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Thursday, October 17, 2019

National Depression Education & Awareness Month 2019

Last week, men and women across the country observed Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). Educating the public, fighting stigma, and providing support is the goal of the annual observance. Millions of Americans struggle with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder; unfortunately, a statistically small number of people get the help they desperately require.

There are many reasons men and women are unable to reach out for support. Stigma and misunderstanding are two of the leading obstacles standing between disease and recovery. Mental health awareness campaigns erode harmful stigmas and enlighten the public about the healing power of compassion.

While MIAW is now over, the effort to raise awareness about mental illness must continue year-round. Don't worry if you were unable to take part in MIAW by spreading messages of hope and support on social media and the like. There is still time to make a difference in the lives of people living with untreated mental health disorders. October is National Depression Education & Awareness Month.

Any mental illness has the power to disrupt the course of an individual's life severely. Untreated, each can have fatal consequences. However, depression is a worldwide public health crisis and one of the leading causes of premature death. Even though there are effective, evidence-based treatments available, only a small number of men and women reach out for support services. We have the power to change this reality.

National Depression Education & Awareness Month

Each year, individuals in recovery take to social media during Mental Health Awareness Month (May) and National Recovery Month (September) to spread messages of hope. The same is true during MIAW (the first full week of October).

Now is the time to help share information about the importance of treatment and recovery for depression. Disseminating facts about the disease or sharing what helped you heal from and manage depression is paramount.

A significant number of men and women in addiction recovery are also living with depression. About 50% of people with severe mental illness are involved in substance use, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Those living with co-occurring disorders learn that they must manage both conditions to realize long-term recovery.

With that in mind, recovering addicts and alcoholics can be inspirations for those who are still suffering in silence. They can share about how untreated depression resulted in self-medication and addiction; they can explain that alcohol and substance use made their depressive symptoms worse. When people in recovery use their voice, they affect change in the lives of others.

Please allow some time in the coming weeks to be a beacon of hope for people suffering from depression. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Moreover, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Together, we can change the fact that fewer than half of those affected by depression receive treatment. Please use #DepressionAwareness on social media when sharing about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for depression. Get the word out that there are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for depression.

SLO County Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care for clients with co-occurring chemical dependency and mental illnesses like depression. Our highly trained therapists and clinicians can help you or a loved one begin a life-changing journey of healing and recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs.