Breaking the Mental Illness Stigma
n 1990, Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week.
in recognition of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to offer information and education about mental illness.
About 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year. NAMI proposes that we work together to replace the stigma associated with mental health conditions with hope by:
- Learning about mental health issues.
- Seeing the person and not the illness.
- Taking action.
NAMI has taken action and developed a free app called NAMI AIR (Anonymous. Inspiring. Relatable). NAMI AIR is intended to provide another way for people to find and give support and to connect with others.
One way that Angelo State University has taken action is by providing free online, confidential health screenings through ULifeline (just be sure to indicate you are an ASU student).
You can also use the free counseling appointments available to students through ASU Counseling Services located in the University Clinic.
To close, I would like to do my part in offering hope. I will share with you the writing of one who survived depression and the insomnia that can come with depression.
Why can’t we break up?
You are cruel. A thief.
But you like quiet.
Leave me forever. I beg you.
I hate you. You haunt me.
But I was there for you when you needed to be there for someone else.
Your unusual awakeness
Allowed your awareness.
It’s not fair.
I’m so miserably tired.
Life isn’t fair.
You are comfortable with the dark.
You’ve lived the dark before.
I don’t want to be in the dark.
Sometimes it scares me.
But after the dark comes the dawn, always. Without fail.
I taught you that.
Light comes after the dark.
With the dawn comes light, but still weariness.
I’m too tired.
Yet, you’ve always survived the weary.
The light lives on.
We are not friends. I don’t love you.
Tomorrow morning as I dress for the day, I will hate you all over again.
Who says we have to be friends?
Growth and transformation aren’t easy.
Acceptance will yield peace, not necessarily love.
Together we can improve the quality of life for ASU students by reaching out, by telling our story, by pointing others in the direction of help and hope. The counselors on your campus are here because we genuinely believe that healing is possible. We will listen to your story. We will help end the stigma.
How will you take part this year? Please comment and let us know!