 14, according to NAMI.
“We will provide tips and links online every day of Mental Illness Awareness Week, to help Lorain County residents learn about mental and emotional wellness and find help when it is needed,” said Charles Neff, Executive Director of the Lorain County Board of Mental Health (LCBMH).
Mental Illness Awareness Week also includes several nationally recognized days promoting positive mental health, including:
To celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week, NAMI and LCBMH offers these daily tips and resources for positive mental health:
Visit an older neighbor, ask your library or church if they have volunteer opportunities to connect with home-bound seniors, call an aging relative.
For you, it’s a pleasant afternoon and a feel-good boost. For the older adult, it’s also a protection against isolation and depression.
When an older adult says they “feel like a burden” or have low moods, listen and notice. Elder suicide is real. In fact, the highest suicide rate in the U.S. was people 85 years or older, and the second highest rate was for people between 45 and 64 years old. (2014 AFSP)
The Elderly Suicide Prevention Taskforce of the Suicide Prevention Coalition put together these resources to help older adults and those who care about them:
To join the Elderly Suicide Prevention Taskforce, contact Dr. Blanche Dortch, Director of Community Services for the Lorain County Board of Mental Health, at [email protected]
Keep your brain healthy and engaged by learning new things. If you are ruminating or focusing on negative thoughts, it’s time to do something new.
“Something new” can be as simple as taking a training, a conference, or a class. You can improve your skills, as well as your mental flexibility and creativity!
If your negative thoughts are persistent, or you are thinking about harming yourself, contact the mental health crisis line at 1-800-888-6161.
If you are not experiencing a mental health emergency, but you want to learn more about what services are available locally that might help, you can contact the Lorain County Navigator at 440-240-7025.
Don’t jump out of bed. Just relax and breathe for a few minutes. Divert that wake-up rush of stress hormones, and it will help you be more forgiving throughout your day.
Forgiveness can improve mental health and lead to greater life satisfaction.
Today is the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. Learn more about how your faith community can take part.
It’s Wednesday—you’ve made it half way through the week!
Celebrate the small successes. Instead of a to-do list, write down what you’ve already achieved. Reconnect with someone positive, who helped you get where you are in life, like a teacher, mentor, or friend. Treat yourself to 10 minutes in the sunshine.
Need some self-care tips? Psychology experts offer “17 Tips for Taking Better Care of Yourself.”
Today is National Depression Screening Day. Depression is common, and treatable.
In Lorain County, we have a quick, private online quiz that can help you connect to mental health resources. It’s a checkup from the neck up!
Take the quiz at bit.ly/howareyouquiz.
During Mental Illness Awareness Week, join NAMI in shining a light on mental illness and replacing stigma with HOPE for those who are suffering from this disease.
There are a lot of myths about mental illness. Here’s a big one:
Myth: Personality weakness or character flaws cause mental health problems. People with mental health problems can snap out of it if they try hard enough.
Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely. Learn more about Mental Health Myths and Facts, and start a conversation!
Social connections are important for good mental health.
If you already have positive people, who make positive choices, in your life, great! Call them up, spend some time together. If you don’t, join a club, a team, or a volunteer effort. Make time for activities that interest you and that can connect you with upbeat, friendly people.
Find a great opportunity through Lorain County Volunteer Connection of HandsOn Northeast Ohio.
Visit NAMI Lorain County’s table at the informational event on the LCCC campus (more information to come).
Important Phone Numbers:
24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 1-800-888-6161
Non-Emergency Mental Health Navigator: 440-240-7025
Helps English- or Spanish-speaking Lorain County residents find mental health services and address financial, transportation, or language barriers to treatment.
Peer support for individuals with mental illness.
NAMI Lorain County’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from disabling brain disorders or mental illness through providing sufferers, their families and friends with educational opportunities, support groups and advocacy in the public arena. NAMI Lorain County is an affiliate of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Lorain County Board of Mental Health is the local public agency that plans, funds, monitors, and evaluates a system of services for residents with mental illness in Lorain County. A 24/7 crisis hotline is available by calling 1-800-888-6161. For non-emergency referrals or information about services, call 440-240-7025, or learn more at www.lcbmh.org.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section]