In October, we observed Mental Illness Awareness Week. In that time I asked myself, as a society, Are we TRULY AWARE of mental illness? (Spoiler: NOOOOooo!)
This month, we take the time to acknowledge and raise awareness of many different conditions we call “mental illness” like Depression, Schizophrenia, ADHD, PTSD, Dementia, Bipolar Disorder and more. However, as I listen to society debate the many pressing issues of our current society, the widespread violence and chaos, or hypothesizing about “what’s wrong with Ye?” it strikes me that we do not even have the BASIC language to fully appreciate most mental illnesses. Every day, I hear people use language like "crazy" or "weird" to describe people who are experiencing mental health crises. I hear misuse of words like "bipolar" to describe erratic weather, and a host of other frankly ignorant statements about emotional and mental health. Our culture has long downplayed attention to emotions, despite them being ever-present, resulting in widespread mental health struggles that have yet to even be "named" and identified. Our current system is woefully inadequate to address the realities of how many people need mental health support and treatment.
In this episode of MYA, Dr. Alauna breaks down why a Brain, Body, Behavior anatomy lesson is KEY to truly becoming Mental Health Aware!