Mental illnesses are common, leaving very few families in the United States
untouched, but recovery is within reach.
That's the message broadcast by the new public education campaign,"
Mental Health: It's Part of All Our Lives," which the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched in May.
The campaign is part of SAMHSA's three-year Elimination of Barriers
Initiative, which aims to increase understanding and acceptance of people with
The initiative is a collaborative effort between SAMHSA and a number of
state mental health authorities in partnership with people with mental
illness, their families, mental health advocates, and health care
The eight states participating in the campaign are California, Florida,
Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
In North Carolina, for example, high school teachers, administrators, and
principals are being trained to deal effectively with mental health problems
among students in 10 schools.
Last May in Boston, more than 3,500 people participated in a 5-kilometer
walk sponsored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to raise
awareness about and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.
"The fear and stigma that surround mental health problems make it
harder for people to access treatment, find employment, or obtain
housing," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said in a press release."
Fortunately, everyone can do something to help reduce
Based on data from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health,
researchers estimated that 17.5 million adults in the United States had a
serious mental illness in 2002.
More information about "Mental Health: It's Part of All Our
Lives" is posted online at<allmentalhealth.samhsa.gov/english/>.▪