New York City organizes campaign to help people talk about their mental illnesses

If mental illness could be seen on a sufferer, may be society wouldn’t say, “Just get over it”.

– Lonely Lotus

It is difficult to identify people suffering from any mental disorder just like that, while for those with mental illnesses, it is tough to explain what is going on in their minds. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental health conditions touch and impact the lives of millions of Americans each year.

According to the NAMI, one in five adults in America is affected by some mental illness in a year. But the inherent tendency of the society to turn a blind eye to the despair of its own people forces them to wage a constant war inside their heads, thus, pushing them into an everlasting phase of pain and suffering.

Having a mental disorder is not a decision one chooses to make. There is a need for mentally ill people to be able to share what they are going through instead of letting the fire inside consume them completely. More and more people are experiencing bouts of mental illnesses, though only few seek treatment.

Having recognized the need for affected people to come out in the open and start talking about their observation of mental health problems, the New York City has initiated an advertising campaign worth $2 million to encourage people to come forward and discuss their arduous tryst with mental health problems.

Recognizing the suffering

The ad campaign was inaugurated on April 11, 2016 by First Lady of New York City Chirlane I. McCray. The campaign consisted of advertisements through various forms of electronic, print and outdoor media such as banners in subways and city buses.

McCray said that the focus of the campaign lied in “changing the mindset around the mind,” where people would be educated to stop classifying mental illness as something despicable or to avoid treating the affected with contempt.

McCray has been leading the crusade in the city to inform people that mental disorders are treatable and that complete recovery is possible with increased accessibility to mental health care and change in attitude towards both the disorder and the affected.

The advertisements, as intrinsic part of the campaign, will run till June 30, 2016. McCray declared that 14 community-based organizations have been selected to amplify access to mental health services to an estimated 40,000 people of New York over the subsequent five years, adding that such steps will aid in making the streets safer.

McCray said, “If we can prevent mental illness from spiraling into more serious mental illness, it’s going to have a huge effect on public safety.”

Road to recovery

More than the number of people who are suffering from a mental health problem, there are those who have a problem recognizing the suffering of the affected. To intentionally refuse acknowledging the agony and distress that mentally ill people are going through is in itself an unbearable and unforgivable form of violence.

One of the biggest impediments to providing care to mentally ill people is the stigma that surrounds the concept of mental illness. It is imperative to never give up on any person suffering from mental illness. As the ‘i’ of mental illness gets replaced with ‘we’, it does not take much for mental illness to be transformed to mental wellness.

If you or your loved one is battling any mental illness, do not keep it to yourself. Seek professional help to get rid of your problem. Take the first step towards a joyful life and call 247 Mental Health Helpline today. To consult one of our mental health specialists, please call our helpline at 855-653-8178 or chat online.