May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I encourage everyone to become more informed about the various types of mental illness with which so many are afflicted. They may be a family member, partner, spouse, relative, friend or you. The rate of people diagnosed with some kind of mental illness is growing.
Not enough research is being done to find better ways to help those who have borderline personality disorder, bipolar depression, schizophrenia and a host of other illnesses. We need to become more aware of this growing problem so we can help, love, support and understand the people in our lives who are suffering and help them lead more normal lives.
Some of the organizations locally that can help are Mental Health America and NAMI. They have support groups, education and information. The local library has a variety of books that will help bring awareness to those who may have a mental illness and those who know someone who has it.
Mental illness is not something that can be cured. It can be controlled. People who have this deal with loneliness, emptiness, confusion, lack of self-worth, sadness, hopelessness and really do want to feel better but just don’t know how. It takes patience and compassion to be supportive and a light to others. If we all do something to help at least one person, what a difference that would make in our world.
Laura J. Smyser