The state chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is urging legislators to work toward solving some of the troubles that befall people with mental illnesses. Margaret Stout, executive director of NAMI of Iowa, says this is Mental Illness Awareness Week in Iowa.Stout says people with mental illness face unemployment, homelessness, poverty, criminalization, social isolation and premature death. By the year 2020, mental illness is expected to be the world’s leading cause of disability in children and adults. She says two-to-three members of every family in Iowa will experience some type of mental illness during their lives. Many Iowa communities are holding vigils this week for the mentally ill to raise awareness — cities including: Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Iowa City. Stout says many areas are holding free screenings for depression.Stout says nearly 90-percent of all people who commit suicide suffered from a treatable severe mental illness. For information on the free depression screenings, being held in many Iowa towns today, call 800-520-6373 or surf to “www.mentalhealthscreening.org”.
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