October 3, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

ADMH Joins Advocacy Groups and Stakeholders in Celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week

MONTGOMERY – One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year, and more than one in 17 lives with serious, chronic disorders. Yet, as the U.S. Surgeon General has noted, the stigma associated with mental illness keeps some from getting help when they need it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has sponsored Mental Illness Awareness Week for more than 20 years with the purpose of increasing awareness about mental illness and reducing stigma. This year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week is being observed nationwide October 2-8.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health serves more than 110,000 citizens with mental illnesses each year. More than 98 percent of those individuals are experiencing recovery and living in the community. ADMH and other agencies also work to decrease stigma surrounding mental illnesses through various public education efforts. Many of NAMI Alabama’s 20 affiliate chapters are hosting a variety of events to celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week. Health fairs, candlelight vigils and picnics will be held, and NAMI Alabama is encouraging all of its stakeholders to participate in the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery on October 4th. A complete listing of NAMI Alabama events surrounding Mental Illness Awareness Week can be found at www.namialabama.org.

During this observance, ADMH encourages the public to take the opportunity to learn more about mental illnesses, and to reflect on the hope and real possibility of recovery. Mental illnesses are medical illnesses that can profoundly disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood and ability to relate to others. The most common forms of mental illness are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and a range of anxiety disorders. Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or socioeconomic status, but with appropriate treatment most people with mental illnesses can lead productive, fulfilling lives. Associate Commissioner of ADMH’s Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services Dr. Tammy Peacock says, “Mental illnesses, on average, have very high treatment success rates. This underscores how important it is for people to become educated about mental illnesses and recovery so they can encourage someone they know to get treatment or seek treatment themselves if needed. Studies show that early intervention increases treatment success rates.”



More information on Mental Illness Awareness Week can be found by visiting www.nami.org.

Information on mental illness services in the state of Alabama can be obtained by contacting the ADMH
Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services at (334)242-3200 or by visiting www.mh.alabama.gov.

  • For more information, visit http://mh.alabama.gov
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