Along with the disease of mental illness comes the sigma that someone is not stable, or is not capable of performing their job well. SAMHSA recently announced the results of a survey regarding mental illness, of people’s perception of it, and the statistics of people receiving treatment for it.
Many People Need Help
According to SAMHSA, there are an estimated 9.8 million adults over 18 that suffer from serious mental illness. Serious mental illness is highest among 18-25 year olds, and this is also the age group that is the least likely to get treatment or counseling for their mental health issues. This could be because people in our society still don’t accept the fact that mental illness is a treatable disease. People are sometimes scared off by the thought of mental illness and even though most people know at least one family member or friend that has mental health issues, not enough is known of the illnesses or their treatment and chance for recovery. Instead, people are afraid to get help for mental health problems because they don’t want to admit they have a problem, or they are afraid of what friends and family will think, or they just don’t want to be categorized as someone that has a mental illness. A SAMHSA and Porter Novelli survey shows that only 40% of Americans believe that a person with mental illness is as successful at work, and only 33% believe that a person can eventually recover from mental illness. But in today’s world, there are effective treatments for a variety of mental illnesses, and many people can and do recover from them.
Mental Illness Awareness Campaign
In order to make a real difference for people with mental illness, SAMHSA has worked with the Ad Council to campaign for the acceptance of individuals with mental health problems. Public Service Announcements will air on television as part of this campaign that will especially encourage friends and family to step up and help a friend through recovery. The ads will create awareness about mental illness and its treatment. They also will give steps that people can take to help their friends get treatment.
Just as with anything that is misunderstood, mental illness can isolate people by causing friends and family to back away. Awareness helps bring people together. SAMHSA is working to address the societal misconceptions of mental illness, so that those in need can be encouraged to get help, instead of hiding their illness.