May 4, 2015 - (Washington, DC) – There are an estimated 45.9 million adults in the U.S. living with mental illness. Furthermore, 9.3 million adults or 4% of the U.S Adult population has what the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) considers a “serious mental illness”. The most devastating statistic is that nearly half the people with a mental illness will not seek help. The consequences of this can be tragic– especially among men, who have a suicide rate nearly four times higher than that of women.
“We protect the wetlands, forests, and parks– preserving them with laws and regulations,” said Alfonzo Gibbs, LCSW, LICSW, Member of Men’s Health Network’s Board of Advisors. ”Why not declare that the source of many of the raging issues/(fires) that plague men take place in our minds, and that we need more awareness to manage them. We should become the EPA of our mental and emotional health, and declare that our minds are “Protected Space”, and govern accordingly.”
The key to treating a mental illness is early detection. Men’s Health Network (MHN) encourages men to seek help early. One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a mental health screening. Mental Health America (MHA) has online screening tools for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder at ( mhascreening.org ). MHA’s goal is to get every American screened and aware of their mental health, so they can address it early.
MHN has developed a booklet, “Your Head: An Owner’s Manual”
geared towards men suffering from Depression, Stress, and Anxiety. The publication highlights screening guidelines, symptoms, treatments, and more for the individual illnesses. MHN also has a special brochure for individuals suffering from PTSD.
"Mental health conditions often go undiagnosed in men," said Brandon Leonard, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Men's Health Network. "We all need to do our part to combat the stigma that is incorrectly associated with mental illness. Far from showing weakness, talking to someone about mental health issues and taking steps to address them are signs of tremendous courage and strength."
The stigma weakness associated with mental illness can be difficult for some men to overcome. Although, by seeking help before a mental illness has time to progress can significantly improve the effectiveness of treatment and help people get back to living healthy and happy lives.
Men's Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and facebook.com/menshealthnetwork