Though mental illness has a long-standing history in the annals of human nature, it was only in the 1980’s when groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The American Psychological Association and The American Psychiatric Association were able to convince state and federal governments to publicly address the needs of those with mental illness.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan, along with the Congress passed Joint Resolution 322, designating the week of October 7, 1984 as Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Luckily, this awareness campaign has continued on for decades both here in the United States and in Canada – as well as sparking similar awareness campaigns in countries all over the world.
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) doesn’t just help educate the public about the truths and myths surrounding mental illness... or what the warning signs of suicide are... or how the cruel sting of stigma keeps many from getting treatment that can be life changing.
MIAW also promotes resources for those who are struggling with mental illness or love someone with a disorder. Such outreach offers support, healing, information and empowerment.
And perhaps more important is that during Mental Illness Awareness Week action programs are offered, like free mental health screenings.
Why Screenings are Useful
Screenings for mental health offer tremendous advantages. Here are just a few:
- Screenings are fast and simple; taking only a few minutes to complete.
- Screenings are a cost effective way to identify at-risk children and adults.
- Screenings NOT ONLY identify those at risk, but children and adults who may already be experiencing significant symptoms.
- Screenings can also highlight subclinical symptoms, enabling early intervention.
- Screenings lead to lower disorder rates, reduced employer health care costs, reduced absenteeism, enhanced job and school satisfaction, and increased productivity.
- Screenings results can provide accessible mental health services and supports to those in need.
To find a free confidential screening where you live, link here.