Mental Health Awareness Week has just passed so I would like to touch base on this issue. The reality is that most of us have either dealt with or know someone who has had to deal with a mental illness. Sadly mental illness still has a great deal of stigma and secrecy attached to it.
One of the ways organizations are trying to change this is with the Faces Campaign. Through public service announcements, advocacy meetings and participation in the Let’s Talk Campaign people can offer up their face along with their experience with mental illness. We can hear about what helped them and what hindered them. This campaign is designed to engage the public by putting a real face to the subject of mental illness.
Getting a message out to the public is always a challenge but the bravery shown by participants who open themselves up this way should make us take notice. Libraries are a great place to educate yourself on the subject of mental health or get in touch with your community health organizations. Really look and listen the next time you see one of these television spots. There are many stories out there and hopefully this campaign will continue, helping people better understand mental illness and how to achieve good mental health.
On this Thanksgiving Day take some time to think about the many faces of mental illness and what we can do to make it better.
--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services