One in four people will be affected by mental illness, with 20 percent of youth ages 13-18 experiencing severe mental illness in any given year.
The road to seeking help when you are faced with a potential mental health diagnosis isn’t an easy one, but it’s a road that has been traveled by many families successfully. They have found that hope and resilience are keys to recovery, and yes, people can and do recover.
The road to recovery is marked by challenges. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, stigma around mental health disorders persists, and is one of the most detrimental barriers to people seeking and ultimately getting the help they need.
So, what can we do about it? We can talk about it openly just like you would if a family member experiences a health issue. We can get help for young children experiencing emotional issues as this may prevent escalating problems in the future. We can reach out to friends, neighbors and family members and ask about their treatment and listen to their story. We can do this until no one feels ashamed and no one feels alone, until those who need help are empowered to seek it. A solution is not only possible—it exists today.
The following stories are examples of what can happen when we get beyond the stigma and address some of these issues head-on. Otherwise talented and highly capable individuals can be crippled by mental illness—especially when help isn’t sought. These courageous people are shining examples of the power of seeking help; shining a light on their journey toward recovery.