TO END STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS
One out of every five Americans is diagnosed with a mental disorder every year.
The County of San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s (HHSA) Mental Health Services division and its many partners are celebrating Mental Health Month with a series of events aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
...“I’m proud that we can partner with a strong, active coalition of organizations to get people the mental health services they need so they can lead healthier lives,” said Chairman Greg Cox of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.
The First Lady's Shocking Story
The Boston Globe
Her battle with depression is well known, but in her new book, Shock, Kitty Dukakis, with help from award-winning medical journalist Larry Tye, shares how controversial shock therapy treatments may have saved her life.
It is June 20, 2001, Michael's and my 38th wedding anniversary. It also is the end of my fourth month of depression, my crisis period. I'm normally a person with enormous enthusiasm for and interest in the world. All that is just missing now. Fun or enjoyment are things I cannot even imagine. I don't speak to my kids on the phone, or to my sister. I do keep up with Dad, but he calls me more than I do him.
The last two people I want worrying about me are my father, who is too old and dear, and my husband, who has had to worry for far too long. I have run out of options and...
“The fear of rejection and discrimination prevents people with a mental illness from getting access to needed mental health services. The Mental Health Month events and other awareness campaigns are helping change the way people with a mental illness are viewed,” added Alfredo Aguirre, Director of HHSA’s Mental Health Services division.
County officials joined Kitty Dukakis, community partners, and mental health consumers at a demonstration and flashlight vigil aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
Participants unveiled a Mental Health Awareness Quilt made from hundreds of panels created by mental health consumers and shine a light on mental illness during a flashlight vigil. The event took place on May 29, 2008 at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
Special guest Kitty Dukakis, author and wife of former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, talked about her constant battle with depression and how electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has helped her deal with her mental illness.
“We will shine a light on mental illness and make a statement that the stigma should end,” said Sharron Hedenkamp, Executive Director of The Meeting Place, Inc.
Mental Health Services provides a vast array of services including mental health assessments, individual, family, and group therapy, special services for children, crisis intervention and psychiatric emergency care.
The County also provides a 24-hour, multi-lingual Access and Crisis Line at