May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Updated On: Jun 06 2013 09:21:08 AM CDT
Tens of millions of Americans are living with the burden of a mental health problem.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it's a chance to shine a light on these important issues, so you can be always aware.
With mass shootings and recent violence making headlines, it's hard to ignore the tragedy. But it's easy to ignore the problem. Mental health issues are gaining more attention, but experts say we need to be more educated.
"There's a concept and a misconception that individuals who seek mental health treatment are considered crazy," explained Kimberly Garcia with Lehigh Valley Community Health Center.
It's something she works to change at the center helping individuals and families with services and treatment. One in four people has a mental illness. They shoulder conditions like depression, anxiety and bi-polar disorder. And even though help is out there, less than half of people with a problem receive treatment.
"It's very important that we educate the community that mental health disorders are just like any other condition, diabetes, hypertension, etcetera," added Garcia.
The people mental health disorders affect don't have a choice. We're protecting their identities.
"I basically pretty much slept most of the past eight years, wasn't really there for my children to grow up with them, be a proper mother."
For her, and others, treatment was key to a better quality of life. And it all started with talking to someone.
"People hide the fact that there's something wrong, and it's okay to say there's something wrong, because until you say there's something wrong you're not going to get the help you desire."
Garcia says there's a stigma that goes along with mental health issues and in order to get rid of that, a conversation needs to happen.
Today is a great day to start.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
DA: Missing Lehigh County woman found dead; stepfather charged
Gunman opens fire inside barbershop; 4 people shot
Customers stand by barbershop after shooting
Driver killed when car hits water treatment building
Black ice a travel concern into Black Friday
Trucker charged with vehicular homicide in crash that killed 3 on I-78
Forks Township woman charged in murder-for-hire plot
Game delay causes ire among fans
Snow forces postponement of Easton-Pburg football game
Holocaust survivor reunited with her rescuer