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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

May in Indiana About More Than Racing

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023   

Ask Hoosiers to describe May in Indiana, and you'll likely hear about the Indianapolis 500, but this month is about more than racing.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and if you personally have not experienced mental health issues, statistics show it is probable someone close to you has.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness said one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year. Indiana is not an exception with 1.1 million adults reporting a mental condition.

Kimble Richardson, licensed mental health counselor at Community Fairbanks Behavioral Health, said mental illness has a stigma, unlike cancer and other diseases.

"It's hard to believe in something if it's hard to see," Richardson explained. "You're not wearing a bandage. You're not wearing a cast. But you still have effects. Number two, oftentimes, people get the sense that I am responsible for this illness."

Mental Health Awareness Month keeps health in the forefront. Richardson stressed the key to being a well-rounded human is balancing physical, mental and spiritual health. If you or anyone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling or texting 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Richardson pointed out anxiety and depression are prevalent, but treatable.

"The two most prevalent mental-health conditions in the world," Richardson noted. "The good news is that these are the two most treatable. We don't typically talk about cures, per se, but treatment. And treatment can take the form of either medication by itself, talk therapy by itself, or a combination."

The Indiana Behavioral Health Commission estimates the full cost of untreated mental illness in the state amounts to a staggering $4.2 billion a year.


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