Mental illness is all our concern

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Among other things, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s as good a time as any to point out the seriousness of mental illness and the severe effect that it can have on both the afflicted and people around them.

Among its many statistics, The National Alliance on Mental Illness states on its website:

• Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. — 10 million or 4.2 percent — experience a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

•Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20 percent live with a serious mental illness.

•Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthmic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18-44.

•Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death the U.S., the third leading cause of death in people ages 10-24 and the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-24.

You don’t have to rely on these bullet points to know that mental illness have far-reaching effects. Consider in the past several years news reports of men and women who dramatically killed other people, and were later discovered to have been suffering from paranoia or severe schizophrenia.

One organization that’s dealing with these issues locally is Support and Family Education. This is an education and support group designed to help people with mental health challenges. Families and friends of those enduring issues such as bi-polar disorder, depression and borderline personality disorder are also welcome.

Meetings take place the first Tuesday of each month starting at 6 p.m. in The Children’s Center, 700 Campbell Ave., Franklin. For details, contact April Knight at 562-6808 or You can also visit for more information.