monday mental illness

One in five people struggle with mental illness, and many don’t get help, Lannin said. Those who do wait an average of 11 years, before finally seeking treatment. Lannin says distressed students in the study were more likely to click the link for information (8.5 percent probability for those with high self-stigma, compared to 17.1 percent for those with low self-stigma). Distress is like the gas pedal and stigma the brake, he said. Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches a high level of distress, he or she is often struggling to function.

“Identifying distressed students can be difficult because distress affects people in different ways. The main thing we notice is impairment in functioning across multiple spheres. They struggle with school work or with family relationships and friendships. If it gets bad enough, they might struggle with hygiene or start strongly contemplating suicide,” Lannin said. “It’s not just that they feel bad; it’s that functionally they’re impaired.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, three-quarters of all chronic mental illness begins by age 24. Lannin says for many young adults this is a time of transition — going to college, working full-time and moving away from home — adding to the reasons they may not seek help. This is another consideration when designing interventions and educational information, Lannin said. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone with an untreated mental illness.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with mental illness in yourself, a friend, or a family member.

Art Prompt: Stigma

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the stigma of mental illness and give some suggestions as to how we can change the stigmatizing.

Photo Credit: reinekaos on Flickr

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