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NAMI: One In Four Americans Live With Mental Illness

IMAGE: One in four Americans suffers from some form of mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It's Mental Illness Awareness Week. Image courtesy of NAMI.
IMAGE: One in four Americans suffers from some form of mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It's Mental Illness Awareness Week. Image courtesy of NAMI.
October 8, 2013

LAS VEGAS - Creating more awareness about the services available for people suffering with mental illness is the focus of this week's Mental Illness Awareness Week. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says one American in four lives with some form of mental illness.

According to NAMI Media Relations Director Bob Carolla, a big challenge of getting treatment is overcoming the cultural stigma attached to mental illness.

"And that's another reason we have Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is to help break down the stigma and to educate people," he explained. "And hopefully also to local communities, let them know where they can go to get help if they need it."

Carolla said the most common forms of mental illness are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety, and that another big challenge is that treatment and services are more limited in lower-income areas.

"Generally there is not enough access to mental health care," he said. "And it's been particularly brutal, you know, during the economic recession that we're still coming out of."

Carolla said many states cut funding for mental-health services during the Great Recession, when people needed such services even more than before.

More information is at the NAMI website, NAMI.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV