It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week! There is all kinds of information and materials to lead your own media campaign at NAMI.org Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first week of October to celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). What is Mental Illness Awareness Week? Established in 1990 by Congress, the first week of October is designated as “Mental Illness Awareness Week” (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness.
New Orleans was a social service nightmare before Katrina. It’s mental health infrastructure was likely underfunded like many other inner city services. But the results of the devastating trauma of Katrina spawned flood, people are stressed beyond their ability to cope. Psychiatric beds have shrunk by 80% while many professionals have abandoned the city along with half it it’s residents. It’s often those without alternatives who are left to return, to conditions worse than they ever were.
A British mental health advocacy organization came up with a provocative way to challenge the stigma of mental illness. They commissioned a sculpture of Winston Churchill in a straitjacket. The British Prime Minister, who led the British people through WWII, is widely considered a heroic figure inspiring honor, persistence against overwhelming odds, and unbending will. Many have taken exception to what they consider to be a undignified association. Churchill suffered from depression, an experience he called his “black dog.
Cutting taxes can only mean one thing for people suffering from mental illness, there will be fewer and less quality in the services available. This is true for the public system certainly, but it is also likely to spread extensively into the private system. Public dollars tend to account for a significant part of the business for even the private mental health provider. Fewer dollars will mean a continued exodus of providers from direct service.
NAMI | Support the Goals of Mental Illness Awareness Week In 1989, Congress designated the 90’s as the “Decade of the Brain” and proclaimed the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) as a means to increase research and public awareness on issues related to mental illness. On this, the 15th anniversary year of Mental Illness Awareness Week, I am writing as your constituent to ask you to work for policies that achieve equitable services and treatment for the more than 15 million Americans living with severe mental illnesses and their families.