Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 4-10, 2015

Each year Mental Illness Awareness Week occurs during the first full week of October.  1 in every 5 adults in America experience a mental illness, and nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness didn't receive mental health services in the previous year.

This year, the focus of this week is to eliminate the stigma around mental illness - that means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and taking action on mental health issues.

Science is in a continuous state of self-discovery. It is not static. This means that psychology is also a process focused on better understanding of what it means to be healthy and happy. No one is continuously healthy and happy.How do we know how we might react under extreme loss or pressure? There is a saying “We are all in this together,” so it is a tragedy to not believe that everyone has similar opportunities for transformation (however big or small). No one person’s life is identical to another person’s life. Therefore no one should ever be given a mental diagnosis as though it is a static condition. When therapists and clients, all human beings, are open to creative possibilities change is possible.

One major problem is that we have created a social construction of mental illness that isn’t allowing for this change. According to this theory, members of cultures co-create constructed understanding of how the world operates based upon their experiences and communications with other members within that culture. If other cultures have different understandings and interactional styles then it means there simply is no one way of being.This challenges our model of mental health. It creates a system in which patient and doctor interact in what could be seen as a drama, a play. If we examine the new insights and knowledge coming through Quantum Healing and Quantum Mechanics theories, it becomes evident that life is a continuous process of change. Nothing is static! It is only our beliefs that limit us even though this shared shared construction of meaning-making often appears to be quite solid as well as limiting. This is where that idea of the hero’s journey applies.

In the hero’s journey a person becomes aware of something “more” than what is occurring in his or her life. The person begins to see possibilities and in response sets out upon a journey (this is more often a metaphor for internal change) to find this new treasure. Typically, there are obstacles to be faced, i.e., not believing in ourselves or other people not believing this journey is possible. But when the person refused to be stopped by these obstacles, new ways of learning appear. A transformation occurs in response to new understanding. The learning is integrated and the person returns into his or her culture and benefits life.

An example of this is seen in the late John Nash (1928-2015), who refused to allow a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia to limit his life.He decided to rely more on the loving relationship with his wife than medication. It can be said that his schizophrenia allowed his mind to be open to great gifts. He was a recipient of the 2004 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Services. His fantasies actually led to the development of what is called “Game theory”, based on study of social interaction and strategy. Other influential mathematical theories were that of differential geometry and partial differential equations. He walked steadily through immense fear and related anxiety on both mental and relational levels, but he did it!In so doing, he made a mark on the world and contributed to a very different perspective on serious mental illness, i.e., it can lead to creative insights and change.

Every person’s life has potential for healing and transformation—be it large or small.In that science is verifying that everything is in a process of creativity and movement, then it means that our social constructs are not as rigid as we have believed them to be. In this new paradigm we “de-stigmatize” our beliefs about what we call “mental illness,” and instead allow for supportive possibilities and opportunities. Our ideas of the limitations of mental health are changeable. The potential for moving into new ways of understanding one’s life and its possibilities are a reality!

- Sharon G. Mijares, Ph.D., Editor of Modern Psychology and Ancient Wisdom: Psychological Healing Practices from the World’s Religious Traditions, 2nd Edition

By focusing on an individual’s mental health rather than on their ‘illness’ or diagnosis.

Imagine being defined by your biggest struggle and how incredibly difficult it would be to move away from that struggle towards your hopes and dreams when everyone around you continues to define you by that struggle, including the counselor(s) you hire to help you.

One of the biggest stigmas associated with all sorts of mental illnesses/diagnosis is that once you have been diagnosed, you are no longer ‘normal’ - you are an ‘other’ who is to be seen as something different. You are now in some sense defined by your diagnosis and that’s simply not helpful.

As a solution-focused practitioner, one of my guiding assumptions with clients is that regardless of any diagnosis that they might have, clients come to me with hope for their life and the unique-to-them strengths that are necessary to achieve that hope. They walk in with pieces of themselves that ARE mentally healthy, and thus we focus on that and allow them to define those hopes and strengths for themselves. Doing that is more useful than any diagnosis they might have.

We are all individuals, with different struggles unique to our brains, biology, family history/situation, experiences, etc. Those struggles might contribute to who we are, but the problems we each face do not and should not define us. Instead, our unique strengths, resilience, and hopes should be what define us.

So, how can we de-stigmatize mental illness? By focusing on people’s strengths, hopes, and resources, and defining ourselves and the people in our lives by those things rather than any diagnosis or illness they may have.

- Rebekka Ouer, LCSW, author of Soltuion-focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT Community

Feeling stigmatized with Persistent Depression often goes with feeling alone, trapped in a web of debilitating symptoms that no one wants to notice. And yet when these individuals agree to come together in a group setting to better understand how these very same symptoms have harmed their lives but also their relationships; the pain is now shared and aloneness dissipates. The group is a place to belong, where others want to know and together can dis-able the stigma of depression by reclaiming meaning back into one’s life. Then, Persistent Depression becomes a life-changing experience, transformative and irreversible. Strength is in unity together. Unity breaks isolation and counters stigmatization. Let’s get together!

- Liliane Sayegh, Ph.D., author of Group Treatment Manual for Persistent Depression

Talk about it

Often mental illness, including persistent depression, is not discussed in public. Keeping silent, whether you are a sufferer of mental illness, friend, or family member, only furthers isolation and stigma.

Seek help or encourage others to seek help

There are effective treatments for mental illness, including group and individual therapy, and nobody needs to suffer in silence. Seeking and receiving help breaks the cycle of mental illness and promotes healing and hope, which reduces stigma.

- J. Kim Penberthy, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She is the Director for Research at the UVA Contemplative Sciences Center as well as the Co-Director of the Effective Communication and Coping Skills for Physicians and Physician Clinical Evaluation Programs at UVA.

Believe in yourself

Life is a journey! According to the ancient myths and religious stories, when we are faced with challenges, we have an opportunity to move through the obstacles and learn new knowledge. This enables us to return to society in a manner that contributes to it. Sadly many people get stuck in self-doubt and forget all that is possible. See each day as a gift that enables you to learn something new as you embark upon this journey.

- Sharon G. Mijares, Ph.D., Editor of Modern Psychology and Ancient Wisdom: Psychological Healing Practices from the World’s Religious Traditions, 2nd Edition

Routledge are joining organizations all over the world in raising awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health problems can live with dignity.

Click here to read over 100 research articles for free until the end of October.

Featuring

  • Group Treatment Manual for Persistent Depression

    Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) Therapist’s Guide

    By Liliane Sayegh, J. Kim Penberthy

    This Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) Group Manual is a treatment guide for mental health professionals working with persistently depressed individuals. The manual provides a clear step-by-step application of CBASP as a group treatment modality, the research findings…

    Paperback – 2016-04-06
    Routledge
    100 Cases

  • Group Workbook for Treatment of Persistent Depression

    Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy-(CBASP) Patient’s Guide

    By Liliane Sayegh, J. Kim Penberthy

    The Group Workbook for Treatment of Persistent Depression is a guide for patients suffering from persistent depression who participate in group therapy. The workbook provides handouts and skills training that require the help of a trained professional to teach and animate in a group format.…

    Paperback – 2016-04-06
    Routledge

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT Community

    Creating Futures through Hope and Resilience

    By Rebekka Ouer

    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT Community is a practical guide for mental health professionals who wish to increase their therapeutic skills and work more effectively with LGBT clients. This book shows how to help clients reach their goals in tangible, respectful ways by identifying…

    Paperback – 2015-11-19
    Routledge

  • Modern Psychology and Ancient Wisdom

    Psychological Healing Practices from the World's Religious Traditions, 2nd Edition

    By Sharon G. Mijares

    Modern Psychology and Ancient Wisdom, 2nd edition, brings together experts who explore the use of ancient healing techniques from Buddhism, Christianity, Goddess, Shamanism, Taoism, and Yogic traditions as well as the mystical practices of Judaism and Islam and their application to modern…

    Paperback – 2015-09-09
    Routledge

Also of Interest

  • Individualizing Psychological Assessment

    A Collaborative and Therapeutic Approach, 2nd Edition

    By Constance T. Fischer

    Hardback – 2017-10-30 
    Routledge

  • Psychosis and Near Psychosis

    Ego Function, Symbol Structure, Treatment, 3rd Edition

    By Eric Marcus

    The goal of psychotherapy as formulated in this revision of a classic text is to improve ego function of severely disturbed patients who are often hospitalized. This book shows why and how. It describes the psychotherapeutic techniques that aid patients to understand the meaning of the psychotic…

    Paperback – 2017-05-18 
    Routledge

  • The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

    A Personal and Professional Journey with Don Meichenbaum

    By Donald Meichenbaum

    The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Personal and Professional Journey with Don Meichenbaum explores the "untold story" of how Cognitive Behavior Therapy emerged and discusses the controversies encountered along the way. This volume will feature a personal account of Don Meichenbaum's…

    Paperback – 2017-02-14
    Routledge

  • Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology

    MMPI-A / MMPI-A-RF, Fourth Edition

    By Robert P. Archer

    Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology: MMPI-A / MMPI-A-RF, Fourth Edition provides updated recommendations for researchers and clinicians concerning the MMPI-A, the most widely used objective personality test with adolescents, and also introduces the MMPI-A-Restructured Form (MMPI-A-RF), the…

    Paperback – 2016-08-08
    Routledge

  • Group Treatment Manual for Persistent Depression

    Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) Therapist’s Guide

    By Liliane Sayegh, J. Kim Penberthy

    This Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) Group Manual is a treatment guide for mental health professionals working with persistently depressed individuals. The manual provides a clear step-by-step application of CBASP as a group treatment modality, the research findings…

    Paperback – 2016-04-06
    Routledge
    100 Cases

  • Group Workbook for Treatment of Persistent Depression

    Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy-(CBASP) Patient’s Guide

    By Liliane Sayegh, J. Kim Penberthy

    The Group Workbook for Treatment of Persistent Depression is a guide for patients suffering from persistent depression who participate in group therapy. The workbook provides handouts and skills training that require the help of a trained professional to teach and animate in a group format.…

    Paperback – 2016-04-06
    Routledge

  • Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy

    Clinical Interventions

    Edited by Gina Pera, Arthur L. Robin

    Since ADHD became a well-known condition, decades ago, much of the research and clinical discourse has focused on youth. In recent years, attention has expanded to the realm of adult ADHD and the havoc it can wreak on many aspects of adult life, including driving safety, financial management,…

    Paperback – 2016-01-21
    Routledge

  • Consultation

    Creating School-Based Interventions, 4th Edition

    By Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., Carlson Jon, Rebecca E. Michel

    The methods presented by Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., Jon Carlson, and Rebecca Michel in Consultation are based on the assumption that problems in the home and classroom result not only from the direct actions of disruptive students, but also from the expectations of teachers and parents. This newly…

    Paperback – 2015-12-22
    Routledge

  • A Clinician's Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy

    2nd Edition

    By Gerald Weeks, Nancy Gambescia, Katherine M. Hertlein

    The second edition of A Clinician’s Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy has been completely revised, updated, and expanded. This volume is written for beginning psychotherapy practitioners in order to guide them through the complexities of sex therapy and help them to be more efficient in their treatment…

    Paperback – 2015-12-15
    Routledge

  • Handbook of Family Therapy

    Edited by Thomas L. Sexton, Jay Lebow

    Integrative, research-based, multisystemic: these words reflect not only the state of family therapy, but the nature of this comprehensive handbook as well. The contributors, all well-recognized names who have contributed extensively to the field, accept and embrace the tensions that emerge when…

    Paperback – 2015-12-10
    Routledge

  • Assessing Children in the Urban Community

    Edited by Barbara L Mercer, Tricia Fong, Erin Rosenblatt

    This book illuminates the process of child psychological assessment in community psychology through discussion, theory, and case studies of collaborative, systemic treatment of children and their parents. "Assessing Children in the Urban Community" presents a semi-structured form of collaborative…

    Paperback – 2015-12-02
    Routledge

  • The Clinical and Forensic Assessment of Psychopathy

    A Practitioner's Guide, 2nd Edition

    Edited by Carl B. Gacono

    This newly revised edition to The Clinical and Forensic Assessment of Psychopath: A Clinician's Guide brings new chapters on psychopathy in women, brain imaging, assessment and treatment in schools, and more, in addition to the updated original chapters. With its in-depth research on psychopathy,…

    Paperback – 2015-12-02
    Routledge

  • Black Single Mothers and the Child Welfare System

    A Guide for Social Workers on Addressing Oppression

    By Brandynicole Brooks

    Black Single Mothers and the Child Welfare System examines the pressures, hardships, and oppression women of color face in the child welfare system, and how this affects social workers who investigate childhood abuse and neglect. Author Brandynicole Brooks addresses intersectionality and…

    Paperback – 2015-12-02
    Routledge

  • Handbook of Arab American Psychology

    Edited by Mona M. Amer, Germine H. Awad

    The Handbook of Arab American Psychology is the first major publication to comprehensively discuss the Arab American ethnic group from a lens that is primarily psychological. This edited book contains a comprehensive review of the cutting-edge research related to Arab Americans and offers a…

    Paperback – 2015-11-24
    Routledge

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT Community

    Creating Futures through Hope and Resilience

    By Rebekka Ouer

    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy with the LGBT Community is a practical guide for mental health professionals who wish to increase their therapeutic skills and work more effectively with LGBT clients. This book shows how to help clients reach their goals in tangible, respectful ways by identifying…

    Paperback – 2015-11-19
    Routledge

  • The ADHD Guide to Career Success

    Harness your Strengths, Manage your Challenges, 2nd Edition

    By Kathleen G Nadeau

    Just as the classroom poses the greatest challenges for children and teens with ADHD, the workplace is the arena where Adult ADHD poses the greatest threat. And while adults with ADHD are likely to face professional challenges, it is possible to cultivate a work environment that enables them to…

    Paperback – 2015-11-17
    Routledge

  • A Therapist's Guide to Child Development

    The Extraordinarily Normal Years

    Edited by Dee C. Ray

    A Therapist's Guide to Child Development gives therapists and counselors the basics they need to understand their clients in the context of development and to explain development to parents. The chapters take the reader through the various physical, social, and identity developments occurring at…

    Paperback – 2015-11-05
    Routledge

  • In Search of Aphrodite

    Women, Archetypes and Sex Therapy

    By Chelsea Wakefield

    What does it mean to be “in search of Aphrodite?” For most women, sex is complex, and more than a juxtaposition of body parts. Women sense the possibility of depth, meaning, even transcendence, but in a somatically disconnected, sexually superficial world, it can be difficult for a woman to…

    Paperback – 2015-10-23
    Routledge

  • Treating Traumatic Stress in Adults

    The Practitioner’s Expressive Writing Workbook

    By Stephanie Field, Kathy McCloskey

    Treating Traumatic Stress in Adults is a resource for therapists of all disciplines for use in the treatment of adults suffering from post-traumatic stress. By reading this unique synthesization of information on the most current trauma treatments and expressive writing exercises,…

    Paperback – 2015-10-23
    Routledge

  • Social Work and the Courts

    A Casebook, 3rd Edition

    By Daniel Pollack, Toby G. Kleinman

    Social Work and the Courts is a collection of important and cutting-edge court decisions in the field of human services, now in its third edition. Pollack and Kleinman present an array of legal cases in everyday language, with clear explanation of the facts and issues, and in-depth examinations of…

    Paperback – 2015-10-19
    Routledge

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia in Those with Depression

    A Guide for Clinicians

    By Colleen E. Carney, Donn Posner

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia in Those with Depression is the book for clinicians who recognize that insomnia is more often a comorbid condition that merits separate treatment attention. These clinicians know that two thirds of those who present for depression treatment also complain of…

    Paperback – 2015-10-13
    Routledge

  • Learning Forensic Assessment

    Research and Practice, 2nd Edition

    Edited by Rebecca Jackson, Ronald Roesch

    Major developments in the field since the publication of Learning Forensic Assessment are integrated in this revised edition, including revised editions of the DSM-5, HCR-20 scale, and child custody guidelines. This textbook is designed for graduate students learning forensic assessment and…

    Paperback – 2015-10-13
    Routledge
    International Perspectives on Forensic Mental Health

  • Working with Challenging Youth

    Seven Guiding Principles, 2nd Edition

    By Brent Richardson

    Working with Challenging Youth, Second Edition is a practical, reader-friendly guide through the pitfalls and problems that arise when working with at-risk youth. As in the first edition, the new Working with Challenging Youth builds on a solid theoretical base in reality therapy,…

    Paperback – 2015-10-09
    Routledge

  • Techniques of Grief Therapy

    Assessment and Intervention

    Edited by Robert A. Neimeyer

    Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment and Intervention continues where the acclaimed Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved left off, offering a whole new set of innovative approaches to grief therapy to address the needs of the bereaved. This new volume…

    Paperback – 2015-10-08
    Routledge
    Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Get 20% off

Use the code MIAW5 at www.routledge.com to get 20% off* any of our essential mental health resources.

*Offer only valid at www.routledge.com and cannot be combined with other offers. Valid till December 31, 2015.

Free eBook Download

This free eBook has been curated to deliver practical, succinct strategies for developing efficient, effective leadership skills in any context.

Connect with us

Be sure to connect with us on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest news, resources, and special offers.

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn