Mental Awareness Week

A disorder that many people try to sweep under the rug is being exposed this week.

Monday marks the beginning of national mental illness awareness week. And this year, there is a push to get African Americans involved.

Bethel family counselor Dorothy Holley says mental illnesses are plaguing the African American community.

Dorothy Holley, director bethel family counseling, said, “some of the alcohol abuse, drug abuse is actually people self-medicating for a condition like depression.” But it's not that blacks are more susceptible psychologist Larry Kubiak there is a stigma among some groups that keeps them from seeking medical attention.

Dr. Larry Kubiak, TMH psychologist, said, “you cannot shake clinical depression anymore than you can shake off cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart attack. It's a medical condition, it is a treatable condition.”

Statistics show one in five families is affected by mental illness.

Faye Barnette, chair, mental health awareness week they say it’s more prevalent than heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

Here are the symptoms of the most common disorder depression change in sleeping routine and eating habits, difficulty making decisions and the biggest concern suicidal thoughts.

For more information on mental illness awareness week call 850 877-1625.