Article submitted by County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services
According to national studies, one in five people in the United States will experience a mental illness. Even as awareness of mental illness and the opportunity for treatment increases, there continues to be significant stigma and discrimination that keep family, friends and neighbors from seeking needed mental health services.
Partners across San Diego County are working to reduce stigma surrounding mental health.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, kicked off by the annual NAMI Walk/HHSA Wellness Expo on Sunday, April 28, 2018. This annual event brought out hundreds of residents to Liberty Station to walk or run in support of reducing stigma and discrimination against mental illness and to be physically active.
NAMI San Diego also teamed up with KPBS to develop a three-part series on the “Stigma of Mental Illness.” Read the series here: https://namisandiego.org/for-those-with-mental-illness-battling-stigma-is-first-step-in-getting-help/.
To reach college age young adults, the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services is partnering with Active Minds, Inc., San Diego City College and California State University San Marcos to host the Send Silence Packing exhibit to increase awareness of student suicide. The exhibit is a traveling education display of over 1,000 backpacks representing the number of college students who die by suicide each year. The exhibit includes trained outreach staff to facilitate conversation, education and emotional support for visitors to the exhibit.