Today’s World Mental Health Day, as if I needed another reason to write or talk about the challenges we face as a society and as a state addressing mental health care.
From mental health care funding and destigmatizing the issues, we have got to do better. I encourage you on this day to look around you, and speak up, and talk about your own issues, issues that have affected your friends/family. Go and call and check in on a friend who you know has been struggling. If you have the resources to donate to cause that supports mental illness, do that. If you have children, I urge you to take a minute to check in on them and talk to them about mental illness, depression, anxiety, bullying, happiness and all of the things we sometimes take for granted or ignore.
Today is a day like every other day where there are people around us suffering in silence. Suffering themselves. Suffering because they are the primary care givers for a loved one who has untreated mental illness or possibly mental illness that is being treated but still causes them a lot of stress and anxiety.
We have a long way to go in our country in the way in which we address issues of the mind and illness we can’t see and don’t understand. We have a long way to go as a state in the way that we fund treatment.
I urge you, or remind you, to check out the resources below if you need help. And to take a moment and do your part and help change the way we talk about this issue.
National Alliance for Mental Health: NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Alabama Department of Mental Health: Promoting the health and well-being of Alabamians with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders
Crisis Center of Birmingham: Mission is to serve the unmet needs of people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well-being.
Our primary service area is Central Alabama, which is defined as the five county area surrounding Birmingham. This includes Blount County, Jefferson County, St. Clair County, Shelby County and Walker County.