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By John M Grohol PsyD

So this is the 20th anniversary since Congress first established Mental Health Awareness Week as the first week in October.

The effort to increase awareness about mental health is based in the history of numerous government reports and well-meaning workgroups and such that have found that stigma still exists surrounding the diagnosis of mental disorders. Surprise, surprise. Of course it still exists. People who’ve never encountered someone living with a mental illness still believe it’s the kind of thing that “happens to other people.”

But it happens to a lot more “other people” than anyone realizes. In our lifetime, 1 in 5 Americans will have a diagnosable mental disorder. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just announced last week that the 12 month prevalence rate for depression stands at 9 percent. That means in any given year, 1 in 10 Americans suffer from the most common mental disorder, depression.

That’s a lot of depressed people.

But for many reasons, most of these people never seek treatment for their depression. Or any other mental disorder, too. They believe it’s too costly. Or it’ll take too long. Or it’s too much effort. Or they don’t want any psychiatric drugs, because of fears surrounding them. There are a whole host of reasons people suffer in silence with their depression or other mental health concern.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/10/04/mental-health-awareness-week/



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