One in five. That’s the number of adults who experience mental illness every year. That amounts to millions of Americans who suffer from a terrible yet invisible struggle. Despite the overwhelming statistics, pervasive stigmas still persist. They creep into communities, causing an atmosphere of neglect. People become afraid to speak openly, and most problems are swept under the rug. Communities across the nation refuse to acknowledge the numbers, and many individuals are left stranded and alone.
Don’t lose hope. Nationwide mental health awareness continues to grow. All across the country, people from diverse backgrounds are uniting to break stigmas. Dedicated groups are forming support networks to end the battle against mental illness. Slowly, progress is being made and societies are realizing the significance of mental health.
Mental Health Shouldn’t Be Scary
Mental health issues shouldn’t scare you away. Instead, it should open a door to an accepting and inclusive community. Those who promote awareness know the consequences of ignorance. They know that understanding and bringing mental health awareness is the key to defeating negative stereotypes.
So many people suffer in silence. These people are plagued with incessant doubts about revealing too much. There’s a prevailing idea that mental illness is not a “real” illness, because the physical effects are rarely shown. This is a dangerous belief. Just because someone’s not bleeding doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting. Instead, they might be at war with themselves. Mental disorders are just as valid as any other disability, and they can be fatal.
Here’s the good news: we’re here to help. The adoption process can be an especially troubling time, and chances are you’re starting to grow weary. The paperwork is overwhelming, the anticipation is excruciating, and you’re probably just ready to get it all over with and meet your child.
It’s okay to feel this way. These frustrations are completely normal, and they happen to almost anyone who’s looking to adopt. Before you care for your little one, however, you must care for yourself. Take the time to nurse yourself back to health. Prioritizing self-care establishes a brighter future for both you and your child. That’s why we’re listing the key points in mental health awareness.
You are not alone
Despite millions worldwide enduring the pain of mental illness, only two thirds of people seek professional help. Many are under the false impression that they’re alone in their struggle. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Mental illness doesn’t spare any population group — no matter someone’s race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or age. Although these divides may seem to separate, people can unite through shared experiences. Opening up about your hardships leads you to somebody that’s undergone the same thing.
Dozens of networks across the country allow people to bond through mutual trauma. For some, divulging too much information to strangers may seem daunting. Acknowledging your pain may spook you at first, but intimidation should never hinder your growth. Don’t underestimate the power of communal healing.
Group therapy may not be right for you. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options. If you’re hesitant about exposing too much, you can still reach out to a mental health professional. These experts are skilled at combating mental illness, and they want to listen. They exist to help people just like you.
Mental Health Stereotypes are False
Although they’re perpetuated in almost every part of the world, most beliefs about mental health are completely false. These baseless rumors seep through the cracks of every society, and it’s hard to stop them from spreading. They run rampant, brainwashing clueless people into accepting lies.
Dispelling these myths is the first step in creating a healthier community. Once these toxic ideas are eliminated, mental health professionals can start replacing them with the truth.
Stereotypes can ruin lives. For instance, there’s an assumption that violence prevails in groups affected by mental illness. People automatically link mental disorders to the terrifying representations they see on TV. Rather than trusting the facts, they base their opinions on outdated horror flicks or hurtful gossip.
In reality, only 3-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals with mental illness. Most people with poor mental health are non-violent and peaceful. Laziness, hostility, and insanity are also associated with these individuals.
Awareness is crucial. Once people are notified about the stigmas circulating society, they can begin to spread this information to others. In turn, the society will begin to mend.
Mental Health Awareness is Growing
Recently, there’s been a dramatic shift in our society. Famous actors, singers, and artists are coming forward to discuss their own battle with mental illness. Other celebrities are taking the stage to announce their solidarity. Every day, more movies come out that commemorate the stories of these individuals.
Representation matters. The more that people see mental health being celebrated on screen, the more likely people are to accept it at home. The media is beginning to break down barriers by talking openly about disorders. Addiction, depression, anxiety, and more are gradually becoming de-stigmatized.
Furthermore, health education is creating a national revolution. Through public programs, kids are able to learn more about themselves. These projects also give students the resources they need to get stronger.
Slowly, attitudes are changing. The mental health revolution continues to gain momentum. The transformation can only be sustained, however, through community participation. Everyone must support the cause, and everyone must commit to rebuilding communities with mental health in mind.
Recovery is Possible
Perhaps you believe there’s no hope for you. You may feel surrounded by darkness and bombarded with challenges at every turn. Days pass, and you lose faith that things might get better.
They will. We promise that one day you’ll wake up and see light at the end of the tunnel. There’s so much beauty in the future, and good days are coming soon. It may be hard to believe now, but one day you’ll look back on your life from a better place.
The adoption process is stressful, frustrating, and anxiety-inducing all at once. It may spark feelings you’d rather bury. But instead, these emotions must be confronted head-on.
Every single person alive is facing their own set of problems. That doesn’t mean they can’t find a road to recovery. Healing is possible, and Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is there to help you through it– every step of the way.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.
Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!