Poverty touches every area of life for members of The Well Community. Program Coordinators Ericka Ruiz and Gemma Cardenas continually see how lack of resources tie the hands of those living with serious mental illnesses, preventing them from pursuing recovery. Continue reading
Mental illness and poverty are often deeply intertwined. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), not only can living with a mental illness increase the risk of living below the poverty line, poverty can increase the likelihood that an individual will began experiencing mental health challenges and intensify the experience of mental illness. Continue reading
Well Community members Lyndon and Angel with their dogs
What’s more comforting than a cat curled up with you after a tiresome day? Or an energetic puppy bounding around the house, its little tail wagging and its pink tongue hanging out its mouth? Not much, many pet owners will say. Pets can bring joy and comfort into any home, and this is especially true for men and women who struggle with severe mental illnesses. Continue reading
Nearly 20% of Americans are impacted by mental health difficulties each year. And many are sitting in the pews of your church. Did you know that?
While churches typically stand at “high alert” to be attentive to members facing urgent medical crises such as heart attacks, surgeries, cancer and major injuries, few are mindful of or equipped to support those managing a mental illness. Continue reading
Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating mental illnesses. It’s also among the most misunderstood. This serious, chronic disease can cause hallucinations, delusions and difficulty concentrating, as well as social withdrawal and emotional unresponsiveness. And, due to misunderstandings about this condition, those who are already struggling often deal with social prejudice as well. Continue reading
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to learn more about the mental health conditions that affect 43.8 million Americans every year—including people you know. Learning about mental illnesses is the first step to standing up against stigma and supporting those who struggle.
1. Mental illness is common.
Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. One in five Americans experiences an episode of mental illness each year. Continue reading
Stigma is an all-too-common experience for those dealing with mental illnesses. For members at The Well, it does its damage daily.
The majority of those who live with mental illness experienece the pain of stigma. In fact, just one in four people with mental health symptoms believe that others are caring and sympathetic to those living with mental illnesses.
Stigma sets people apart in the eyes of others, so that they’re lumped together with a stereotyped group and considered unworthy of respect. It defines people as their illness and gives them a mark of disgrace, perpetuating negative attitudes and prejudice toward them.
Stigma hurts those with mental illnesses in many ways, including preventing them from seeking care and encouraging discrimination toward them. But, each one of us can help to stop stigma, and in turn, stand up for those who face it. Continue reading