By: Marcia Dlutek, DePaul’s Vice President of Communications/Development
Former President Abraham Lincoln, football legend Lionel Aldridge, playwright Eugene O’Neil, composer Ludwig van Beethoven, author Leo Tolstoy, scientist Issac Newton, actresses Vivien Leigh and Patty Duke, British leader Winston Churchill, and artist Michelangelo.
All of these noteworthy individuals lived with a mental illness.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, they join an estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – about one in four adults – who today suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
Tens of millions of Americans live with a mental health issue, dealing with conditions like depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder. Such illnesses have the potential to impact every facet of a person’s life. It’s startling, yet even though help is available, less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive treatment.
Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month. As a nation and an agency, we seek to bring these issues to the forefront, encouraging people to get help – today.
A conversation may be all that’s needed. It’s time to break down the barriers and continue erasing the stigma. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health condition, please consider opening up to someone you trust and consult a health care provider. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative we recognize the signs of mental health issues and help those in need.
Set aside any perceived shame or stigma; there are places to turn. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness — it is a sign of strength.
- To find treatment services in your area, call 1-800-662-HELP. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers immediate assistance for all Americans, including service members and veterans, at 1-800-273-TALK.
- Learning to recognize the warning signs may sooner put you or someone you love on the path to recovery. Visit Mental Health America to learn more.
- Mental Health America has created 31 Ways to Wellness – daily tips and suggestions that the general public can use throughout May and beyond.
Please join DePaul in our work to raising awareness about mental health, providing programs that make a difference and supporting those in need.