Almost one in four Australians suffer a mental illness at some time in their lives. This figure is increasing rapidly, and the problem is typical in many nations in the world.
It's wise to think about all of the loved ones affected by this dilemma. Think about the families, the friends, the employers, employees, the neighbours, the spouses, the siblings, the tax payers whose lives are directly touched, and we have a reasonable picture of the size of this issue.
And yet we don't speak about it openly. We're more likely to be silent about mental illness, aggravating the impact.
By remaining silent we're going along with stigma, a societal attitude that brings great suffering and stifles hope of a better future for everyone involved. Our silence allows politicians and society generally to ignore the problem - gives them a passport not to do anything to fix it.
We ourselves can help combat stigma through educating ourselves and spreading knowledge surrounding mental illness.
If we understand something fear tends to dissipate. That's where this video comes in.
I was impressed when I found it this morning on an excellent site Living in Stigma written by a person who suffers depression and, as an inevitable result, stigma that goes along with the disease. She has no choice, she says.
The video is Removing the Stigma of Mental Illness by lifestarmedic1. It's from Canada, but equally relevant to your home town!
Take a short break and find out what this is all about ...
Now, next time you're at the local library find a book about mental illness, learn more, and spread the word. You'd be doing everyone a favour, for no-one knows where mental illness will strike next.
Here are links to some of the many very good Australian web sites on mental health:
Victoria's Mental Health Services
Multicultural Mental Health Australia
Mental Health Council of Australia
Black Dog Institute
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