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This is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place October 7-13 and was nationally designated by congress in 1990 to be an opportunity to learn more about serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Mental illnesses are medical illnesses. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 lives with serious, chronic illness.

While many people in our community are directly affected by mental illness, the good news is that treatment does work and recovery is possible.

According to Karen Dolan, who will become the CEP of Four Corners Behavioral Health on Nov. 1. Dolan is replacing Jan Bodily, who is resigning after five years with the agency to relocate to Washington State.

"On average, people living with serious mental illness live 25 years less than the rest of the population. One reason is that less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment." Dolan said.

"The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it, that's why mental illness awareness and education is so important." Dolan said "We want people to understand mental illness and join a dialogue in our community. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the help and support they need."

When mental health care isn't available in a community, the results often are lost jobs and careers, broken families, more homelessness, more welfare and much more expensive costs for hospital emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools, police and even courts, jails and prisons.

Since 2009, states have cut mental health services by $1.6 billon.

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