Raise awareness of mental health illness

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Today marks the third day of the Tribune’s three-part series about mental health illness.

In the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, we hoped to bring discussion to an issue that occurs more in our community than most people realize.

According to national statistics, one in five people experiences mental health illness. If that statistic bears true on a local level, that means that in a city of about 18,000 people, there could be about 3,600 people struggling with mental illness.

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It could be your neighbor, your cashier at the grocery store, your co-worker, your best friend, a family member or even a community leader.

Or maybe it’s something that you, yourself, have struggled with in silence for years, afraid to speak out.

For me, it has been friends, family members and co-workers. There are probably more that I still don’t know about.

Whatever the case may be, I hope we, as a community, can find courage to share our stories with those around us. We all face challenges, and we can all learn from each other.

I appreciate the three people who shared their stories in the Tribune this week. The stories have given perspective of the challenges that come with mental illness.

Looking ahead, the United Way of Freeborn County and the Freeborn County Mental Health Collaboration will host a lunch at noon on Friday at the Freeborn County Historical Museum with representatives from the National Alliance of Mental Illness. The lunch includes a presentation titled “Together we can make it OK” that specifically will explore hope and healing, how to help and the language surrounding mental illness.

Let’s continue the discussion on this important subject.


Sarah Stultz is the Tribune’s managing editor. Her column appears every Tuesday.