“Mental Health: Break the Silence – Break the Stigma”
In his series, ”Mental Health: Break the Silence – Break the Stigma”, Scott Garbini shatters the myths and fallacies of mental health. Follow his newest series and discover the truths about mental illness; the signs, symptoms, and solutions.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) 1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year; 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24 (www.nami.org). For too long society has made those with mental illness feel like outcasts. While we can all probably think of someone in our lives who has a mental illness of some sort, it is rarely discussed out loud. The fact of the matter is, we need to stop keeping these conditions in the shadows, discover what they really are, how they present, and what we can do to help people we know who have a mental illness. Getting involved and being supportive are two factors that are crucial to improving the odds for recovery.
Mental illness is defined as “a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood…” (www.nami.org) When you break it down to the bare bones like that, it’s not something that should make people so uncomfortable – and yet it does. Eric Kandel, MD, a Nobel Prize laureate and professor at Columbia University has the viewpoint that biology is the underlying factor. “All mental processes are brain processes, and therefore all disorders of mental functioning are biological diseases. The brain is the organ of the mind. Where else could mental illness be if not in the brain?” (www.apa.org) Other researchers believe that biological, environmental, behavioral, and social factors all play a role in the development of mental illness. While the actual cause is helpful to determine a treatment plan, it is irrelevant in how we should approach those with a mental illness. If someone has a heart condition and takes an aspirin every night, no one is wary of that person. If someone is diabetic and needs insulin, it is seen as quite normal. If someone has asthma and needs an inhaler, it is no big deal. This is the attitude and approach that must be taken regarding those with mental health disorders.
This series will focus on the truths about mental illness as it affects those in high school and/or college. What are the signs, symptoms, and solutions? How do you discuss mental illness with your child? How do you know if you should be concerned about your child’s mental health? What should you do if you are concerned? What options are available to help them both on and off campus? The more open parents are about discussing mental health, the easier it will be if a situation arises in which your child wants to bring something to your attention, or vice versa. Here you can find helpful, factual information and start to have that discussion. In the next article we will start discussing individual mental health conditions and their signs.
Scott S. Garbini, M. Ed is the owner of Garbini Education and Career Consulting, LLC. providing college admission counseling, transition planning and post graduate options, as well as college to career and/or life transitioning and coaching. Mr. Garbini has over 15 years experience in higher education, spoken at multiple schools, seminars, and educational conferences around the country, and currently serves as a member of the New London Public Schools Policy Committee, ISAAC School Governance Council and is the former President of the New London School Board.
Visit www.garbinied.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a consultation. You can also visit Garbini Education and Career Consulting LLC. on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/garbinieducationandcareerconsulting and Instagram at garbinieducation