Perfect Time for Mental Illness Awareness Week

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Mental Illness Awareness Week is here. It's time to change the public perception of mental illness and that the mentally ill are dangerous.

It's Mental Illness Awareness Week

It's Mental Illness Awareness Week and I can't think of a more perfect time for this annual event. It's been almost 4 weeks since the Navy Yard shooting in which 12 people were killed and another 4 wounded. The FBI says the shooter, Aaron Alexis, was under "the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves" before he went on a shooting rampage. The public has once again been left with the impression that people with a mental illness are dangerous.

Public Perception That Mentally Ill Are Dangerous

In the last two years, we've had several high profile killings involving a shooter with a mental health problem. These incidents always receive a lot of media attention. The general public, which doesn't discriminate between treated and untreated mental illness or generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder, lumps everything into one bucket; the one labeled "Mentally Ill Are Dangerous". We can be angry or feel indignent about that, but it's important to accept that, for now, that's the way it is. Without that, we don't have a framework for what's needed going forward.

What's Behind the Public's Perception of Mental Illness

I think there are two things behind this misperception of mental illness:

  1. Many people are uneducated about mental illness. They know very little about the subject matter or have inaccurate information.
  2. Many with a mental illness are in hiding. If the 1 in 4 people who have a mental illness came out, other people would see them for who they are. Instead, many get their first introduction to mental illness via a mass shooting being reported by the media or a homeless person they spot on the street.

Perfect Time for Mental Illness Awareness WeekMental Illness Awareness Week was first established by Congress in 1990. That is 23 years ago. It occurs the first week of October. Since 1990, there are more mental health screening programs in place, trusted mental health information abounds on the Internet, and effective mental health treatments are more readily available to those who need them. All are important and wonderful things. (Yes, we need more help for those who can't afford to get mental health help.) But mental health stigma still needs to be addressed in a big way. We need people, like you, to help spread mental health awareness and erase the stigma this week and every week!

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: When you hear that someone with a mental illness was involved in a mass shooting or some other tragic incident, what is your reaction? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

Help Spread Awareness of Mental Illness

Get Our Mental Health Blog Widget

Over 370 sites and blogs are helping spread awareness of mental illness. How about putting our mental health blogs widget on your website, blog or social page? The latest HealthyPlace blog headlines appear as soon as the articles are posted on our site. Just click "Get Widget" at the bottom of the widget, grab the embed code and paste it into your page. You'll also see embed links for Wordpress, Blogger, Linkedin and other social sites there.

As a bonus, put the blogs widget on your site or blog, email us (info AT with a page link where it appears, and we'll give a shoutout to your site, blog, or social site on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

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Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Binge Behaviors: Normal For PTSD?
  2. Acting Confident: 4 Mistakes You May Be Making
  3. Relationship Between Self-Injury and Depression

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Guiding Aspergers’ Teens Within Dating Relationships

Dating relationships among older teens with Aspergers’ Syndrome present opportunities for growth and areas of special challenge. The Parent Coach, Dr. Steven Richfield, has advice for parents of teens with Aspergers as they head into the dating arena.

Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Are We Hard-Wired for War?
  • Psychotropic Use in Preschool-Age Children 'Stabilizing'
  • Debt and Mental Health Problems
  • Why We Like Sad Music
  • What Function Does Shame Serve?
  • Debt And Mental Health Problems
  • Adolescent Psychotic Experiences Lack Uniformity
  • Affective Dimensions Aid Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis
  • Carbonyl Stress Suggests Strategy For Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia
  • Multiple Aspects to Severe Bipolar Mixed States
  • Exercise Interventions May Be Needed in Bipolar Patients

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2013, October 9). Perfect Time for Mental Illness Awareness Week, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Last Updated: November 6, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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