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Bipolar Disorder; "Stigma is a Major Barrier to People Seeking Help"

Posted Nov 06 2010 9:19am
The Camarillo Acorn speaks with Ratan Bhavnani, executive director of NAMI Ventura, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
In the article, Mental Illness Often Goes Untreated ,
Bhavnani says, “Many people in our community are directly affected by mental illness"

What is so important is that Bhavnani and NAMI are promoting that mental illness is a medical illness and it can be treated. This is why the reform of mental health care is so necessary, starting within each community.

“The good news is that treatment does work and recovery is possible. The bad news is that in many states or communities around the country, like Ventura County, state funding is being cut, directly affecting services.” Says Bhavnani.

The article states, "When mental health care is cut, greater costs often result from lost jobs and careers, broken families, more homelessness, higher insurance costs, more welfare, and more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police, courts, jails and prisons."

It goes on to state these profound statistics
A life is lost to suicide every 15.8 minutes.

More than 56 percent of homeless people have a severe mental illness, more than four times the rate of the general population.

An estimated 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Of these veterans, 45 percent live with mental illness.

Continuous exposure to mental illness and the reduction of stigma is and absolute must to reform our health care system and to let those who are sick know it is okay to seek help.
It should be just as normal, just as easy, as going to the emergency room for any other medical illness. The pure facts are the way the mental health system works now, it is absolutely a terrifying experience; and that's if the person in need even makes it to the hospital. Too many are afraid to seek help because of the labels, the stereotypical media made psycho mentally-ill, and the worst of all our fallen hero's who have just been forgotten and don't have the means to get the treatment needed.

“The U.S. surgeon general has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it."Bhavnani said.

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