Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month. Far too often people with mental health concerns are stigmatized by our society. One in five adults in Texas will experience a mental health concern at some point in the coming year and over 20% of children ages 9-17 have a diagnosed mental illness. The stigma associated with mental illness often serves as a significant deterrent to seeking needed help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a great initiative running to “cure stigma”. I encourage you to visit http://www.curestigma.org and support the cause. I would also like to ask you to remember the following three points. 1. People with mental illness need our love and support. 2. Stigma can make people feel alienated, fear being judged if they share their story, and may prevent them from seeking treatment. 3. If someone you know is diagnosed with a mental illness take the time to listen to them and show them support.