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The Invisible Barrier

Many disabilities are readily apparent. There’s no question that an individual who is blind requires the use of a cane or service animal to get around or that a person unable to walk will need a wheelchair or motor scooter. However, other disabilities aren’t as obvious. Mental health impairments are among the most “invisible” and least understood disabilities, even though they are also among the most common.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 58 million Americans, or one in four adults, experience a mental health impairment in a given year. NAMI defines a mental health impairment as, “a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning.”

I whole heartedly encourage ANYONE who even suspects something might be amiss with themselves mentally (or someone they know for that matter) to get checked out! It is a tremendous shame that bias and stigma remain barriers to mental health that need to be overcome.

People wouldn't leave a broken arm or a sprained ankle unattended, so why do some folks, men especially, feel that mental health is something they can just "tough out"? You can no more resolve depression or other disorders than you could help that untreated arm or ankle. Mental health IS health! And in this day and age, help is just a mouse click or download of an app away.

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