Every May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Although the month of May is set aside each year to promote awareness of mental illnesses and those who suffer from them, as well as their caregivers, the potentially devastating effects of mental illness are a problem that we should all be aware of year round. This is especially true because mental illness is still greatly stigmatized in our society as well as around the world. Even the health care industry faces some difficulties correctly treating the mentally ill, as patients are reluctant to seek help or provide accurate reports of symptoms. Some doctors report feeling under trained in how to recognize and diagnose mental illness. All of these topics were covered in an article that appeared in Psychology Today in 2013.

About 26% of American adults have a diagnosable mental illness. Some are mild and may require only medication and/or counseling, while others are severe and require short or long term hospitalization. The Kim Foundation is a website with a good general overview of the most common psychiatric problems, statistics pertaining to them, and where to seek help.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a good organization which provides information and help, both for the patient as well as their caregivers and family members. There is a local Mercer chapter that runs a help line (609-799-8994) and provides resources for emergency care.

The following is a list of books and DVDs covering some of the more common psychiatric illnesses. There are many titles in your library and the general nonfiction call number area for these is 616.85.
Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering; Beyond Schizophrenia: Living and Working with a Serious Mental Illness
Title: Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering
Author: Kessler, David A.
ISBN: 9780062388513

Title: Beyond Schizophrenia: Living and Working with a Serious Mental Illness
Author: Baldwin, Marjorie L.
ISBN: 9781442248335

Title: Beating Depression
Author: Rush, A. John. Rush, A. John.
ISBN: 9780816011049
Wounds; Depression; Cry for help
Title: The Wounds Within: A Veteran's Family, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared
Author: Nickerson, Mark I.
ISBN: 9781632204196

Title: Flight From Despair, Depression and Mania (DVD)
Author: Asner, Edward
Summary: Approximately 20 million Americans are currently grappling with mood disorders, devastating mental illnesses that force people's feelings to the extremes of the emotion spectrum. In this program, patients and those who are closest to them relate compelling stories of life with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood-related conditions. Pharmacological advances that are helping to manage these diseases and improve patient quality of life are addressed.

Title: Men Get Depression (DVD)
Author: Watts, Grady
ISBN: 9780793694143
Summary: Documentary that explores the effects of depression through profiles of a former NFL Quarterback, a Fortune 500 CEO, an Iraq War veteran, a university professor, a pastor and others.
Call Number 616.8527 MEN

Title: Cry for Help (DVD)
Author: Magnus, Edie.
ISBN: 9780793670819
Summary: Features first-person stories from adolescents who are confronting depression, anxiety, and mental illness. Provides a rare and important look at mental illness among young adults through their stories, emotional struggles, and their lives in crises. Explores treatments, mental health testing, and community healing programs to give parents and educators a basis for recognizing the warning signs of teens in trouble.

-Gary Calderone

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