Education & Resources
Living With A Mental Illness
We realize that living with mental illness means managing a lifelong chronic disease which is potentially as debilitating, or even fatal, as other chronic diseases that do not carry the stigma of mental illness. When a person is diagnosed with diabetes they has to deal with that illness for the rest of their life. If they fail to take care of themselves, they may suffer many problems. Improperly treated diabetes can cause loss of eyesight, loss of limbs and even loss of life. But disclosing that one is diabetic, most often brings a positive or sympathetic response from others.
Helpful Links, Agencies, and Resources
Hearing Voices Network (HVN) USA is one of over 20 nationally-based networks around the world joined by shared goals and values, incorporating a fundamental belief that there are many ways to understand the experience of hearing voices and other unusual or extreme experiences. It is part of an international collaboration between professionals, people with lived experience, and their families to develop an alternative approach to coping with emotional distress that is empowering and useful to people, and does not start from the assumption that they have a chronic illness.
Westchester Jewish Community Services is a not-for-profit non-sectarian neighbor, helping people cope with and conquer the effects of mental, physical, social and educational challenges. Our caring and compassionate programs serve more than 20,000 adults, children and families each year through approximately 60 sites across Westchester.
Mental Health First Aid is an in-person training that teaches you how to help people developing a mental illness or in a crisis.
National Council for Behavioral Health is the nation’s voice of mental health and addiction providers who care for eight million adults and children.
The American Art Therapy Association is an organization of professionals dedicated to the belief that making art is healing and life enhancing. Its mission is to serve its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence, and developing and promoting knowledge in, and of, the field of art therapy. Adopted April 2008
EffectiveHealthCare – Treating Binge Eating Disorders: This site provides a comprehensive and compassionate overview of Binge Eating Disorders and if you’re struggling, can point you in the right direction for help and recovery.
Blog Postings and Articles We Like
LivingMentallyWell.org “My name’s George and I’m a twenty two year old who has been suffering from anxiety and major depression for over two years but I’m finally on the road to recovery. I’ve set up this blog because there’s a host of misinformation and poor support out on the internet, as well as within the health service and even our daily lives.” George Bell is a British-born writer and mental health advocate traveling the world and is currently writing a book on his experience and journey with depression and anxiety.
Writing Your Way to Happiness, New York Times
CBT for Schizophrenia? You don’t know Jack! Coalition Center for Rehabilitation & Recovery
Understanding the Effects of Untreated Mental Illness: A Clear and Concise Summary from Psychology Today.
Overcoming the Stigma
On the other hand, disclosing that one has a mental illness can elicit many other responses; fear, revulsion, distrust, confusion, loss of respect from others as well as the disruption of relationships. Unfortunately the stigma of mental illness persists: most people would rather be identified as a substance abuser than as mentally ill. Many people still believe that people with mental illness can control their symptoms and that, with will power, they can “get over” their illness. A common response to learning that a person has a mental illness is to treat him as though he is intellectually impaired. Some people retreat from the person or treat them with kid gloves. This can result in isolation, lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy. Some may not seek treatment because they are fearful of the reactions of others. As with any physical disease, lack of understanding from others can bring terrible harm to the afflicted.
What many people often do not understand, however, is that mental illness is a chronic medical condition, that can be just as disabling as other illnesses, and can also be just as treatable as other illnesses.
At CHOICE we strive to bring that understanding not only to our clients but to the larger community. As a result, people who have mental illness can lead richer, more satisfying lives.
Helpful Links, Blogs, and Resources
Substance Abuse, Wellness, and Mental Health Issues
DrugRehab.com In an effort to spread awareness about the causes of drug and alcohol abuse, and the prevalence of people struggling with co-occurring disorders,the administrators of the website drugrehab.com have created a page that delves into the mental health issues that frequently plagues many who struggle with substance abuse disorders and addiction. Those struggling with these complicated issues require an integrated treatment plan that targets both illnesses at once.
AddictionCenter.com is a professional webguide that can connect addicts and families with recovery and treatment options. If you need information on state treatment options and substance abuse programs, visit this site.
MyHealios is the leading caregiver telehealth solution in the area of Alzheimer’s and Mental Health. Designed exclusively for caregivers, MyHealios online services provide a specialized, high-quality, and highly professional approach to psychoeducation, therapy, and skill building.