BBC News (Sept 2009) The World Health Organisation predicts that within 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem...
“Mental Illness: Stigma of Silence" In an article in The Huffington Post (October 21, 2009), award-winning actress Glenn Close talks about the stigma of mental illness. She writes, “There has, in fact, been a lot of depression and alcoholism in my family and, traditionally, no one ever spoke about it. It just wasn’t done. The stigma is toxic.” Despite progress with medicine and therapy to treat mental illness, the social stigma remains intact.
“Suicide – the Silent Crisis”
A recent article in the Boston Globe (April 15, 2009) advocated a more open dialogue about suicide, recognizing it as a major cause of preventable death. Ninety percent of suicides can be prevented, according to the American Association of Suicidology. “Suicide takes more lives than homicide and HIV/AIDS combined, yet it is shrouded in secrecy and blame for the dead, the injured, and their loved ones,” said Ellen Connorton, founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
“Employers Could Save Billions by Reducing Stigma of Mental Illness”
According to a recent article published by Canwest News Service (January, 14, 2009 ), the military in Canada has achieved success in treating mental illness among soldiers and removing some of the stigma associated with it. Bill Wilkerson, the Chairman of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, recently held a meeting of representatives of some of Canada’s top businesses to learn how the military and Veterans Affairs made managing and treating mental health a priority for the armed forces. Wilkerson feels that if the military can take some of the stigma out of mental illness, so can private employers. Taking action could save them billions of dollars. According to the forum, the costs of mental disorders now exceed 50 billion dollars a year in Canada.