Los Angeles, California -
Los Angeles, CA – One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and one in twenty must deal with a severe form of it, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, health experts say the COVID-19 pandemic caused even more people to experience severe mental and emotional distress. During Mental Health Awareness Month, Muse Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles is urging everyone to take an active role in finding solutions to this ongoing crisis.
NAMI observes National Mental Health Awareness Month each year in May. The organization offers extensive resources and events for those who wish to help raise awareness and show their support. Muse is spotlighting the month as a provider of mental health treatment for clients struggling with drug and alcohol dependence.
Muse treats both addiction and mental illness together, aligning with current therapeutic approaches. Health experts say drug or alcohol addiction isn’t necessarily the addict’s primary disorder but is often a symptom of an underlying mental health issue. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than one in four U.S. adults with a severe mental illness also has a substance abuse disorder. Many addicts self-medicate conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or PTSD with drugs or alcohol. If only the addiction is treated, they will likely resume using again if their mental health is left untreated. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration reports that fewer than 8% of people with co-occurring disorders receive treatment for both disorders.
Mental health disorders grew at a shocking rate during the pandemic, which isolated many people from vital support systems. In a March 2022 report, “Mental Health and COVID-19,” the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that, worldwide in 2020, the pandemic led to a 27.6% increase in cases of “major depressive disorder” and a 25.6% increase in cases of anxiety disorders.
Never have people needed each other’s support more than now, as we try to pick up the pieces of lives shattered by COVID and other circumstances leading to addiction and mental and emotional distress. It adds even more profound meaning to NAMI’s 2022 Mental Health Awareness Month theme: “Together for Mental Health.” It’s a time when NAMI pledges “to bring our voices together to advocate for mental health and access to care.”
“During the pandemic,” NAMI states on its website resources for Mental Health Awareness Month, “we faced isolation, turmoil, and unrest, and a growing number of Americans experienced mental health symptoms. We learned through this experience that we all struggle during challenging times and need support and access to care to thrive . . . Through this message, we are encouraging people to join together to advocate for better mental health care.”
Anyone can get involved. Here are a few suggestions from Muse and NAMI.
Contact elected representatives – local, state, and federal – to advocate for more access to treatment.
If you’ve been personally affected by mental health disorders, share your story on social media and on the NAMI website to help reduce the stigma of needing help for a condition that’s a disease, not a character failing. Sharing your story on NAMI’s website also allows it to be shared with law enforcement during training to help police officers understand how to respond to people with mental health conditions.
Anyone who suffers from a mental illness should seek support right away.
“Together,” NAMI vows, “we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Anyone seeking effective treatment of mental health or substance use disorders – or who suspects both conditions may be present – can call Muse Treatment. Specialists are available 24/7 at 866-634-6111 and all calls are confidential.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]