Each May, Trilogy joins with Mental Health America in celebrating Mental Health Month. For more than 65 years, May has been recognized as Mental Health Month by people across the country and seen as a time to raise awareness about mental health. This year the theme of Mental Health Month is B4Stage4, which is aimed at getting people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and reaching out for treatment of mental health disorders before they reach Stage 4.
Advocacy is an important means of raising awareness on mental health issues and ensuring that mental health is on the national agenda of governments. Advocacy can lead to improvements in policy, legislation and service development.
Less than a month ago the world received news of the passing of award-winning actor, Robin Williams, who completed suicide after years of publicly talking about his struggles with depressive moods and substance use. With Williams’ passing, the world joined together in mourning for a public figure who was admired by many and began conversations across social media platforms about suicide prevention and the stigma associated with both suicide and mental illness.
It’s almost May. The polar vortex is merely a memory and summer is fast approaching! The change in seasons means a mental health boost for many of us and what better way to embrace our heightened spirits than to advocate for others?
A lot of kids say, “My dad is crazy!”, but they don't mean it the way I meant it. My dad was bipolar, but we didn’t know it at the time. At the time we blamed his alcoholism. He drank all day and used to yell at my twin sister and me incoherently. He frequently became violent, hitting us with a razor strap or a belt. We would find our favorite toys in the trash. Sometimes he accused us of doing things we had not done, but by the time I was 12 I would not let him get away with false accusations. I stood up to him, saying we had not done what he was accusing us of because to me it was worth the beating just to stand up for myself. I was in high school when I realized my father was bipolar, a disease that ran in his family.
When Trilogy was selected by the State of Illinois to be one of the first community-based mental health organizations designated as a Williams Class Member service provider, we agreed to assist men and women who have lived in nursing homes for large portions of their lives with the transition of moving into their own independent apartments. As our Williams Transition Team began enrolling people into the program, they noticed that a large number of the residents moving out on their own needed individualized supports to address deficits in their day-to-day living skills.
Joseph C. is one of more than 500 people who take advantage of the services offered through the Trilogy Heartland Integrated Healthcare clinic each year. Trilogy established our Integrated Healthcare Program in 2008 to help address the needs of individuals like Joseph who are living with serious mental illness and, often times as a result of that mental illness, have trouble accessing quality primary health services.
Each quarter, Trilogy hosts a Williams Friends and Family Night. Thanks to the hard work of our Williams Team, this event is always a wonderful opportunity for friends and family of Class members—men and women who have lived in a nursing home setting for extended portions of their lives with the transition of moving into their own apartments as part of the implementation plan set forth by the State of Illinois' Williams Consent Decree—to socialize with one another over a meal and learn more about Trilogy and the services we provide.
Earlier this week, Trilogy posted a New York Times opinion piece on our Facebook and Twitter feeds titled “Shameful Profiling of the Mentally Ill.” It addressed the discrimination of several individuals who, on separate occasions, were disgracefully denied entry into the United States simply because they had sought treatment for mental illness in the past.
Tags: recovery, mental illness, mental health, stigma, serious mental illness, reduce stigma, advocacy, community mental health act, Mental Health First Aid, John F. Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy, New York Times