As a society, we expend a lot of time and energy concerning our physical health and well-being. Oftentimes, the state of our mental health gets pushed to the background.

That is why it’s important to raise awareness of mental health issues and focus on providing useful services to the nearly one in five individuals in Maine who reports needing help with a mental or emotional health problem.

Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses can be treated. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by getting help. They can recover and live full and meaningful lives.

Though we have come a long way, there is a way to go. The stigma surrounding mental illness needs to be stamped out.

Sheila McNeil