This week has been national “Mental Illness Awareness Week”, and the executive director of the Iowa chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness says progress is being made. Margaret Stout says they need to keep spreading their message. She says the goal is to create awareness and remind everyone that people with mental illness are around us all and they need to seek the help to keep them mentally healthy. Stout says bi-polar disorder is one of the issues they focus on.
Stout says the thing you should know if you think someone might suffer from bi-polar disorder, is the person needs to see a therapist or psychiatrist to get a good mental evaluation. Stout says people with bi-polar disorder sometimes do not get the help or intervention they need. Stout says treating mental illness early is important.
Stout says it’s just like any other disease, such as cancer, you don’t wait until the problem becomes huge before you seek treatment. Stout says they’ve made progress in educating people about mental illness, but says there are still some barriers.
Stout says there’s no doubt that the stigma of mental illness still exists, but she says the reason they have an awareness week is to let people know the importance of good treatment to break down the stigma. Stout says you can all her organization at 800-417-0417 to get more information, or visit their website at:www.namiiowa.org.
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