Mental illnesses are medical illnesses. They affect all communities.
One in four adults experiences a mental disorder in any given year. One in 17 adults lives with schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is especially important this year as severe budget cuts threaten mental health services in many communities around the country. People who do not receive treatment end up in hospitals, shelters, in jail or dead.
Each year the Rome affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) holds a candlelight service at a local church in recognition of The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding. This year Rome First Baptist Church, 100 E. Fourth Ave., is hosting the service at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the chapel. A recent Berry graduate will share how she dealt with anxiety which led to panic attacks in high school and college. Her story should inspire students, parents, and anyone with a mental illness that recovery is possible and one should never give up hope.
Help us erase the stigma associated with mental illness by filling up the chapel. Numbers do make a difference. Remember, treatment works and saves lives.