May is National Mental Health Month

Sunday, April 29, 2012
Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray designated May as Mental Health Month on Thursday. There for the signing of the proclamation were Stephanie Williams, Charles E. Shrewsbury of, Michael Goss, Bill Nunn, Eileen Johnson and Lucy Wieland. The mayoral proclamation calls upon Putnam County citizens, agencies, organizations, medical facilities and businesses to increase their participation in an effort to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all citizens.

In honor of National Mental Health Month, Mental Health America of Putnam County is calling on the community to help the one in four American adults who live with diagnosable, treatable mental health conditions and to understand how important mental health is to overall health.

Mental Health America wants people to know that while mental health and substance use conditions are common, they are extremely treatable and individuals go on to recover and lead full and productive lives. Too many people who are living with a mental health condition never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost, or lack of health care insurance coverage -- as high as 50 percent.

MHA wants to change this equation and help the families, friends and co-workers who may be reluctant to ask for help or don't know where to find it. The passage of the federal mental health parity and addiction equity act also expands access to care for many people.

"We now recognize how essential mental health is to our overall health and well-being," MHAPC Executive Director Eileen Johnson said. "And we know how events and life changes can affect us. It could be a veteran struggling with the invisible wounds of war or someone coping with the stress of care giving or divorce or losing a loved one. Sometimes, people are dealing with depression associated with a chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer or hypertension. And traumatic events like destructive tornados, for example, can take a huge toll on mental health."

Mental Health Month was created to help raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for all. There is an incredible amount of knowledge about how to identify and even prevent mental health conditions. It's important that we spread the word about it.

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