May is the month for mental health awareness, and in 2016, the tradition celebrates its 65th birthday. But how much has this event changed the scenario? Apparently, not much. Even after all this time, the organizers of the events still talk about discrimination and misinformation.

People think that mental illnesses are rare and not really important, but this negligence has created a huge problem no one really wants to talk about. First, mental illnesses are not only present in serial killers and they are not the only reason this people do what they do. Actually, they are very common, according to specialists 1 out of every 5 Australians suffer from one.

May brings Mental Health Awareness with it as a reminder of the struggle to eradicate illness
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. One part of the problem is understanding that mental illnesses are common, but people also has to know they are treatable, like most illnesses. Image Credit: OshKosh Independent

In addition, the statistics in the United States say that 1 out of every 4 Americans are affected by them. Mental illnesses are usually hidden behind words that are very common, but are not fully understood, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorders.

The issue with mental illness

Who can develop one? Pretty much everybody, lifestyle and family history have a lot to do here, but there is also a biological factor that makes some individuals more susceptible to suffer from mental disorders. Scientists are not entirely sure what’s their precise origin or what is the chemical trigger, but they assure the chemistry in the brain plays a big part in the problem.

In fact, if detected on time, therapy combined with the correct medication could be the solution. For example, back in 1990 a documentary called ‘Child of rage’ showed a little girl with strong psychopathic tendencies. Beth spoke with the doctor about how she wanted to kill her brother without any sign of remorse, the documentary is full of strong similar material. However, after years of therapy, Beth is now a functional member of society and this is only one of many cases.

A matter of money

Setting aside the human side, neglecting mental illnesses can prove expensive for society or so The Guardian says.

According to the newspaper, “Mental illness is estimated to cost the UK economy as much as £100bn a year in terms of healthcare, lost jobs, unemployment benefits, homelessness support, police time and prisoner places.”

But of course this scenario varies from one country to another. There are places where healthcare partially covers this kind of problem, but in mostly, they are completely ignored. This does not mean governments don’t care, in fact, the normal citizen does not care. People think that some of these symptoms are normal and they are not aware of how dangerous the situation could be.

Fortunately, there is a lot of people that do care about mental illnesses, especially on children. Detecting them at an early age makes the treatment much more effective. Next weekend, all around the United States a lot of medical centers will host free awareness events for everybody to attend.

The Midland County System of Care is going to host the first Child mental illnesses event on the public library Centennial branch. Also, Butler Eagle is joining the tradition for the third consecutive year at the Grapevine Center in Butler. People who wish to attend one of these events can check their local bulletin for places and schedules.

Source: MiFellowship