Mental Illness Awareness Week: Time to Make a Difference

Information for this article provided in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Oct. 5-11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). It is an important opportunity to learn the symptoms of major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other conditions. It also is an opportunity for conversations about mental health care, helping to end the silence that often exists.

Kingwood Pines Hospital is here to serve the needs of people who have mental illness and are in a crisis, and we have services for adults ages 18 and up, as well as children from age 5-12 and adolescents from age 13-17. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem every year. One in five children and teens also experience serious emotional disorders. One-half of cases of chronic mental illness begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters by age 24.

Unfortunately, there are long delays?sometimes decades?between the time symptoms first appear and when people get help. Early identification and treatment can make a big difference for successful management of an illness and recovery. Yet only one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with mental illness receive treatment.

One reason is that symptoms may not be immediately recognized. Another is that stigma – and silence – surrounding mental illness that discourages many people from seeking help. Still another is lack of access to mental health care.

During MIAW, everyone should learn the symptoms of mental illness. Information about specific diagnoses and treatment options is available from the National Alliance on Mental Illness at or from its HelpLine at 1-800-950-6264. You can also call Kingwood Pines Hospital at 281-404-1001 if you or a friend is having a mental health crisis or if you need more information.

Kingwood Pines Hospital provides no-cost assessments at our hospital 24-hours-per-day, 7-days per week. Information and appointments can be made by calling our intake department at 281-404-1001, but appointments are not required. If you or anyone you know is in a mental health crisis, we are right around the corner and would be glad to help!

No one should have to confront mental illness alone. Know where to find help in case it is ever needed. Most people start with their doctor, who may refer them to mental health professional.

Treatment works, but only if a person can get it. Dialogue must ultimately turn into action. But, education comes first. The more people know about mental illness, the better they can help themselves, their families and communities to get the help they need.

If you have a group that wants to know more about Kingwood Pines Hospital’s services, we are also available to provide community outreach. Call our Business Development Department at 281-404-1039. Let’s work together to keep our community happy and healthy!