Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 146: National Mental Health Month

May 1st kicked off National Mental Health Month (NMHM) continuing the long-standing tradition of encouraging awareness of mental and emotional health. Originally created in April 1949, National Mental Health Week was observed to focus public attention on mental health concerns. In the late 1960’s Mental Health Week expanded to a month-long effort to increase the public’s understanding of mental health issues. During May, the National Mental Health Association or Mental Health America (MHA) takes time to promote health and wellness in homes, communities, and schools. Mental health encompasses a variety of health conditions, from Alzheimers to depression, and as many as 1 in 4 Americans suffers from a mental health condition, reports Mental Health America. Most mental health conditions are treatable with medication, counseling, healthy living or any combination of these.

Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. Mental disorders can also affect children. According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), mental health problems affect one in five young people. An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older-about 1 in 5 adults-suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

Recognizing the signs of mental illness is important. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, worry, or sleep problems are not uncommon. However, when these feelings get very intense, last for long periods of time, or begin to interfere with school, friendships and other relationships, it may be a sign of a mental illness. Depression, attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety, conduct, and eating disorders are all types of diagnosable mental disorders found in children. Although mental disorders in children are appearing more often, great advances have been made in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
KidsPeace is a private charity dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, families and communities. Founded in 1882, KidsPeace provides a unique psychiatric hospital; a comprehensive range of residential treatment programs; accredited educational services; and a variety of foster care and community-based treatment programs to help people in need overcome challenges and transform their lives. KidsPeace provides emotional and physical health care and educational services in an atmosphere of teamwork, compassion and creativity.

KidsPeace offers services in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
KidsPeace is accredited by The Joint Commission in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.  KidsPeace does not discriminate in regard to admissions in terms of sex, race, creed, color, national origin, LEP (Limited English Proficiency), religious beliefs, disabilities or handicapping conditions.

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